Reviewed May 4, 2:00 p.m., Explorer 4.5 (www.speedo.com)

the splash page for the Speedo site comes up with a claim that this online store is “the fastest way to shop.” True to form, Speedo provides a search engine, which seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many sites let guests muddle through with no direction.

There are a lot of other good things about this site. The ordering system, for one, is easy to follow; concise, effective copy appears alongside thecrisp, clear photographs of every product; and celebrity endorsements help sell the goods.

But Speedo’s attempts to collect customer information are a little confusing. The home page invites you to input your e-mail address to get notification of sales and promotions. Sounds good, but then what’s the difference between that and registering? By registering, the copy says, shoppers can “enter and leave the store as they choose without having to refill their basket each time they return.” Huh? And the Cybercritic has to really search for the privacy policy, which does not inspire confidence and wastes my precious time.

Despite a few weaknesses, Speedo’s Website gets the ultimate endorsement from yours truly. Only a solid site would inspire the Cybercritic to go home after a long day, turn on the computer (something rarely done outside the office), and place an order.

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