Home – New Forums Tell me straight… How would you improve our website?

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  • #967047
    silkinteriors
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    • Total posts: 17
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    Hi everyone,

    Looking for some constructive feedback on our wallpaper website, launched yesterday.

    We have plans to add lots more wallpaper designs for sale, build up the content with new articles week-by-week and add instructional videos (e.g. how to hang wallpaper and how to remove wallpaper).

    Keen to hear your thoughts as to what we could do to improve and enhance our website.

    Specifically, I’d like some feedback on the online store side of things and our menu categories. Is it obvious we actually sell wallpaper through our website?

    Thanks!
    Sandra

    #1022923
    Anonymous
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    It’s too busy.

    • Background is distracting (esp the flowers).
    • Main header when divided into blocks makes it look like separate buttons as per the 4 below it.
    • Main links in left col are hard to read with the graphic behind it.
    • No clear easy to read messaging or calls to action.
    • About us and contact us don’t stand out enough.
    • Code wise… you need to ditch the table markup and make it standards compliant.
    #1022924
    sixx
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    • Total posts: 333
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    I like it.
    It’s very boutique and would definately appeal to the more discerning buyer.

    The gallery style layout of your wallcoverings in non-instrusive like some.
    Once clicked on your choice the page lights up and is descriptive with the essentials whilst giving the reader an insight of how it may look on their wall.

    Simple navigation. +1

    The about us/contact us is more than appropriate. Having been in the industry for many years, you soon appreciate wallcoverings are like artworks, you simply cannot go from shop to shop comapring prices as each shop/studio stock completely different designs/textures/material whether it be vinyls, silks, papers etc. If a private client or interior designer wants your wallcovering for their project they will find you.

    In summary I think the site is welcoming and warm.
    I think your papers gallery nails it and your product information is second to none.
    Most of all, I love that it doesn’t have an once of hard-sell which I think is important in the eyes those looking to spend upwards of $1000 to decorate a room.

    I will most certainly be recommending your company to my clients as another option.

    Good luck with the new venture, I’m certain it will be a success.

    #1022925
    Anonymous
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    dan, post: 27053 wrote:
    Background is distracting (esp the flowers).

    Sandra, I’ll leave all the technical components for others more qualified to answer, but just wanted to let you know that personally I love the background, and my first thought on opening it was ‘oh, that’s refreshing’.

    But that’s what you get when you ask for reviews, a gazillion different opinions to sift through! Good luck with your research!

    #1022926
    vxd
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    • Total posts: 78
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    I like the design, The flowers are not distracting at all they give the site a nice touch.

    The design of all the pages should be consistent with the design on the home page. I don’t mean exactly the same but have some images or colours that are similar to the home page.

    The navigation is confusing. You need to ditch the tables.

    #1022927
    Jake@EmroyPrint
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    • Total posts: 1,117
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    Aesthetically I think your website is great, it’s whats behind the scenes that worries me more.

    It’s written with tables, which I believe is much harder for search engines to index, not to mention difficult for screen readers / hand held devices to read / display.

    #1022928
    mybusinesshelp
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    • Total posts: 128
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    Hi Sandra

    Love the site :) With my marketing hat on, I would suggest that the main part of your website – with the boxes of colour, print etc, to be utilised more. Maye take out one of the two images (either the main one on the right or the set on the left) and use this to promote things. For example, you are going to the Home Ideas Show – that is massive so create a promo on the home page for that – and then you can rotate the “promotion” or “featured client” on the home page every month.

    All the best!

    ta
    Amanda

    silkinteriors, post: 27001 wrote:
    Hi everyone,

    Looking for some constructive feedback on our wallpaper website, launched yesterday.

    We have plans to add lots more wallpaper designs for sale, build up the content with new articles week-by-week and add instructional videos (e.g. how to hang wallpaper and how to remove wallpaper).

    Keen to hear your thoughts as to what we could do to improve and enhance our website.

    Specifically, I’d like some feedback on the online store side of things and our menu categories. Is it obvious we actually sell wallpaper through our website?

    http://www.silkinteriors.com.au

    Thanks!
    Sandra

    #1022929
    exstatic
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    • Total posts: 335
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    Hey Sandra,

    Good to see you here :)

    I agree with Amanda.. that main image in the middle could be better utilised..

    Have you thought about maybe having rotating images in that main image spot? Similar to a slideshow type thing that shows a new image every few seconds.. possibly pictures of work you guys have done.. or as Amanda said promotions.

    You could have it rotate through something like
    – Portfolio
    – Promotions (HIA show)
    – Online store..

    Just make it one simple image for each so it doesn’t look overly busy as some suggested, and make each one clickable through to the relevant page.

    Otherwise its coming along nicely.

    #1022930
    silkinteriors
    Member
    • Total posts: 17
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    Hi everyone,

    Just thought I’d pop back here to say thank you all very much for your feedback. I can see some consistent patterns coming through your comments – things you like, things that should be improved.

    Can anyone enlighten me as to why tables are so bad for search engines? I suppose I could just do a google search myself, eh?

    My site is an out of the box solution (http://www.websitegurus.com.au) and as such it is not possible to customise code. I see the website as an interim site that didn’t require much investment up front and once the business is up and running and in the black, I’ll look at doing a new, custom built site in about 12 months time.

    I will look at redoing the home page in about 3 months time and will consider what you’ve said about the main image space on the home page – I too think it could be better utilised and by then I should have a better range of content to promote, too as well as more products for sale.

    I really appreciate you all taking time out to check out and provide feedback on my site :)

    Cheers,
    Sandra

    #1022931
    Chris Bates
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    • Total posts: 966
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    Basically tables are there to present tabular data, not website content. The thing to remember is that GoogleBot doesn’t look at your website the same way we do. They look at it purely text based and without styling (It is a robot after all!)

    Basically tables confuses the way GoogleBot looks for content. As it crawls, it’s struggles to see the structure of your content and as such will not index it correctly.

    If you want to read more – just google “tables vs divs” and you will find an endless discussion on it.

    #1022932
    alex honey
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    • Total posts: 6
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    Hi

    I think your website is a great start. Like everything they require continual work and improvement. So congraulations on what you’ve done!

    The name is a bit confusing, for me visiting a site called Silk Interiors had me anticipating something to do with Silk, not so much a wallpaper site. I personally feel that the flowers, light and paint roller are visually distracting.

    Over all though, there is lots of visual stimulation and inspiration to get the viewer intriqued.

    Its a bit of a pitty that the Contact Us and About Us buttons are not included with the other menu options on the left hand side. However this may be due to the restrictions of the template used for the site.

    Im sure your site will work well for people searching for wall paper and hope it supports your business well.

    Good luck

    Alex Honey
    Sterling Interior Design
    http://www.sterlinginteriors.com.au

    #1022933
    onlineiq
    Member
    • Total posts: 93
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    Hi Sandra,

    I think the look of your site is great – but I think the structure of it could do with a review. Not what you want to hear when you have just launched it, but it was not obvious to me that it was a shop in the first instance.

    I’d separate the informational stuff from the shopping part very clearly, as it is all together at the moment. I think it just needs to be more clear what you can buy. And what is information about your company/products etc

    Your services, and info is mixed up at the bottom with your actual shopping cart, and it is also ‘below the fold’ ie. what someone can see on first glance without scrolling.

    Only going back to the site and going thru every left hand menu did I realise there were store items and categories there.

    In my other non-solo life I work with shopping carts a lot, and really recommend that the information and shop aspects are clearly separated and that the shop is much more prominent.

    Good luck with it.

    #1022934
    Tracey@TBC
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    • Total posts: 2
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    Hi Sandra

    My first thought is your site is like a mini Ikea catalogue – shopping how cool – where do I start.

    However, chances are if you’re asking for feedback you’re thinking twice about your online presence. Believe me I have spent months fine-tuning my website and we all do. They tend to grow with you and you need to make room for those growth needs. Run with this one until you are ready to integrate all the changes and you get a stronger sense of what your online store / website is really all about.

    When you are ready for an upgrade I highly recommend seeking out the services of a fabulous graphic designer or web developer with graphic capabilities, someone you love to work with or who knows you and your business strategy.

    For improvements, I suggest opening up the white space and merging the background wallpaper into the white space as a faded element in the design. Also, the large font twitter word is out of place, stick with the icons.

    Apart from that, well done on getting the site configured and uploaded to the standard it is. It’s colourful and you’ve spent a lot of time and work in setting up the shopping carts, images and content.

    Good luck with Silk Interiors and the Home Ideas Show. Use it to gather feedback from customers about what they want when they visit your website or online store. Also sign up to Survey Monkey, set up your own research campaign, email it out to a few customers and get some feedback. Put a link to the survey on your site. If you need help getting the questions sorted there’s plenty of online resources and ideas out there. Or you can work with someone in the communication field who will help you structure a questionnaire to match your goals.

    Hope this helps,

    Tracey Baker @ TBC
    [email protected]
    http://www.tbconsulting.com.au

    #1022935
    mexham
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    • Total posts: 302
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    Hi Sandra,

    nice job. For an out of the box website I think you’ve done very well. Some good style in there that looks nice.

    Just quickly I agree if possible the main middle image should rotate. I recently did this on my site after getting similar feedback here.

    Usually when looking at an online store one of the first things I look for is an ‘about us’ and ‘contact’ page to see how legitimate the site looks. I didn’t notice those links in your site until a couple of pages in. Generally I’ll look at the right hand tab, the bottom and below the heading. I fee they are to high up the top where they are and easy to miss.

    Maybe add a name on the contact page beside the phone number. It’s nice to know who you are ringing and going to speak with.

    Wallpaper looks great though, and good stuff with the sharing tabs for Facebook, myspace etc.

    Good luck with the business.

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