One tip usability experts give for improving the shopping experience online is to include product information in the search results that will speed up identification and selection. Well, following the old adage that “A picture is worth a thousand words” we should be taking a good look at our product images.

Some products can be shown at a reduced size in search and still look fantastic.  However, there are plenty of times when we end up with a product image that simply doesn’t display well in our site search results.  This could be due to an poor image from the manufacturer or it could simply the nature of the product.  In this example below from Wooden Toddler Toys, we see a number of product images of block toys that contain many parts that are difficult to see. One image even includes some text that is almost impossible to read.
At this point, if the customer wants to get a better look, they would typically have to click through to the product page. However, thanks to having a hover-over capability, Wooden Toddler Toys customers can simply hold their mouse pointer over these images to display a larger version and get a better feel for the product.

In another example from, the first product you see in a search for chocolate includes an image of a product that contains multiple pieces that make it difficult to see exactly what you are getting.


Thanks to their hover-over capability, is able to show a larger product image along with a full description. This gives them the ability to see the product much better and learn more about it.


At this point, many customers would be ready to buy.  Fortunately, this hover window includes the capability for customers to select the type of chocolate, choose a quantity, and add the item into their shopping basket.  As you can see, a simple mouse-over hover window can do wonders for speeding up the identification and selection of products.

In addition to giving customers a closer look at your products, hover over windows can be a great way to display other important information that will help your customers make a buying decision.   If you have other important information about your products that you don’t want to display up front in your site search results for design reasons or lack of space, consider placing this information in a hover-over window.

Do you have a story about how a hover-over window improved your shopping experience or thoughts about the product information you would like to see in a hover-over window? If so, please let us know by posting a comment.