PICK OF THE WEEK: Gucci.com

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It's Friday, and in the words of Schoolly D, "Looking at my Gucci, it's about that time." While the rap wonder nailed the needed-it-yesterday rush of high modern livin,' a small, smart company tackled the problem with fine grace for the designer's lush website, Gucci.com, which—OK y'all, brace yourselves—gets the nod for Pick of the Week.

It's a title we've typically bestowed to TV spots, but in recognition of messages that cut through the chaff—no matter what medium—Gucci.com dutifully earns it. The site is a triumphant intersection of design, brand, and tech prowess, thanks to the handiwork of Austria-based Wollzelle. The shop's savvy coders eschewed Flash for JavaScript and Ajax, employing several elements from the open-source library script.aculo.us, created by Thomas Fuchs, one of three Wollzelle principals. So, at Gucci.com there are no plugins to install and very little load time. That adds up to a seamless shopping experience allowing shoppers to scroll breezily through gorgeous product shots, get accessorized and make rash financial decisions faster than you can say "I'll take them in crocodile." On a broadband connection I went from typing the site's address into the menu bar, through three pages of items and to the ordering phase (with the option of a personal shopper's help) in less than a minute.

The site's pristine design incorporates all the attributes (power, ease, control) you'd expect from the luxury brand. Although I'm not padding around AdCritic HQ in driving moccasins, and can't fathom what to do with, or find the means to purchase an $11,950 "whisky gold shadow fox fur long vest with croco inserts and chain detail," It kept me engaged, and I found myself browsing much, much longer than normal for a guy who considers wearing anything with a collar dressing up.
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