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Thread: looking for feedback

  1. #1
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    Default looking for feedback

    I am looking for a good forum, or way to get feedback on our website. I have not seen any such category on this forum, if one exists or if I can gracefully post such a topic on this category please advise.

    FYI, the following two options have not been fruitful for us in the past:
    5 second test & webdesignforum.com/website-reviews/

    Of course the 'free' options are preferred, but I think we are the point where we are ready to spend some bucks for a good critique.

    Thanks

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    traq (05-25-2013)

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    Default

    We allow such reviews here in the lounge, provided that the site truly needs a critique. We sometimes get people asking for advice when their real motivation is to boost their SEO.

    If your site is already quite polished though, perhaps you should list this in tha paid requests section:

    http://www.dynamicdrive.com/forums/f...-Work-Requests

    Either way, we would ask that when linking to your site for review purposes that you use a text only link. That is, leave off the protocol and www. part, if any. So, instead of:

    www.example.com/

    or:

    http://www.example.com/

    or:

    http://example.com/

    all of which, as you can see are automatically converted into hotlinks. Instead of any of those, just show:

    example.com/

    If it requires the www. part, tell us that it does, like put:

    www dot example.com/

    We will understand what that means, but it will not automatically become a hotlink.
    - John
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    claytonbrown (05-25-2013)

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    Default

    +1 for asking first.

    I would add only that you should have something specific about the site that you want feedback on - e.g.,
    • "do you think {x} and then {y} on the {whatever page} is good for user experience?" or
    • "is there a better way to do {z}?" or even
    • "do these two shades of green go well together?"

    vs.
    • "what does everyone think of my new site its my first site check it out?!!?!?!!!!!?!!!!!!? be gentle please
      m
      y

      n
      e
      w

      s
      i
      t
      e
      !
      !
      !"


    Bring it on!
    Last edited by traq; 05-25-2013 at 05:47 AM.

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    claytonbrown (05-25-2013)

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    Default ok, here goes

    first off, thanks for the quick and helpful replies.

    The site in question is ShawnTrautman.com/. We create, and sell, dance lesson DVDs.

    The main question on our minds at this point: How can we convert more visitors to customers?

    We are open to any feedback, from the overall design, to the add-to-cart button. And as 'increasing the conversion rate' is a very general goal, I apologize for the vagueness.

    Edit: Please don't hesitate with any type of response- negative, short... its okay, I can take it.
    Last edited by claytonbrown; 05-25-2013 at 08:28 PM.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by traq View Post
    I would add only that you should have something specific about the site that you want feedback on -
    Traq, I know you will not be happy with my last post. I apologize for the lack of specificity. But I simply do not know what we are missing, or what's not working.
    Edit: (traq)
    Nonsense! You've got a specific subject (conversions), and you've described the history/background of your problem very clearly. Good job.
    Last edited by traq; 05-25-2013 at 07:44 AM.

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    Default

    TBH, marketing/conversions (and the like) are not my strong suit. I'll have a look and offer what I can.
    I'm sorry to say it'll be tomorrow, though; it's after midnight here and I really need to be getting to bed : )

    Edit: In the meantime, here's my initial impressions:

    • toooooooooooooooo tall.
      I'm sure most of your page is never even looked at. While you shouldn't be afraid to "go below the fold," everything starts to turn into "white noise" after I've scrolled past the first two (maybe three) articles. I'd suggest putting these is separate pages, or maybe displaying them using an accordian/tabs/dynamic ajax-loaded content.
    • I never suggest this (in fact, I often advise against it!), but an auto-playing banner video (no sound, please) might be engaging in this case. A series of short dance clips? Maybe as a replacement for the slider you've got now?

    more ideas after sleep.
    Edit: #2
    Quote Originally Posted by djr33 View Post
    3. The images at the very top of the page look a little washed out, suggesting potentially poor video quality. This is especially due to the man's face on the white background, but probably also due to the lighting in the studio where you recorded it. I think it would be beneficial to have higher quality images (still photos) as advertising material, even if the videos look like that-- moving images are more forgiving than stills. Brighter colors could also help.
    Excellent point.

    Quote Originally Posted by djr33 View Post
    4. A (possibly) boring website can be improved by using anything other than white as the background. Of course that would require changing a lot in this case, but perhaps just the white bar at the top could be made another color. I don't suggest doing anything over the top, but something other than white might help. Then again, your website isn't exactly boring-- it has a lot going on. Maybe less text, more colors. At least something to try.
    Also good - maybe a subtle pattern background.
    Last edited by traq; 05-25-2013 at 07:45 AM.

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    Default

    It's always a little hard to comment on sites without specific guidelines, but here goes--

    The site isn't terrible. So I don't have an immediate reaction of "you need to fix X". Instead, I have some potential suggestions/ideas, because you say you want to improve your website.

    1. The whole site is very busy. There's so much text, in several columns/rows, and there's even more when I scroll. I imagine a lot of potential customers are simply overwhelmed and leave. It's hard to find the balance between (not( enough and too much information. This site might be on the "too much" side. The technical quality seems fine, but the design could be improved. I also personally don't like needing to scroll down so much. Heavily vertical websites are often uninviting, when they aren't intended to be read thoroughly (an exception like that would be this forum, where we read the entire conversation). You might want to make more pages, each with less information. Ask yourself: how much text does the average visitor read on this page before leaving?

    2. Your video preview could be a little more obvious. Text, images and information are basically irrelevant when you're selling videos. Another thing you could make more obvious would be your prices. If the prices are low, and that's a selling point, you can focus on that. If your quality is high (also with high prices), then focus on quality. Either way, I shouldn't have to make any effort to find the "good part". From your website at the moment I very quickly get the impression that you have lots of dance videos available (variety), but I don't know 1) whether they're good, or 2) whether they're in my price range.

    3. The images at the very top of the page look a little washed out, suggesting potentially poor video quality. This is especially due to the man's face on the white background, but probably also due to the lighting in the studio where you recorded it. I think it would be beneficial to have higher quality images (still photos) as advertising material, even if the videos look like that-- moving images are more forgiving than stills. Brighter colors could also help.

    4. A (possibly) boring website can be improved by using anything other than white as the background. Of course that would require changing a lot in this case, but perhaps just the white bar at the top could be made another color. I don't suggest doing anything over the top, but something other than white might help. Then again, your website isn't exactly boring-- it has a lot going on. Maybe less text, more colors. At least something to try.

    5. I know nothing about the dancing video web market, but are you sure that 1% is a normal conversion amount? Might be less, might be more. I wouldn't know where to start with that.

    6. If you're looking for something to remove, what about the large image scroller at the top? It would give you more real estate for content, and then they'd see the selection first, rather than just one item at a time.

    7. A minor comment, but what's "#1 rated"? By whom?




    Edit: since traq and I originally posted at the same time and I just saw it now, I want to add that I agree with the idea of a video playing when the page loads. There are issues with that, but your product is a video, and you need to show visitors that video-- otherwise they just won't get it. As I said above, at the very least it needs to be more prominent, but having it autoplay isn't a bad idea at all. Just be sure it doesn't end up overwhelming.

    I have no idea if this is really true, but I've heard several times that visitors decide immediately whether they like a webpage (and probably if they want the product, though the actual purchase is filtered through a decision about need and price). I've heard "under a second", but I'd say certainly under a minute, probably under 30 seconds. Make them see what matters first. Then they can learn a lot more about the products later, but they must be interested to stick around.
    Last edited by djr33; 05-25-2013 at 09:39 AM.
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    Default

    My quick impressions:

    I agree - too tall, I need to be able to see more information without having to scroll vertically. Otherwise I glaze over and lose interest. Essentially the images are too large.

    In the West Coast Swing Dance image in the slider, the couple looks like it's wearing country dancing clothes. Makes it look like you only really do country dancing. Suggest an image with more neutral casual clothing (polo shirt for the man, non-jean slacks or shorts for the woman), or perhaps more formal (suit and a dress), even a tux and a gown. But casual might be best.
    - John
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    Default Update:

    Alright, so we decided to go ahead and utilize a lot of your suggestions. Thank you all very much for all the excellent feedback.

    We also utilized two different DD scripts on the homepage- tabs and hidden content. Worked out nicely.

    Thanks again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by djr33 View Post
    7. A minor comment, but what's "#1 rated"? By whom?
    Based on our research of our own reviews vs. other dance lesson videos sold on eBay & Amazon we by far out rate the competition in customer satisfaction... hence, rated #1 by consumers. And although I know the competition is not thick, I have no doubt that our videos are indeed the best on the market.

    Understandable query though, I would call it out too. ; )

    Thanks a million for all you feedback, check out the site, let me know what you think of the changes. (we did tone down the #1 rated aspect as well as visitors may have been asking the same as you. When comes to quality vs price... we don't really choose a side as we feel we win on both fronts.. not sure we have communicated it well enough yet though, but we are going to get there.

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