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In the past the River Island website has been criticised for a number of reasons (predominately its use of Flash, which prevented some shoppers from being able to access it), so its relaunched version came as a welcome relief and will ensure it reaches a larger audience.

However, the young fashion retailer has made a few unusual choices. Shoppers can navigate using a number of black drop-down boxes that then filter to options on the right-hand side of the screen. Other sites are moving away from this sort of design and instead favouring just a few simple options, which they believe are more recognisable and user-friendly.

Quirky, image-led filter tools are also used. These fit perfectly with the target audience. The site scrolls downwards rather than sideways, which is a more user-friendly option. Photography remains good with an added zoom tool.

Disappointingly, the community ‘Style Insider’ section is hard to find from the main site, with just a tiny link at the bottom of the page. The section is full of blogs, editorial and competitions, which, if they were easier to find, could keep visitors on the website for longer.

Overall, the site is much improved, but integration between shopping and community would further improve the customer experience.

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