ClinicalPosters is as much a store for medical professionals as it is a resource of well-researched health articles for the general population. This being the 10th anniversary year, I hope you return frequently. Three years of articles have updated information.
During shelter-in-place orders, some may have learned to cook new recipes. Others may have learned to sew masks. Or you binge watched movies. I decided to rebuild the ClinicalPosters website—for the fourth time.
The new theme is available to any Shopify merchant. But when you compare it, you will discover much more than is available within the stock theme. Nevertheless, I tip my hat to the developers of Prestige. With international collaboration, the result maintains an elegant interface with some Amazon-like features. Enjoy wonderful optimizations and animations.
A rule of thumb for website design is that if you have to explain, it doesn’t work. (Just like jokes.) The point is that the beauty should speak for itself and the features should be intuitive. I hope this is true of ClinicalPosters. Custom refinements improve navigation and product option selection. Most features are quite intuitive. Discover others through regular use—unless you read below for a headstart.
Prior Useful Features Remain
- Wide product selection
- One-click poster bundles
- User specialty product collection
- Product recommendations
- Small-device font legibility
- User article protagonist with login
- Daily home page layouts
- Corporate gift cards
- Enhanced Shop Pay
- Marketing opportunities
- Feature your store within a store
- Mature content filter
- Extended-use video art option
- Restock estimates
1. New Product Categories
In the past, physical therapy products were within the orthopedics category. However, the former specialty avoids surgery, so physiotherapists may have felt their profession was unsupported. A new category called Physiotherapy is now active. Rheumatology has also been separated from orthopedics.
With more category filters, a drawer slides from the right of every collection, enabling selection of multiple tags. This allows you to pinpoint the product you require even if you are not certain of the title.
The Graphics collection is not currently a user specialty but there are several custom products within it. Clinical Science is a separate collection and user specialty. Login to access it. What makes this latter category unique is that it can also be a subspecialty. Customers with this interest may have a primary specialty like dermatology or cardiology. Throughout the site, both primary and secondary specialties receive shortcut links after login.
Speaking of login, the page has been simplified. From here, you may click a link to sign up if you do not have an account. To end confusion, Amazon and social media signup methods are absent.
2. Event Calendar
It has been several years since the ClinicalPosters website had an event calendar for scientific poster conferences. As a resource for the Clinical Science specialty, Exhibit Event Calendar is active.
It looks like a normal table. But it filters active venues, highlighting the current month. There are external links to event details and abstract submission pages. Conferences with your medical specialty appear in red when logged in. Find notes about cancellations, deadlines, and other details. Columns collapse to optimize content on smaller devices.
3. The Blog Page
The top-level page for each blog features a beautiful layout. Below the header and description, the first (most recent) article has a full-width photo. Then comes a grid of other paginated articles with brief descriptions.
The displayed read time links to the article. Below it is a link to the comment section. Get the conversation started with Disqus.
Where are the tags to filter articles? The native theme optionally displays them either at the top or off. But too many tags detract from the beautiful photo grid. So tags are now on the bottom. But seeing many of them can still be distracting.
A list of all tags is visible only on the first blog page when a filter is in use (not visible on narrow mobile device screens). Each article excerpt includes a tagged keyword. When clicked, the first page of the results shows all the tags at the bottom with the filtering tag highlighted. You can click another tag from the list if desired. To clear the selection, either click “All” or click the blog title at the top of the page.
4. The Blog Schedule
This site hosts multiple blogs. How do we unobtrusively show visitors what is new? Several days throughout the week, the home page features the latest blog article.
In addition to the top level page for navigating respective blogs, a single-page article summary consolidates the most recent 50 of each. How do you access this latter page? Select Articles: Schedule from the top navigation menu. (A shortcut URL is the domain followed by "/blogs.”) On each article page, clicking the estimated read time jumps to the schedule.
The consolidated blog schedule is responsive to various devices. This means the number of columns decreases to accommodate narrow widths. View the same page when logged in and the titles of articles relating to your interest are highlighted in red. Click the title header to sort columns and your interests are grouped together. So you can see at a glance which articles interest you.
5. Personalized Breadcrumbs
Sometimes you land on a page by clicking a link. Contextually, you may not know where you are within the site. Are you within a specific blog or a collection of similar products? Since the story of Hansel and Gretel, “breadcrumbs” have been a colloquialism for path back home. Hence, websites often include hierarchal linked words conveying the path to the home page.
In practical use, there are many ways to get back home. It is usually the first thing listed in the navigation bar. (By the way, the navigation is categorically redesigned.) Clicking the logo in the header takes you home. So depending on the width of the page, “Home” is optional within the breadcrumbs. When logged in, a more practical destination is the user account link labeled with your name. This provides visual feedback that your account is active.
The current page within breadcrumbs (destination) is often redundant; on most sites, it repeats the title. Here, the default destination crumb is simply “article” or “product.” When required, it becomes a login link. On article pages, this destination crumb often links to the Disqus comment section.
Breadcrumbs on product pages have a little more intuition. Most products are part of a primary collection. For example, flip charts, brochures, and books are in a collection called, “Books.” (Depending on how the collection is defined, a product may be within multiple collections.)
A link to a product page frequently excludes the collection path. When this occurs, and the site can figure it out, the page displays the word, “Paginate” in place of the breadcrumbs. Click it and the page reopens in position within its primary collection based on the default sort order. This allows you to navigate with Prior/Next links. Depending upon length of the collection title, the first breadcrumb may be “Home,” your name, or be omitted.
6. Account Access
The breadcrumbs provide access to the user account page. Even without them, you can get there by clicking the person icon within the header on the desktop. (On narrow screens, Account is at the bottom of the side navigation bar.)
With login and subscription more accessible, we now use two-factor subscription verification. This simply means you will receive an email to verify that it is working. Press the Confirm Subscription button to complete the process.
7. Dual Search
The initial intent was to fold the contextual search from the prior site into this one. Then I saw something better. As you begin typing, product results appear on the left and articles on the right. There is a "View All” link for either result. Can you see how useful this can be?
8. Enhanced Product Options
Over 3000 product images are now 33 percent larger, bringing your visual product options into view. Prior to January, grommets or frames were each available on a different page than posters. Thumbnail images did not display all frame options.
Now you can see how each anatomy poster looks within two frame styles in two colors plus two or four grommets. There are 12 different finishing options for most anatomy posters. Thanks to Hulkapps, conditional display prevents you from selecting conflicting options like grommets with frames. You can create your own bundles.
There are even more options within the new Graphics and Clinical Science collections. As options are selected, the price is updated. Add customized products to your cart. Don’t overlook the expandable tabs on product pages that provide helpful information.
9. Flat Box Option
The flat box option, introduced in 2018, allows you to receive posters without curl. Over the years, the location of this option has changed. It was within an announcement banner on the checkout page or an obscure link elsewhere.
Special handling includes placing posters within a large plastic bag that protects against moisture. The bag is taped within a custom flat box to prevent sliding. When required, padding is added before sealing all edges with packing tape. The fee for this premium packaging does not include shipping.
The location of the flat box option is now on each poster page, unless a frame is selected. Frames naturally ship flat. If you choose a number of posters, the fee is not multiplied.
10. Shipping Calculator
One of the most frequent inquiries is how much does shipping cost? Often, the requests originate from exotic destinations, but they also come from offices within the United States.
At the bottom of the shopping cart page (or drawer) you see a shipping calculator. Based on the weight of items in your cart, available specials, and the destination zip (province) code, you can compare various shipping opitons before checkout.
11. Language Translation
This remnant feature is worth mentioning. Google Translation matches the site language to your geographical location. When this happens, a banner appears at the top of each page with a language menu. You may select the original language (which is English) or choose a different language.
Everyone in the United States does not speak English just as everyone in Canada does not speak French. So if the banner does not appear, you can choose a language from the menu in the footer.
12. Frequently Asked Questions
Check out the new FAQ page. Questions are more concise and the layout is mobile friendly. Each product page has its own answers to frequent questions within expandable tabs. With these additions, it is time to retire our chatbot.
There is one known anomaly. To speed performance, images load as you scroll. (That is not the anomaly.) With this admin option enabled, sometimes the browser back button displays a blank page. Press the refresh button if this occurs. Page printing may reveal blank areas until you scroll through an entire page. The alternative is waiting to load every image out of view before seeing pages. A toggle determines behavior for everyone. Enable progressive images or not—which is your preference?
I can’t throughly cover dozens of new features in one article. These 12+ demonstrate the effort that has gone into improving your browsing experience. They also reveal that this site becomes more useful after login. Tell me which of these features you like most or share other cherished benefits within the comment section.