Crystal Achievement Awards 2015: The Crystal Standard

Emily Kay Thompson
September 19, 2015
FEATURE ARTICLE | Design & Performance

Best Manufacturer Website

Simpson Door Co.

Because Simpson offers hundreds of door designs, each in more than 100 wood species and with dozens of glass textures and patterns, plus allows full customization, the range of choices can seem overwhelming, the company’s nomination tells us. To make the door selection process more intuitive and fun, Simpson launched a redesigned with the theme “DoorDiscovery: Follow the path to your door.”

Five Tips for a Top Site

Here are some design rules top web designers agree on:

  1. Keep it Clean and Simple
    Visitors don’t want to weed through mounds of information, and clean is preferred to cluttered.
  2. Ensure Intuitive Navigation
    Make it easy for customers to find what they want with as few clicks as possible.
  3. “Content is King”
    (Especially Video)
    Thank Bill Gates for this catchphrase that reminds us to mind our material.
  4. Responsive Design is a Must
    Using one device is so yesterday. Make sure your website works across your customers’ many preferred platforms.
  5. Extend an Invitation
    Incorporate calls to action and contact information wherever appropriate.

*Source: Window & Door magazine, based on research from more than 10 website design firms.

While the previous site was designed to be more technical, the new website provides what the company believes is a much clearer and simpler set of steps for Simpson customers to choose the perfect door for themselves. A key improvement, Simpson says, is more intuitive filters that allow customers to better sort among door features.

What set apart, according to one of the judges, was “the responsive design, easy navigation, beauty shots, access to technical information for pros and dealers, and tools for homeowners.”

Innovative Elements

Simpson consolidated its online visualization tools to aid in door selection under a “Doormagination” banner. These tools include the Test Drive a Door, Glass Taste Test and Any Door. Any Wood. tabs, all of which enable visitors to view the range of options available to personalize their doors. Users can also envision how a Simpson door will look in their home, as homeowners can print a PDF of side-by-side comparisons of doors they like to take to their dealer.

The idea gallery offers "a scroll-worthy page of eye candy for homeowners, yet manages to stay uncluttered,” another judge commented. “The beauty shots and easy navigation for both dealers and consumers is fantastic on”

The website is earning points from its visitors, as well. In looking to purchase a new door, one homeowner, Molly Burell, says she “loves the Test Drive. It helped me decide on my new Simpson door.”

Another, T.P. Murphy, comments on all the Doormagination tools, saying that they were “extremely helpful for working through the many great design options offered.” Finally, homeowner Chris Sutter sums up the dramatic difference between the old and new sites: “The last time we were looking we had a hard time maneuvering,” he wrote the company.

Back to List of Winners

Thompson is editor of Window & Door,, and WDweekly. Write her at