Home – New Forums Tell me straight… Website Review Please

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  • #983652
    sunnyfox
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    Hi all,

    Just finished up my first site and would appreciate some constructive criticism.

    1. What needs reviewing?

    Website: sunnyfox.com.au

    2. What does your business do?

    Sells gifts and gadgets

    3. Who is your target market?

    Anyone! but really, mostly college aged to 30 something adults and usually women

    4. What specific concerns do you have?

    usability and since it is my first site any and every helping advice is welcome.

    Couple of things I am working on now:

    1. Still updating related products, so not all products will have them
    2. Bulk updated product tags, so sometimes there will be “s” or “6-” as a tag, still working that out.
    3. Basic product descriptions, we are in the process of updating them to be more informative and descriptive.

    I appreciate the time you take looking it over and welcome all comments.

    Best,

    Travis

    #1143553
    Jenny Spring
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    • Total posts: 597
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    sunnyfox, post: 164207 wrote:
    Hi all,

    Just finished up my first site and would appreciate some constructive criticism.

    1. What needs reviewing?

    Website: sunnyfox.com.au

    2. What does your business do?

    Sells gifts and gadgets

    3. Who is your target market?

    Anyone! but really, mostly college aged to 30 something adults and usually women

    4. What specific concerns do you have?

    usability and since it is my first site any and every helping advice is welcome.

    Couple of things I am working on now:

    1. Still updating related products, so not all products will have them
    2. Bulk updated product tags, so sometimes there will be “s” or “6-” as a tag, still working that out.
    3. Basic product descriptions, we are in the process of updating them to be more informative and descriptive.

    I appreciate the time you take looking it over and welcome all comments.

    Best,

    Travis
    Hello Travis

    Your site has some basic components that work for you. Here are my criticisms (sorry, I’ll get right to the point).

    1. there is an overuse of colour. You want to reserve colour for the actions that you want people to take on your site (i.e. order buttons).
    2. have you used a heat map to see where people are clicking. If not, sign up for ClickTale and see where people click.
    3. there are too many choices. We want to reduce choices and create funnels. i.e. you’ve repeated the menu choices at the top and the sides. Why? Instead of having a lot of products on your page, use the menu items and create boxes to funnel people.
    4. your website has to answer 3 questions in 7 seconds.
    Where am I? What am I doing here? Why should I do it?

    Do you think it answers those questions. I mean from the visitor’s perspective not from the page owners perspective.

    I think it doesn’t, because there are too many choices, overuse of bright colours.

    Hope that helps.

    Sorry to be brutal, but hey, we are all business owners here, and if you want to create a converting website, you really have to understand the buyer’s perspective.

    PS I’ve some posts on my blog that will help. You need an optin box! Read about it on my blog.

    Jenny

    #1143554
    sunnyfox
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    • Total posts: 45
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    Jenny Spring, post: 164238 wrote:
    Hello Travis

    1. there is an overuse of colour. You want to reserve colour for the actions that you want people to take on your site (i.e. order buttons).
    2. have you used a heat map to see where people are clicking. If not, sign up for ClickTale and see where people click.
    3. there are too many choices. We want to reduce choices and create funnels. i.e. you’ve repeated the menu choices at the top and the sides. Why? Instead of having a lot of products on your page, use the menu items and create boxes to funnel people.
    4. your website has to answer 3 questions in 7 seconds.
    Where am I? What am I doing here? Why should I do it?

    Jenny

    Hi Jenny,

    Thanks for the advice, and don’t worry about being brutal, I only cried a little…haha, but I really do appreciate it.

    For the menus, I found that half the people testing the site go for the top bar while the other half go for side bar, so redundancy solved those issues. Plus the sidebar expands on the category pages while the top bar doesn’t.

    I agree with a lot of your points and gave the homepage a toning down and will change a few things on the sidebar tomorrow too. I appreciate the time you took to look over my site, thanks again!

    Best,

    Travis

    #1143555
    Jenny Spring
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    • Total posts: 597
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    sunnyfox, post: 164242 wrote:
    Hi Jenny,

    For the menus, I found that half the people testing the site go for the top bar while the other half go for side bar, so redundancy solved those issues. Plus the sidebar expands on the category pages while the top bar doesn’t.

    Best,

    Travis

    Hi Travis

    You might find that the 50/50 split is because of lack of clarity or overuse of colour. You don’t want to see a 50/50 split. You want to drive people into the funnel of the problem they are trying to solve.

    Just my thoughts.

    Jenny

    #1143556
    sunnyfox
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    • Total posts: 45
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    Hi Jenny,

    The overuse of colour was spot on. Removed a bunch before bed last night, and this morning when I took a look at the site I felt much better about the way it looked. That was a great suggestion.

    Not finished with the left column yet, but getting there. Again, I really appreciate the time time you have taken to help me out, it has been very useful.

    Best,

    Travis

    #1143557
    Jenny Spring
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    sunnyfox, post: 164251 wrote:
    Hi Jenny,

    The overuse of colour was spot on. Removed a bunch before bed last night, and this morning when I took a look at the site I felt much better about the way it looked. That was a great suggestion.

    Not finished with the left column yet, but getting there. Again, I really appreciate the time time you have taken to help me out, it has been very useful.

    Best,

    Travis
    Definite improvement

    #1143558
    Billy744
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    • Total posts: 61
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    I like it.

    In my opinion getting to where you want to go quickly with minimal clicks is an important point. Your layout seems industry standard so you are not causing any challenges. It is clean and straight to the point.

    One small thing though, why are you hosting in the US? Your site is a little slow for me. You could really improve speed by getting it with a good quality Australian host. Sorry, only an observation.

    I hope you do well.

    #1143559
    sunnyfox
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    • Total posts: 45
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    Billy744, post: 164268 wrote:
    I like it.

    In my opinion getting to where you want to go quickly with minimal clicks is an important point. Your layout seems industry standard so you are not causing any challenges. It is clean and straight to the point.

    One small thing though, why are you hosting in the US? Your site is a little slow for me. You could really improve speed by getting it with a good quality Australian host. Sorry, only an observation.

    I hope you do well.

    Hi Billy,

    Thanks for taking a look. Yeah, I am a bit miffed about the server. The company I use has a .com.au address, so I wrongly assumed that it was an Australian company. So now I have the joy of trying to contact the US for tech support along with the delays. Yeah for not doing research… Luckily it’s not too much longer until the contract is up so I can switch soon.

    I appreciate you taking a look.

    Best,

    Travis

    #1143560
    martin.firth
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    • Total posts: 259
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    Hi there!

    I’ve just responded to your introduction thread, fancy seeing you here too! Send me a PM with your current server details (brief requirements, current costs) and I’ll help you move your site to my servers in Melbourne.

    First, for a lot of screen resolutions your products on the home page are beneath the fold. I’d consider reducing the height of your banner to try and get them to the forefront.

    In your header, the white section would look less cluttered with about 10px of padding on the top and bottom.

    I agree that having your navigation twice is a bit confusing. I would recommend removing the side categories, but keeping the price filter. An added bonus, this would bring the ‘Free Shipping’ banner further up, which is a HUUUGE selling point. HUGE.

    I’m not a fan of the solid blue product links, it reminds me of a link that has yet to be styled a particular colour. A nice contrast to your current colour scheme would be a deep olive green.

    A nit-picky thing would be your font. No one can say that Arial is a bad font, but choosing a custom one can really give a nice feel to a site. I’m in love with Lato lately.

    That’s all I cant think of at the moment. You can interpret my specificity as a response to a site that’s got a really solid foundation already. Great work.

    If you’d like me to expand on anything, let me know. Don’t forget to private message me about your US server :)

    Martin

    #1143561
    sunnyfox
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    • Total posts: 45
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    embersketch, post: 164287 wrote:
    First, for a lot of screen resolutions your products on the home page are beneath the fold.

    Agree in full, Thinking of going 5 across instead of 4, will let me shrink the images down a bit to save space and make a crisper image. Thanks for bringing it up.

    embersketch, post: 164287 wrote:
    In your header, the white section would look less cluttered with about 10px of padding on the top and bottom.

    Also agree, but was worried that the header would eat too much of the page up just like the banner…haha. But will look into it.

    embersketch, post: 164287 wrote:
    I agree that having your navigation twice is a bit confusing

    Also agree, Jenny pointed it out above and I have been working on a way to get rid of it. Main problem is that when I take the side bar categories away, the category pages become difficult to navigate. Pretty sure I have a solution, I will add image links at the top of each parent category page that will take you to the child category pages. Should do the trick. Just need to get the images finished up.

    embersketch, post: 164287 wrote:
    I’m not a fan of the solid blue product links

    Neither is my wife. so it is going to be changed…

    Fonts will have to be later though. I have a full plate for what I think is the more important stuff you and Jenny pointed out such as the menus and colours for now. But I will get around to it.

    For the server, we have already done a few month trials and just about have our decision on that but if it goes sour I’ll be sure to look you up.

    Thanks again for taking the time to point out things that need improvement. It really helps having another set of eyes on it.

    Best,

    Travis

    #1143562
    Rachel@TheKidsAreAllRight
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    • Total posts: 40
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    Hi Travis – lots of cute products! Moving away from the visual aspect, my initial and personal response to your site was that because the products are small and inexpensive, I wondered why I would bother making an order for one or two things – I have this psychological thing about buying online that the order needs to be of a certain monetary value for me to think it is worth it :)

    I tried to think about the situations that would lead to me making a bulk order – I am not in the target audience that you described (eg I am 42), so please take this with a grain of salt!

    The ideas that came to me were a bulk buy for Christmas stocking stuffers, goodie bags for kids parties and party favours, Kris Kringle gifts, end-of-year gifts for daycare and school teachers…

    If you think it is worthwhile to go for these kinds of orders, I’d suggest creating some content around these ideas to put the idea in people’s heads. Perhaps a blog?

    Maybe there are other ways to categorise as well to help give people ideas eg birth of a baby (I noticed you had a baby bottle cake mold and stuffed toys etc), or categories around age groups?

    I have no experience as a retailer or etailer so purely speaking as a customer and website visitor :)

    #1143563
    sunnyfox
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    • Total posts: 45
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    Rachel@TheKidsAreAllRight, post: 164304 wrote:
    Hi Travis – lots of cute products! Moving away from the visual aspect, my initial and personal response to your site was that because the products are small and inexpensive, I wondered why I would bother making an order for one or two things – I have this psychological thing about buying online that the order needs to be of a certain monetary value for me to think it is worth it :)

    I tried to think about the situations that would lead to me making a bulk order – I am not in the target audience that you described (eg I am 42), so please take this with a grain of salt!

    The ideas that came to me were a bulk buy for Christmas stocking stuffers, goodie bags for kids parties and party favours, Kris Kringle gifts, end-of-year gifts for daycare and school teachers…

    If you think it is worthwhile to go for these kinds of orders, I’d suggest creating some content around these ideas to put the idea in people’s heads. Perhaps a blog?

    Maybe there are other ways to categorise as well to help give people ideas eg birth of a baby (I noticed you had a baby bottle cake mold and stuffed toys etc), or categories around age groups?

    I have no experience as a retailer or etailer so purely speaking as a customer and website visitor :)

    Hi Rachel,

    Thanks for taking a look. You bring up some great points and made me think a bit harder about what my goals are for the site :)

    I agree that the internet is a wonderful place for bulk buying, you can really find places that offer great discounts. However much I would love every customer to buy in bulk from me, that was not really the intention.

    I think you hit on what I am after when you said “lots of cute products!” The site is meant to be a collection of items that are cute/interesting/fun versions of regular items and products that you feel would show off your personality. We tried to find things that were not readily available at local shopping centres and that would stand out in a collection.

    I agree 100% with your idea on categorising items around gift ideas, but as of now our inventory would not easily fit into themed categories or would be lacking in selection. There is a baby cake mould, but not many other baby items. We have a few couple’s key chains, but not much else that would fit into a couple’s category. So at the moment I am limited by my inventory. As our inventory catalogue grows this is something I would like to expand on in the future.

    Many people have been concerned with the “monetary value” as you mentioned above. We have tried to address this by pricing the items as effectively as possible and finding a way to offer free shipping. I’m originally from the US where shipping is next to nothing, so I had a tough time understanding the higher price for shipping in Australia.

    Your suggestion of a blog is spot on! I definitely need to get one up and going. Right now I will just use an excuse: I’m too busy! haha. (Not a very good excuse, so I will look into it).

    Despite saying “I have no experience as a retailer or etailer”, you have made several good points and again, I really appreciate the time you took providing them.

    Thank you,

    Travis

    #1143564
    Rachel@TheKidsAreAllRight
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    sunnyfox, post: 164334 wrote:
    Hi Rachel,

    Thanks for taking a look. You bring up some great points and made me think a bit harder about what my goals are for the site :)

    I agree that the internet is a wonderful place for bulk buying, you can really find places that offer great discounts. However much I would love every customer to buy in bulk from me, that was not really the intention.

    Hi Travis, just thought I should clarify by bulk I mean 10-20 items – for gifts, parties, etc.

    Anyway, good luck with it!

    Rachel

    #1143565
    sunnyfox
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    • Total posts: 45
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    Rachel@TheKidsAreAllRight, post: 164342 wrote:
    Hi Travis, just thought I should clarify by bulk I mean 10-20 items – for gifts, parties, etc.

    Anyway, good luck with it!

    Rachel

    No problem, thanks for reading my response :) and for the good luck wishes (Gonna need it…haha).

    Take care,

    Travis

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