Home – New Forums Tell me straight… Some feedback required

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  • #998523
    Greg_M
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    For the first time in a few years I now have a new website up and running…still pretty bare bones but ready for some crowd bashing.

    The main thing I’m looking for at the moment is feedback on load speeds on a variety of mobiles, especially if you’re using crappy networks.

    Also any formatting issues on phones, iPads etc…Desktop I don’t really give a rip about, but comments welcome.

    A note about the fonts being used (a bit of an experiment, as usual)…they will probably be different according to the device and OS system you’re using. The font set up is in a range to adapt to what’s available on the browser being used…why is too long a story except to say it has to do with accessibility best practise.

    Is the message being broadcast clear enough? Still has to got to a copywriter for editing and clean up…plus more content needed.

    Design, I’m not too fussed at this point…unless you’re a real user interface designer that can do a mockup, then get in touch.

    https://34south.io/

    Thanks

    #1214557
    Paul – FS Concierge
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    It is super fast on my good 4g mobile- sorry I couldn’t give you the info you needed Greg.

    #1214558
    Greg_M
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    Thanks for checking it out.

    Guess people on crappy networks aren’t phone obsessed. A bit more content might slow it up a bit :)

    it’s actually running on Google Firebase, a very sweet hosting option for anyone wanting to check it out;

    https://firebase.google.com/

    #1214559
    elissa.doxey
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    Hi Greg,

    Runs super-fast on my mobile – much faster than other sites take to load.
    Looks neat, I like the dark fonts against the yellow bands – the lighter grey ones I find a little harder to see.
    I like the big, obvious menu button, and simple layout – very easy to navigate.
    Contact form was well-sized, too.

    Cheers,
    Elissa

    #1214560
    Greg_M
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    Thanks for the reply Elissa.

    Good call on the lighter font in the paragraphs, the default was a bit heavy to my eye, so I lightened the font weight and as you’ve noticed, I blew it.

    Guess that’s part of why I need input, what looks ok in dev tools on the browser can turn rotten on high resolution mobile screens.

    Also I’m not using any frontend framework (e.g. Bootstrap or similar) which makes it a lot harder to get consistency in stuff like fonts.

    The Google forms “contact’ form is yet another experiment…I hate contact forms and virtually never use them, but this ones worth a try, it actually dumps the enquiry straight into a Google Drive data base (then sends me an email), so I have a spreadsheet of enquiries automatically generated.

    Coming soon (I hope) will be a button to send us a secure text as an alternative to the form. I thought having a text option would be cool (and a lot easier to manage than answering the phone)…the API we’re looking to implement to make it happen, actually checks whether the “texter” has a legit number before processing it.

    Thanks again , cheers

    #1214561
    Paul – FS Concierge
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    Hey Greg,

    I just wanted to give you some feedback that is not what you asked for but may help move your project along – let me know if you are up for it.

    BTW, I like the colours, simplicity and fonts like [USER=88225]@elissa.doxey[/USER] does :-)

    #1214562
    Greg_M
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    Up for it? That’s on our family crest :)

    #1214563
    Greg_M
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    Paul – FS Concierge, post: 258437, member: 78928 wrote:
    Hey Greg,

    I just wanted to give you some feedback that is not what you asked for but may help move your project along – let me know if you are up for it.

    BTW, I like the colours, simplicity and fonts like [USER=88225]@elissa.doxey[/USER] does :)

    The weird part is you may be getting different fonts to Elissa, depends on what’s sitting already in your browser cache…if nothing, it will pick the dominant font in the OS you’re using.

    The theory is, don’t fight the system that’s already what the user wants…guess designers will hate that.

    #1214564
    elissa.doxey
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    I know what you mean about contact forms – interesting to hear about the google drive db integration.
    I’m still working out the best way to do it on my own site (it’s a fairly manual process for me still), but find that most bona fide enquiries call or email direct, so it hasn’t been a priority. I love the idea of an sms option.

    #1214565
    Greg_M
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    elissa.doxey, post: 258443, member: 88225 wrote:
    I know what you mean about contact forms – interesting to hear about the google drive db integration.
    I’m still working out the best way to do it on my own site (it’s a fairly manual process for me still), but find that most bona fide enquiries call or email direct, so it hasn’t been a priority. I love the idea of an sms option.

    The whole idea of a secure text option sucked me in, that’s how most people now communicate on mobile (especially my typical client).

    My current project is integrating these guys:

    https://www.twilio.com/

    They also do a lot of voicemail, phone stuff, even MMS.

    Worth a look imo…how long it takes my old brain to figure it all out is the major challenge ATM…so far so good, Firebase lets me create webhooks, so I might have it nailed soon.

    Secure and efficient communication and data management is the new black imo and where I’m headed with what we’re trying to do…the current website is just a very crude starting point (bit hard to win an argument without operational proof).

    The G Suite stuff is very interesting, collect it once use it anywhere, on any device…you can even build internal/external apps that can use/collect any of the data within a domain…I can see that working well for a small in the field workforce/soloist or organisation (setting it up for one is how I got exposed to the possibilities).

    Turning into a bit of a rant, but I’m thinking for most small businesses the conventional website paradigm is dying. Customers and users are demanding more than they can generally provide without working their butt off on the backend. It’s now possible to start tiny tiny, and just add the API’s that work for you.

    Thanks for your interest and input.

    Cheers

    #1214566
    bb1
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    Greg_M, post: 258431, member: 38207 wrote:
    I thought having a text option would be cool (and a lot easier to manage than answering the phone)…

    Really, especially in web development, I know with me they could just send me a text saying can you mow my lawn, but I still need to ask 20 questions to get the user requirements down. I would have thought with web development, you need to ask 2000 questions to get it straight. I remember when we were working with developers and users, if the requirements came by text, the developer would have created a mini minor, with no wheels while the user wanted a Mercedes with a sun roof.

    #1214567
    Greg_M
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    bb1, post: 258449, member: 53375 wrote:
    Really, especially in web development, I know with me they could just send me a text saying can you mow my lawn, but I still need to ask 20 questions to get the user requirements down. I would have thought with web development, you need to ask 2000 questions to get it straight. I remember when we were working with developers and users, if the requirements came by text, the developer would have created a mini minor, with no wheels while the user wanted a Mercedes with a sun roof.

    The point is not to get information so much a quick way to establish contact…so you can choose how to respond and when…the text establishes their bonafides as having a real phone number and point of return contact (when it suits you) it can also have an auto response like “I’m busy mowing a lawn atm-I’ll give you a call when I can to ask 20 questions” ….your sitting there having smoko and have 10 minutes to spare, so you call them straight back.

    I agree there’s a lot more to a scope, either a lawn or a web development project than can be handled in a text…but I can’t see it as any worse than a web form (which are always crap or too long-and no one on mobile wants to use them anyway, and increasingly they can’t even write).

    I also think that’s how a lot of people are comfortable communicating now. Me, I just call, but that’s showing my age. Ring my kids, clients whomever…no answer, text them, usually get a reply within minutes.

    #1214568
    Paul – FS Concierge
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    Ok,
    So in a nutshell, the feedback is to complete a bit of an exercise around de-techifying the copy before you send it to the copywriter.

    I mean strip it right back eg, Terms like Full Stack and API are Greek to non-Greek, non-tech small business owners.

    From Idea to Implementation might replace Full Stack. API could probably be left out altogether because it is like one of the parts of a car say, the driveshaft, that consumers never ask about.

    But having a serious discussion around what is a web/mobile app is and how can it help is vital because prospects don’t know what they don’t know (examples help to educate), there is a long research phase associated with development projects (but you can shorten it considerably) and you would earn reciprocity cookies for being able to explain what is possible.

    What is a Web App,

    A web app works behind the scenes on your website to give your prospects and customers what they need from you, when they need it.

    Here are some examples of web apps:

    • A Calendar that your customers can use to book an appointment with you.
    • A Slider that can calculate your pricing for multiple services
    • A service that can sms your customers with important information such as appointments
    • Insert more examples here

    Here is a quick example (for a Mechanic).

    How a Auto Service Could Use a Web App.

    Greg’s mechanical shop relied on good old fashioned service – and still does. But since spending $xxxx (you can state in an example that the prices and outcomes are hypothetical) on a web app, his income has improved by xx%.

    In this example, the web apps that Greg is using is a calendar and an SMS service.

    Among the things Greg’s apps do for him are:

    • Customers can book an appointment right from their phone or pc
    • Auto books every customers next service
    • Reminds customers their tyres are due to be replaced
    • SMS Greg’s customers a day before their appointment
    • Sends an SMS thanking each customer for their business

    And it is all automated – Greg actually spends less time at work, more time with family and makes more money.

    Note, there is no tech at all in the example.

    I would create examples for a ton of different industries because people do not know what is possible and how it can help (create less work and improve their bottom line).

    Extra pages would include pricing, how it works, timelines, and pricing to start but you probably have plans for these anyway.

    I feel that fear (of development never getting to implementation stage, of time blowouts, of budget blowouts, of not knowing how it all works, of being bamboozled by tech talk) and pricing play a stop people buying in your field so if you can provide crystal clear clarity around addressing fear and price, you will be ahead of about 100% of the players in your field.

    Well that’s a start for the feedback.

    Just remember… you Never asked for it.

    Have a good one Greg

    #1214569
    Greg_M
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    Bugger, I thought I had de geeked it. Because I didn’t mention code splitting, caching and stuff like time to first paint, I assumed I was pretty safe.

    Seriously, though, a certain amount of geek will most likely stay for now, for a couple of reasons;

    Number one, is to pre qualify clients…if for e.g. they don’y know what an API is by now, they’re so far behind where the game is headed they need one to one tuition…or as Bert says they need to do some research and find out.

    Number two, which will partly cover number one, is to progressively implement living working examples in how the site itself works and someone may go “I want that-I can see a use for that in how I work”.

    I actually don’t think my market is the least bit interested in owning a website …boring, call it an app and they want 3.

    Everything else on your list is on ours, and I think mentioned by yourself and Dave in another thread I started…especially mini case studies. There’s still a couple of things holding it back, mainly the time to do it all.

    Step one was to get a site up and running that wasn’t completely disgusting, and could be added to in a modular and scalable way at low to no cost. This has involved setting up some frameworks and infrastructure behind the scenes and a lot of research into where we think the web is headed in the next couple of years and mastering the tools needed to compete and offer the right price points for micro business.

    The next big one (as you’ve pointed out) is pricing and products. The aim is to offer fixed price ‘starter’ packs with an array of modules/API that can be added at low cost.

    We think we’ve now got some of the pricing stuff wired, my in tray has ‘code a pricing page’ near the top.

    Yet another essay, thanks for the input, might have to offer you a gig to manage the marketing (at an appropriately exorbitant fee of course) if we get some traction.

    Cheers

    #1214570
    bb1
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    Greg_M, post: 258466, member: 38207 wrote:
    Number one, is to pre qualify clients…if for e.g. they don’y know what an API is by now, they’re so far behind where the game is headed they need one to one tuition…or as Bert says they need to do some research and find out.

    [USER=38207]@Greg_M[/USER] sorry but this is one area where I would say I as a potential client shouldn’t have to research what an API is, and shouldn’t have to know. Because of my years in the industry I do know what an API is, but just googled it, and would say 90% of non techo people would fall asleep after the first 5 words.

    If I want an APP or web page for something, I just want to know what I want it to do, not that it uses API’s or other internal bits and pieces. I want to enter my input and hopefully have it spit out an output or whatever its meant to do.

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