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  1. #1
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    Please review my site bouncemetronome.com

    Hi there,

    I've just been overhauling my website
    Got Bounce Metronome? Its Secret?

    With the old site - before this overhaul - I reached the point where the product is good, get lots of enthusiasm from users as you'll see from the testimonials, but I felt the website let it down. Haven't been selling so much to e.g. keyword searches. Tried google ads and it didn't work at all, loads of visits and no sales at all. So new visitors who come to the site don't tend to buy - though many do download the product, just never hear from them about it.

    But get lots of interest from forum posts. Also users who buy the software are very keen on it and often say they have told all their friends about it.

    So though I do get a fair number of sales I think most of it is by word of mouth, someone finds the product and tells all their friends, many of whom then buy it themselves and then may tell their friends. So sells to visitors who come to the site already expecting to buy it.

    It used to be very cluttered and also looked "old fashioned", stuck in the 1990s which is when I learnt to design my websites originally.

    With this new version, I want it to look professional, stylish, and minimalist and have tried to get up to date. The content can speak for itself, the videos especially, mainly the website has to be a frame to let the content be seen and heard. I also have issues with the sheer amount of information on the site, all relevant to one or other group of users of the software, but can be hard to organise it all.

    So anyway how does it look to you?

    Would you buy a software metronome from this site if interested in it, and the price was right for you?

    Any particular issues with the site? Do please take a look at the order page as well - the big red button one especially (fastspring) - does that look okay and would you buy from it?

    My sister is a website developer and has offered to do me a new website from scratch. I may well take her up on that. But have loads of ideas myself for the site, and feel I might be able to do it myself, of course with lots of help from her by way of advice. She is a really good web designer, for examples of her work see SojoMedia

    So she'd certainly do a great job of it. But I don't want to waste her time asking her to do it when it is really something I should do myself, and am able to do myself, also because I have so many ideas for the website, I wonder a bit if that might make it frustrating in some ways if I start with an already developed site however good it is.

    It's hard to tell what it looks like to a new visitor to the site, as I'm too close to it.

    Please give your honest opinion does it look good to you, or awful, or somewhere in between. Does it look as if I might be heading towards a good website if not there yet? Or somewhat of a hopeless case? Any tips about good directions to go.

    Thanks for looking at it.
    Last edited by robertinventor; 09-06-2010 at 11:41 PM.

  • #2
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    So the good news, I am a musician and I was able to fairly easily determine what the product does and why it's so awesome (not being sarcastic, it is really quite a cool product). But really, the one single thing that clued me in was not any of the copy-- I didn't even read a single word-- it was the movies you have embedded that show the product in action. So I would recommend expanding that idea and putting right up top front and center, those embedded YouTube clips in a better organized way so your visiter can easily discover what the product does.

    Now the bad news: The website design as a whole uses graphics and a color scheme that, in a single word, I would have to describe as amateur. The header graphic especially looks like someone found the "swirl" effect in Photoshop and shouldn't have. The stuff at the top, "translate", "accessibility", etc, is taking up valuable "above the fold" space for very peripheral information. That stuff should be demoted to less important real estate.

    As for your order page, it's OK, but not great. It seems you are again putting the fine print first and leaving the relevant stuff for later. The important stuff you want someone to see first is the options in a font larger than the other stuff on the page. Maybe instead of four radio buttons listed fully across the page, put each option in a box, four boxes across the page, with an eye-catching icon in it, which when clicked, takes you to the next page where you enter your contact info and choose the payment method.

    What might help is some web research on web 2.0 techniques. I'm the first one to roll my eyes at the mention of the term "web 2.0", but there's no denying there are fabulous designs that were born from the web 2.0 craze. Just Google "web 2.0 design" and start madly clicking around (just kidding)-- as you analyze and critique the website designs, you'll start to see what things are easy to read and use and what things aren't. I'm not suggesting you chrome-plate everything on your website, but the layout and information presentation is the critical thing to grasp here.

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  • #3
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    Ok well I just did this myself a little bit and found this site:

    http://cssmania.com/galleries/

    Ah, how depressing, to see all of that talent and amazing design, and I can't recreate even a tenth of it!

    Good thing we can "view source".

  • #4
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    Thanks for your helpful review!

    Okay a lot of what you say is stuff I can do easily and also obviously right too now that you say it.

    I had my doubts about the swirly title too, so anyway I've just unswirled it .

    Got Bounce Metronome? Its Secret?

    I've put the introductory video higher in the home page, and put the quote below it instead of above it.

    I've moved the translate etc. stuff from the top of the page to the bottom for now. You are right, not often used. I think the translate page may be used sometimes, but anyone who needs that for a site in English you can probably assume knows how to do it already, ditto for text size, and accessibility, and the search site feature isn't really something to put a lot of emphasis on - as it is just a google search localised to the site. It is useful to a point but not enough to make a big thing of it.

    The facebook like does get used quite a lot considering, with 32 likes of the main page and several other pages with likes. Comes in waves, counter increases by one then over next few days get several more likes presumably their friends. Also website stats show quite a few people coming to the site from facebook, and often spend a fair while on the site when they do. Also, if a facebook user "likes it" and does a status update that will appear on their wall and bring other facebook users so if someone does a particularly catchy facebook like, it could potentially go viral.

    The tweets are mainly my own announcements of updates at present, do get a few tweets from others, but that may increase if the website looks more professional and again has potential to go viral, so good thing to encourage I thought. So thought might be worth putting those at the top so put them into the banner area for now, experimentally.

    As for overall design, sounds as if I have a fair way to go yet. I've been keeping an eye out for web designs as I browse the net. Of course could just take some existing template and use that. But at the moment I'm doing it more just as a way of getting my "eye in".

    Sometimes it is just some little touch needed to move something from amateurish to classy.

    Some sites I admire are really rather simple as the html goes. E.g. Google - just a few icons and links, that's about it for the home page, and a text field with search button and the coloured Os and numbers for the pages at the bottom of the page.

    Once you know what to do, when you have the site in front of you and just need to imitate it - it wouldn't take that advanced html skills or modern techniques to actually make the page - it could easily have been made in 2000, at least visually - though the idea behind it is of course another matter altogether.

    Obviously don't know what is right for my site yet. Don't know if I can do what I'd like to be able to do, but keeping an eye out for ideas from other websites.

    So anyway thanks for your review and many of the things I could deal with right away and your long term thoughts are also helpful. I voted for your post as a "helpful review". Thanks!

    I'll also do some searches into Web 2.0 design and thanks for your links. Nearest to it perhaps that I've done already is the wiki for Tune Smithy. Came with lots of interactive components and plugins you could add to the wiki, and with templates you could switch between easily for the entire site, designed by third party contributers.

    My sister if I take her up on her offer to redesign the site for me will probably do a Drupal site, Web 2.0 as well I'd guess. Of course making a new template especially for it.

    Thanks,

    Quote Originally Posted by Fumigator View Post
    So the good news, I am a musician and I was able to fairly easily determine what the product does and why it's so awesome (not being sarcastic, it is really quite a cool product). But really, the one single thing that clued me in was not any of the copy-- I didn't even read a single word-- it was the movies you have embedded that show the product in action. So I would recommend expanding that idea and putting right up top front and center, those embedded YouTube clips in a better organized way so your visiter can easily discover what the product does.

    Now the bad news: The website design as a whole uses graphics and a color scheme that, in a single word, I would have to describe as amateur. The header graphic especially looks like someone found the "swirl" effect in Photoshop and shouldn't have. The stuff at the top, "translate", "accessibility", etc, is taking up valuable "above the fold" space for very peripheral information. That stuff should be demoted to less important real estate.

    As for your order page, it's OK, but not great. It seems you are again putting the fine print first and leaving the relevant stuff for later. The important stuff you want someone to see first is the options in a font larger than the other stuff on the page. Maybe instead of four radio buttons listed fully across the page, put each option in a box, four boxes across the page, with an eye-catching icon in it, which when clicked, takes you to the next page where you enter your contact info and choose the payment method.

    What might help is some web research on web 2.0 techniques. I'm the first one to roll my eyes at the mention of the term "web 2.0", but there's no denying there are fabulous designs that were born from the web 2.0 craze. Just Google "web 2.0 design" and start madly clicking around (just kidding)-- as you analyze and critique the website designs, you'll start to see what things are easy to read and use and what things aren't. I'm not suggesting you chrome-plate everything on your website, but the layout and information presentation is the critical thing to grasp here.

  • #5
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    I've also broken up the text in the home page to make it easier on the eye - with bullet points, also with a question / answer type approach for the Tempo features, so it addresses some of the most common questions by musicians about tempo and metronomes.

  • #6
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    Thanks for the link. I'll look into it.

    Thanks, did a search for "Web 2.0" and come up with a lot of stuff to look at.

    This one looked interesting:

    25 Examples of Web 2.0 and Traditional Design Rules Coming Together

    BTW I found this rather fun site, yesterday I think it was:

    Css Zen Garden

    I'll take a good look at your http://cssmania.com/galleries/ find. Thanks for sharing the link.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fumigator View Post
    Ok well I just did this myself a little bit and found this site:

    http://cssmania.com/galleries/

    Ah, how depressing, to see all of that talent and amazing design, and I can't recreate even a tenth of it!

    Good thing we can "view source".

  • #7
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    Been re-reading your post, and picked up on a couple more things:

    Quote Originally Posted by Fumigator View Post
    I didn't even read a single word-- it was the movies you have embedded that show the product in action. So I would recommend expanding that idea and putting right up top front and center, those embedded YouTube clips in a better organized way so your visiter can easily discover what the product does.
    Good point. Maybe something like a photo album, but for video clips instead?

    I imagine something like a single overview page with small "Thumbnail" type versions of all the main types of rhythms, similar to the small clips on the home page - and link below each one which takes you to a page of rhythms of that type.

    Probably the Watch Animations link should take you to a page like that rather than the one you get to currently.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fumigator View Post
    As for your order page, it's OK, but not great. It seems you are again putting the fine print first and leaving the relevant stuff for later. The important stuff you want someone to see first is the options in a font larger than the other stuff on the page. Maybe instead of four radio buttons listed fully across the page, put each option in a box, four boxes across the page, with an eye-catching icon in it, which when clicked, takes you to the next page where you enter your contact info and choose the payment method.
    Yes, I know what you mean, I've seen pages like that. Something to think about.

    Meanwhile, I've reduced the amount of text on the order page. Trimmed it to about half what it was before for the Basic and Pro metronomes.

    Also reworked the main page some more. I'm doing quite a bit of tweaking at the moment. I know you shouldn't really do this with a site while it is live, but with Bounce Metronome, although there is a bit of awareness of the name of the product amongst musicians in some circles,

    I doubt if the old page has any "brand awareness" if you know what I mean. If a visitor came back and saw e.g. the navigation on right instead of left, I think they wouldn't remember the previous layout enough to hardly notice.

  • #8
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    I really like the changes you're making!

    Oh one small minor tiny thing, you should use the <label> tag on your radio button text, so your visitors can click on the text to activate the button.

    http://w3schools.com/tags/tag_label.asp

  • #9
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    Great!

    Nice idea for the radios. I'll see what I can do.

    The order page is auto generated by my reseller FastSpring who handle the credit card payments for me.

    The way it works is, I do a template for the page - and within it there are elements with ids which gets filled out by them automatically.

    So - don't see any way to do the <label> myself automatically. Looking at the form they generate - then frustratingly, it does have the tag there, but just as an empty element immediately closed by </label> without enclosing anything, just before the text.

    Anyway I've submitted it to them as a question / feature request. They are good at replying so should hear soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fumigator View Post
    I really like the changes you're making!

    Oh one small minor tiny thing, you should use the <label> tag on your radio button text, so your visitors can click on the text to activate the button.

    http://w3schools.com/tags/tag_label.asp

  • #10
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    3 things could be improved IMO:

    1.) I think the head would look better if the light ellipsis was expanded upwards, so that all of the text was inside it

    2.) Your "Like" button, the musical note indicates that you can turn on music for the page, and not that it is a "Like" button

    3.) I would "swap" the graphics for the buy button so that the red part is the topmost. IMO it somehow indicates that you can buy creditcard through your page.

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    Heard back from Fastspring. They are interested in the idea and have forwarded to their developers for possible inclusion in a future release.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fumigator View Post
    Oh one small minor tiny thing, you should use the <label> tag on your radio button text, so your visitors can click on the text to activate the button.

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    Thanks, I tried out the ellipse like that and I thought it looked better, so have done that. Changed the like button to a heart for now, and also swapped the buy button, which made a lot of sense to have the click to buy at the top. All updated on the website now.

    Thanks,

    Quote Originally Posted by lerura View Post
    3 things could be improved IMO:

    1.) I think the head would look better if the light ellipsis was expanded upwards, so that all of the text was inside it

    2.) Your "Like" button, the musical note indicates that you can turn on music for the page, and not that it is a "Like" button

    3.) I would "swap" the graphics for the buy button so that the red part is the topmost. IMO it somehow indicates that you can buy creditcard through your page.

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    Done a bit more on the website. Simplified the banner area so now just has the one like button as a white heart, changes to red on mouse over, rest at bottom, more work on the copy and added a watermark type background effect to the page.

    The next thing I'll be doing is to work on the videos and see if I can make it easier to navigate, probably with one big page with one example of each as video thumbnails leading to the individual pages for each type of rhythm.

    Discovered a very helpful site in my search for examples of good modern web design:

    sitecritic.net/

    What's great for someone like me trying to get an "eye in" for modern design is that the good sites are criticised in detail saying what's good for them, and what can still be improved.

    Has examples of really good sites and detailed criticism of why they are good, and what doesn't work so well for them - and also many sites that don't work so well, again with detailed in depth criticism. So you can learn by examples what works, and what doesn't work.

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    How do you feel about the website now, does it still look amateurish or does it look professional?

    Got Bounce Metronome? Its Secret?

    As far as actual content - I've written new copy for the home page and most of the pages it links to directly - but many of the pages need to be redone. The videos also need to be organised to be easier to use and explore.

    So - mainly want your impression of the home page, and the order page - how does it look now?

    Please give your honest opinion. If you find it amateurish still, will help if you can say a bit about what makes it look like that if you notice anything particularly.

    Also anyone reading this who isn't particularly experienced in web design - I'm interested in your honest opinion - does it look like the sort of site you would buy a product from?


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