What You Need to Know About...The 2009 Web Site of the Year

By Christie Walker
Optical laboratory Web sites have “Come a long way, Baby.” When we first started this competition back in 2000, many optical laboratories didn’t even have Web sites and those that did were often just glorified “billboards” with static information on the location and hours of the labs.

Ten years ago, many ECP’s didn’t have Internet capabilities in their offices. But as the ECP becomes more Internet savvy, the optical laboratory has stepped up their efforts to use the technology available to keep their customers informed and up-to-date on everything from CE courses, to job tracking.

Today’s optical laboratory Web sites are a dynamic piece of the lab’s marketing and customer service strategy offering their customers the information they want, when they want it.

This year’s winner of the annual Web Site of the Year award was Diversified Ophthalmics. Take a visit to their site and you’ll see why. Everything can be easily found directly from the home page. The list of what is available on the site can be found on the left-hand side, organized by topics such as Online Ordering, Products and Services, and Special Offers. Because the information isn’t hidden behind drop-down menus, it makes the site easy to navigate, and no matter where you go on the site, the list of what-is-available is always there on the left, making sure you’ll never get lost.

Ranked number two in 2008, Diversified’s site moved into the first place position by being the second most popular site among the ECP’s who nominated it and receiving high marks from the ECP judging panel. While the FEA Industries Web site received the most votes (153), it didn’t fare as well with the judges.

Based on the over 70 nominations received for the Diversified’s Web site, it becomes readily apparent what ECPs are looking for from their optical laboratory Web site.

Number one comment…ease-of-use, followed by, access to invoices, account status and job tracking. Here’s what customers had to say about the Diversified Ophthalmics Web site:

“Very informative.” “This site makes it easy for me to find out where all the jobs are and if they’ve been shipped or if there is a delay.” “Very easy to navigate.” “They have online invoices, online statements and online job status.” “Provides information I can’t get anywhere else.” “Has excellent gas permeable fitting guides, up-to-date CE information and a current ophthalmic lens price list with PAL minimum seg heights listed, which is very helpful.” “I can look up all my orders for the past three years. On the order is the patient name, product ordered and the price of the product.”

How the Judging Works

Optical laboratory Web sites are nominated by their customers through a VisionMonday voting button located on the VisionMonday Web site. This year we received over 500 nominations compared to last year’s 300 nominations, which shows the rising popularity of the contest.

The top 20 nominated sites were then moved into the judging phase where they received points in the following areas: Usefulness of Information to the ECP, the Ease-of-Use, and Look & Design.

Sites earn points for their ranking in the “popular vote” with 10 points for the most popular, 9 points for second most popular, 8 for third, etc. Sites 10 through 20 each receive 1 additional point. The judges’ scores are averaged AND THEN the popular vote is added in. This has eliminated the many ties we have had in previous years.

2009 Web Site of the Year Top Ten

1. Diversified Ophthalmics


2. Cherry Optical


3. Hirsch Optical


4. Pech Optical


5. Laramy-K


6. iCoat


7. Optical Dimensions


8. Tri-Supreme Optical


9. Precision Optical Group


10. Walman Optical



Labtalk June 2020