8th Annual Optical Laboratory Web Site of the Year Award

By Christie Walker
For the past seven years, LabTalk has run the Optical Laboratory Web Site of the Year contest. Web sites were judged by a panel of industry journalists on the look & feel, content, and value to the ECP. This year we decided to go to the source–the eyecare professional–to ask them which Web sites best meet their needs. A survey was set up on VisionMonday asking eyecare professionals to nominate their favorite optical laboratory Web site. We received over 300 nominations from YOUR customers. We asked your customers to tell us what they liked most about your Web site. The number one answer was Ease–of–Use. You can have the best information available on your site but if your customers can’t find it or it’s too difficult to get to, it’s useless. Features your customers liked best were: online ordering, current industry news and new product news, lens updates and availability charts, latest information on promotions, and job tracking. Many people mentioned that they liked the fact that the site was updated frequently. Some sites had blogs, which many of the customers thought were informative and fun.

The optical laboratory Web sites that received the most nominations were moved into round two of the judging process. In round two, a panel of eyecare practitioners was asked to judge the top nominated sites on look & feel, quality of the content and value to the ECP.

And the Winner Is…

Selected as the Optical Laboratory Web Site of the Year for 2007 by the judges was Laramy-K Optical. Here are some of the judges’ comments about Laramy-K.com. “Clean, full of personality and opinions, plus information both from manufacturers and self-developed. Only ordering requires a password.” Another judge said, “Seeing a purple blog is unique and the forum is excellent. Their interactive progressive lens chart is excellent.”

The rest of the top ten sites are listed below with some of the judges’ comments. Check out these award winning Web sites, look at what the judges had to say and find out how your Web site stacks up against the competition. When you create the best Web site possible it’s your customers who are the big winners!

Cherry Optical – www.cherryoptical.com

Well organized, contained lab policies and promotions. Your Eyes for accounts use, educational programs links. Easy to navigate to relevant content.

Soderberg, Inc. – www.soseyes.com

Some links take you out of the site and requires re-launch of back button. Education is only about contact lenses, but only two labs that I reviewed had contact lens info. Colors need to be updated. Needs Web site redesign but has lots of content.

Pech Optical – www.pechoptical.com

Well-organized. Deep in materials that the ECP can use with tables and new products distilled. Lacks educational opportunities. Navigation on left is nearly impossible to read, needs redesign. Found five dead links on the page.

Classic Optical – www.classicoptical.com

Good mix and easily organized but a compilation of other people’s materials. Identities of management, goals, links, terms and conditions. Online store is great.

Central Optical – www.centraloptical.com

Basic, product driven without own opinions or direction.

Advance Optical – www.advanceoptical.com

Easy to navigate but basic. Has a familiar number of tools, newsletter but it’s a jpeg image; a pdf would be better. ANSI added as a download. Has the OLA identifier. Blog is nice. Would like to see relevant content from links displayed on the site. For example, products/lenses/resolution lenses takes you to the Resolution Web site. A brief thumbnail would be helpful. Downloadable docs are a nice touch. Helpful.

Katz & Klein – www.katzandklein.com

Pretty basic with some good programs but not a constant resource of information and help. Hardly any content.

Diversified Ophthalmics – www.divopt.com

Needs password for most items. Looks complete but needs education. I like the newsletters since it personalizes the lab to the account. Has contact lens information. Needs a Web site redesign.

FEA Industries – www.feaind.com

Hardly any content but downloads are nice. Most of the content is in PDF files, which take a long time to load. Would prefer they just were Web pages. It was very slow to load opening screen. Layout was fair. Many links were not live. I felt it was a bit outdated.

CURRENT ISSUE


Labtalk May/June 2018