Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Carbon

Testers required for store in development

Recommended Posts

1) The iframe is going to kill you in the search engines.

 

2) Your navigation system is the most confusing I've ever seen on a website, aside from some MySpace pages. If I just want to browse the products you have, how would I do that? If I want to browse the specials, how would I do that? While it's good to innovate and push the envelope, you've ignored necessary standard design practices to make your website easy to use.

 

3) Way way way too complex. Even just changing the quantity involves a very non-intuitive process of clicking the quantity button, which turns the quantity value into an invisible text box, then you have to click the button again to save the change. Choosing a computer from the list should be based on more than running my mouse over a list of non-intuitive product names and looking at generic product shots. I want to see specifications and even breaking them up into smaller groups would help.

 

I can tell you spent a lot of time on the design, but form should follow function. You should be designing an easy to use interface for Joe Sixpack to be able to purchase a computer, not an engineering panel for a starship. The most popular online stores aren't wildly complex, but extremely simple and easy to use.


Please use the forums for support! I am happy to help you here, but I am unable to offer free technical support over instant messenger or e-mail.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1) The iframe is going to kill you in the search engines.

 

2) Your navigation system is the most confusing I've ever seen on a website, aside from some MySpace pages. If I just want to browse the products you have, how would I do that? If I want to browse the specials, how would I do that? While it's good to innovate and push the envelope, you've ignored necessary standard design practices to make your website easy to use.

 

3) Way way way too complex. Even just changing the quantity involves a very non-intuitive process of clicking the quantity button, which turns the quantity value into an invisible text box, then you have to click the button again to save the change. Choosing a computer from the list should be based on more than running my mouse over a list of non-intuitive product names and looking at generic product shots. I want to see specifications and even breaking them up into smaller groups would help.

 

I can tell you spent a lot of time on the design, but form should follow function. You should be designing an easy to use interface for Joe Sixpack to be able to purchase a computer, not an engineering panel for a starship. The most popular online stores aren't wildly complex, but extremely simple and easy to use.

 

Hi Brian,

 

First of all I'd like to say thanks, you're the first person to offer any real feedback and I appreciate it.

 

1: The site actually uses gold old fashioned frames, not iframes and I'm well aware of their limitations. Regarding the myth that frames aren't good for search engines there is a rather important tag <noframes> which when used correctly will give you all of the SEO advantages of vanilla HTML. The trouble is that most people just put something like "This site requires a frames compatible browser" or similar which is pretty useless.

 

2: Although the order site is powered by osC it doesn't need or use all of the pages in a standard installation, this is because I will be selling complete PC systems only, no components or single items and therefore have no need to open up the product catalogue to the user. The front page of the order site (Index) has a mere three buttons in the content area... Select, Customise or Design... fairly straight forward.

 

3: Changing the quantities of PCs added to the cart (My Order) is no more complex than it is in a standard osC site... osc: click qty box, fill in new qty then click Update. My site: click on Quantity button, fill in new qty then click Update. Your other point of having to choose a system based on mouseover(ing) a list is a bit confusing as there is a big "Compare" button within 2cm of that list that scrolls to a comparison table. In addition, if you'd clicked one of the systems in the list you would have scrolled to another cell with further info on that PC with further buttons to a "Details" page that further breaks that system down to display a comprehensive list of all components each with their own cell, a full reviews and rating system aswell as an Overview.

 

 

Ref the overall design ethos, I tend to steer away from "Lowest Common Denominator" thinking as dumbing the site down means compromising in other areas. I struggle with this part everytime I design a new page, I try to make it obvious, simple and intuative without insulting the inteligence of my target audience. I spend hours toiling over the presentation to get it just so then someone will say "It's confusing" and I think "how can it possibly be confusing, it's obvious" and here in lies the problem. there are too many variables and not enough data.

 

Take this thread for example, over 1700 views and all you get is net nannies cutting&pasting quotes from the rules to look big. As I said, you're the first to actually offer feedback but even then I have to take it with a pinch of salt as I know that you didn't actually place a test order (the whole purpose of this thread) and what you did comment on was based on (one can only guess) a 2 second glance, then you say it's confusing and I think is this because it is confusing or because you're thick?... I'm not having a go, honestly, just trying to point out that one will consider something to be a work of genius while another with call it rubbish.

 

The trick it would seem would be to get a large enough sample from my target audience.

 

Cheers

 

Carbon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have a very large chip on your shoulder and nothing anyone says is going to change your mind. If someone tells you that your website is too confusing to work through, and you attack that person instead of using that advice to better your website shows that you're only in here looking for praise and accolades. I spent enough time in your site to grow frustrated and leave it, and I was more generous than the typical internet user.

 

A dozen same-color buttons clumped on a tiny 640x480 space is not good UI design. You don't have to believe me, post your site on any non-osCommerce related forum where designers hang out and you'll hear the same thing. The fact that you have to activate the quantity field before you can edit it is not good design and NOT how osCommerce works.

 

The reason that the presentation is obvious to you is that you designed it. Don't expect someone walking for the first time to be able to make sense of your thought processes instantly.

 

I would suggest reading some books on marketing, especially those by Doug Hall. I think that will help you realize that simplifying your design has nothing to do with "dumbing down" your website. You're worrying too much about protecting your ego and not enough about doing what's necessary to bring in customers.

 

Do market research. There's a reason why sites like Dell don't look like the weapons control panel on the Enterprise D, and it's not that their designers aren't capable. People shop on the internet because they want low prices, convenience, and instant gratification. These are the overt benefits of shopping online and if a customer gets frustrated, they go elsewhere.

 

Finally, cramming an entire page within noframe tags is not going to reverse the damage from using frames. Google gives very little relevance to text within noframe or noscript tags, as you can see by looking at the results for that page. Again, you don't have to believe me, read the forums at digitalpoint.com about using frames or iframes.


Please use the forums for support! I am happy to help you here, but I am unable to offer free technical support over instant messenger or e-mail.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You need to read and understand the Disability Discrimination Act.

 

I won't bother saying anything else, as it would go wooosh.


This is a signature that appears on all my posts.  
IF YOU MAKE A POST REQUESTING HELP...please state the exact version
of osCommerce that you are using. THANKS

 
Get the latest Responsive osCommerce CE (community edition) here

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Brian,

 

Thanks again for your time and feedback, I appreciate it.

 

You have a very large chip on your shoulder and nothing anyone says is going to change your mind. If someone tells you that your website is too confusing to work through, and you attack that person instead of using that advice to better your website shows that you're only in here looking for praise and accolades. I spent enough time in your site to grow frustrated and leave it, and I was more generous than the typical internet user.

I apologise if I gave that impression, if I did it was out of frustration (specifically getting people to actually place a test order).

 

A dozen same-color buttons clumped on a tiny 640x480 space is not good UI design. You don't have to believe me, post your site on any non-osCommerce related forum where designers hang out and you'll hear the same thing. The fact that you have to activate the quantity field before you can edit it is not good design and NOT how osCommerce works.

One of the reasons I went for a fairly small content (the bit that changes not the nav buttons etc) area was that it forces me to consider how I use the space much more than if I had a typical layout that scrolls off the page. I use a simple button design because I'm not paricularly artistic but I can design symbols, it's also is in keeping with the site theme and because they don't use many colours the file sizes are small.

 

The reason that the presentation is obvious to you is that you designed it. Don't expect someone walking for the first time to be able to make sense of your thought processes instantly.

Bingo!... agreed 100% and there's the rub. What I really need is a lot of people to test and feedback which as you can see is very difficult.

 

I would suggest reading some books on marketing, especially those by Doug Hall. I think that will help you realize that simplifying your design has nothing to do with "dumbing down" your website. You're worrying too much about protecting your ego and not enough about doing what's necessary to bring in customers.

 

Do market research. There's a reason why sites like Dell don't look like the weapons control panel on the Enterprise D, and it's not that their designers aren't capable. People shop on the internet because they want low prices, convenience, and instant gratification. These are the overt benefits of shopping online and if a customer gets frustrated, they go elsewhere.

Will do, thanks for the info.

 

Finally, cramming an entire page within noframe tags is not going to reverse the damage from using frames. Google gives very little relevance to text within noframe or noscript tags, as you can see by looking at the results for that page. Again, you don't have to believe me, read the forums at digitalpoint.com about using frames or iframes.

Again, thanks for the info. SEO seems to be a bit of a black art, so far I've done very little other than the usual meta stuff but I have submitted a sitemap to Google for the "showroom" (as opposed to the "order") site and googlebot has since been able to index both pages in that sitemap and all others including all the secure urls not mentioned in said sitemap.

 

Thanks for your help

 

Carbon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been watching this thread from the beginning and did go onto your site to try it out.

 

Afraid I have to support the view that is is way to complicated.

 

Very clever coding, but totally unusable. Everything is difficult to achieve and not intuitive. For example, I got a recommendation and then had to select it manually.

 

On a personal note, the noise on mouse over gets to be annoying rather than what I believe you were trying to achieve which was to be helpful.

 

Good Luck


Need help installing add ons/contributions, cleaning a hacked site or a bespoke development, check my profile

 

Virus Threat Scanner

My Contributions

Basic install answers.

Click here for Contributions / Add Ons.

UK your site.

Site Move.

Basic design info.

 

For links mentioned in old answers that are no longer here follow this link Useful Threads.

 

If this post was useful, click the Like This button over there ======>>>>>.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've been watching this thread from the beginning and did go onto your site to try it out.

 

Afraid I have to support the view that is is way to complicated.

 

Very clever coding, but totally unusable. Everything is difficult to achieve and not intuitive. For example, I got a recommendation and then had to select it manually.

 

On a personal note, the noise on mouse over gets to be annoying rather than what I believe you were trying to achieve which was to be helpful.

 

Good Luck

Thanks for the feedback.

 

Ref the "Recommendation" (I assume you mean the "Which One?" tab in the summary cell in the Select, Customise or Design pages)... it's a good point. What would you expect to happen? It would be silly to then scroll to the system cell as how would the code know to scroll to the black or silver one. I could serve up two buttons along the lines of "Show me the black XXX system" and again for silver but it seems silly when the list of all systems is right there next to the panel. I'm open to suggestion.

 

I think you're right about the audio cues, the comments I've had so far are very negative but to be honest (and I'm not talking about you here) I don't know how representative of my target audience their views are.

 

Cheers

 

Carbon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I couldn't see the recommened system on the right. Had to scroll down, maybe you could restrict so only the recommended ones are shown.

 

You may think your target audience is of a certain intelligence level and can work out how to use it, but why stop those who can't workout what your site is all about from buying.

 

Is your aim to make money or produce a technically clever site? (Only to pleased to be proved wrong.)

 

If you have retain the clever side why not have 2 paths. One very clear for idiots who need everything served up on a plate and yours.

 

Have you looked at Dell's configuator? Very easy to use, I'm sorry to say, given the time and effort you have spent on your site but I'd give up on your site and go to Dell.

 

I'd be interested to see if you go back to the drawing board after reading up on web design and marketing.


Need help installing add ons/contributions, cleaning a hacked site or a bespoke development, check my profile

 

Virus Threat Scanner

My Contributions

Basic install answers.

Click here for Contributions / Add Ons.

UK your site.

Site Move.

Basic design info.

 

For links mentioned in old answers that are no longer here follow this link Useful Threads.

 

If this post was useful, click the Like This button over there ======>>>>>.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I couldn't see the recommened system on the right. Had to scroll down, maybe you could restrict so only the recommended ones are shown.

 

You may think your target audience is of a certain intelligence level and can work out how to use it, but why stop those who can't workout what your site is all about from buying.

 

Is your aim to make money or produce a technically clever site? (Only to pleased to be proved wrong.)

 

If you have retain the clever side why not have 2 paths. One very clear for idiots who need everything served up on a plate and yours.

 

Have you looked at Dell's configuator? Very easy to use, I'm sorry to say, given the time and effort you have spent on your site but I'd give up on your site and go to Dell.

 

I'd be interested to see if you go back to the drawing board after reading up on web design and marketing.

 

Hi,

 

I know you're gonna laugh, but I hate the Dell site and find that each page has way too much information. Although this thread is "supposed" to be about the checkout process I did have another go on their configurator and it too was extremely convoluted and lengthy.

 

For example, once you have figured out how to select a base PC then click the Customise button you're taken to a page trying to sell you some sort of protection plan. I actually went back because I thought I had clicked the wrong button.

 

Figured out it was an attempt to sell me insurance and skipped past. Got to the actual configurator and it javascript errors straight away without a single click (mouseover effect).

 

Then I'm suprised that although I'm customising their most expensive gaming rig there's only two choices of cpu! in fact most of their parts offer only a few choices unless they're ripping you off... yep, third most important selection for Dell is another attempt to sell you some insurance (nice word for gambling). Click continue to the next section which should be called "High margin tat" where they try for the add-on sale... printers, usb sticks, webcams etc. On to the next section and suprise surprise, they're trying to sell me some more insurance (sigh). The next section is review and only then do you actually get to add the system to your cart.

 

Mine on the other hand is a single page, does more and doesn't try to sell you insurance ;)

 

 

Carbon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dell, Amazon, and All big webmerchants have strong investements in usability testing... Why do they have their site done like they are? Simple: they works well for customers and are easy to understand/navigate.

 

because I wanted to understand how your site worked, I lost 5-10 minutes in it and I didn't completely understand it. I'm a more-than average computer user...

 

Do you want to do a simple test? take your parents, one of your friends and ask them to buy a computer from the site. Take those who are people simple using internet to watch newspaper, read emails, and buy sometimes from e-commerce websites. You will see that they are all going to fail the test.

 

Your website is difficult to understand, little, counter-intuitive, unusable. If you don't want to accept it, it is your problem.

 

I lost more than 5 minutes to browse in your site. It was enough to get frustrated. An average user will take less than 30 seconds. Than he will click to you competitor and buy from it. Because probably your competitor created a website easy for customers and not easy for the programmer.


I love oscommerce and OS software! I'm not a programmer, I'm only a learning boy and a translator :) I love full contribution packages!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Again and you are all missing the point. This is not his oscommerce website that he wants you to test. This is his pre entry site. The catalog will be here https://www.microbuild.com/catalog.

 

He has violated forum rules by posting this site for us to critique for him and he should be asking for testers on a different forum not this one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Again and you are all missing the point. This is not his oscommerce website that he wants you to test. This is his pre entry site. The catalog will be here https://www.microbuild.com/catalog.

 

He has violated forum rules by posting this site for us to critique for him and he should be asking for testers on a different forum not this one.

 

Wrong again (sigh)...

 

The showroom (default) site is http://www.microbuild.com Which is NOT mentioned in this thread.

 

The order (osc) site is https://www.microbuild.com/order.html Which is the link I provided.

 

The only thing that separates them is that if you browse from a page on the main site to a page on the order site the frameset is reloaded to facilitate the ssl encryption and vice versa if going from the order site to the main site.

 

Could you be specific when you say I have violated a forum rule?

 

Does the site use osCommerce? YES

Does the site display the "Powered by osCommerce" link? YES

Am I asking for feedback for a page or pages that use osC? YES

Am I advertising? NO

What do I want? People to test the CHECKOUT process... nothing else.

How many people from this topic have done what you have asked? NONE

 

Cheers

 

Carbon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What do I want? People to test the CHECKOUT process... nothing else.

How many people from this topic have done what you have asked? NONE

 

 

 

There is no point in testing the checkout procedure when the path there is as convoluted as it is in your site set-up at it is now.....

 

 

Improve your sites usability first, then maybe someone would have the persistence to go though the complete process....

 

 

If this were a live site i can forsee a new topic in the future , called something like this... Why does no-one purchase at my shop?????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, I tried to purchase a computer and after being sent to seagates site and the being bounsed off the browser and then going back to your site I found a buy now button over at the bottom of the left nav and the being sent to the order page with a long list of instructions but no where to finally go through checkout........... I am outa here and will not be back ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Took me about 5 seconds to leave your site. It's jumbled together and you are not getting your point across fast enough on what your site is selling or is even about. I would loose all of the flash and slow loading images and completely start over. Use more "white space" and there is no need in trying to fit everything in such a small box. Your users won't mind scrolling down to see what they are looking for as long as you get their attention first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ok, I tried to purchase a computer and after being sent to seagates site and the being bounsed off the browser and then going back to your site I found a buy now button over at the bottom of the left nav and the being sent to the order page with a long list of instructions but no where to finally go through checkout........... I am outa here and will not be back ;)

 

IDIOT'S GUIDE:

 

PART 1: Adding a PC to the cart...

 

1: Click this link: https://www.microbuild.com/order.html

 

This will load the site BUT in the content area there is a temporary message for testers (you). The last line (not read by usernameone) advises you that normally you would land on the Index page, so...

 

2: Click the INDEX button in the left navigation panel (frame) (orange buttons).

 

Now that the index is displayed in the content area there is just three buttons (Select, Customise and Design) and seeing as this is a quick guide we'll take the simplest option, so...

 

3: Click the SELECT button in the content area.

 

You're now at the Select a System menu and the cell (panel) that occupies the content area is the summary cell. The entire page consists of a summary cell at the top, then a comparison cell, then the Elite system in black, then in silver and so on with the remaining systems. For the sake of the guide let's just assume you want an Elite system in black, so...

 

4: Click the ELITE BLACK link in the list on the right side of the summary cell.

 

This will scroll the page down to the Elite Black cell where the customer can access reviews, details or an overview.

 

5: Click the ADD TO ORDER button in the bottom right of the cell.

 

You are now at the MY ORDER page (shopping cart) with your Elite Black system added to your order.

 

 

 

PART TWO: Checking out...

 

1: Click the PLACE ORDER button in the bottom right of the My Order summary cell.

 

You are now at the page that needs to be tested but for the sake of this guide we'll take the most direct route to checkout success. OK, same deal... summary at the top with rest of content below (scrollbars). We are currently in the default checkout mode, which is also the fastest. There is a button to change this mode but for now let's just go with the default.

 

The summary cell let's you know at a glance what information you have or have not entered and right now (unless you don't read top to bottom, left to right) the first instruction informs us that we need to enter our personal details, so...

 

2: Click the MY DETAILS button in the right of the summary cell.

 

As before, this just scrolls you to the relevant part of the page... in this case it's the part where you enter your personal details so...

 

3: Fill in the required fields to complete the MY DETAILS cell (email must be true, rest can be made up).

 

At this point you can either return to the summary at the top of the page and see how it has updated with your newly entered details or...

 

4: Click the NEXT button at the bottom right of the MY DETAILS cell.

 

Each successive click of the NEXT button will scroll you through all the cells in the page. Each page is clearly marked with either a "Required" or "Optional" graphic in the bottom left of the cell. Seeing as we're doing a "quickie" let's make our way to the only other required cell which is the PAYMENT OPTIONS at the foot of the page...

 

5: Click the POST button in the right side of the PAYMENT OPTIONS cell to select a payment method.

 

OK, we're all done now so let's go back to the summary at the top of the page by clicking the SUMMARY button in the bottom right of the cell (you could use the scrollbar or jumplinks).

 

Back at the summary we can now see that all items required to submit the form have been entered as there is no red text and all items have a green tick next to them so let's...

 

6: Click the CONFIRM ORDER button at the bottom right of the SUMMARY cell.

 

Your order will be processed and then the checkout success page is displayed.

 

DONE

 

 

It sounds a lot more complicated when you explain it but actually it's very very very simple (YMMV). ;)

 

 

Carbon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Took me about 5 seconds to leave your site...

 

Thanks for your considered feedback

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried to test your site, but the links killed my browser. I clicked on Products, which just changes to a white page that says products. It took me awhile to realize that the links on the left had changed (I tend to expect navigation to be constant). Then when I clicked on Elite Black, it instantly killed my browser. I use IE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well, i would take that first line out of your index page where it explains about the security of the page. the reason the lock is there is so you DONT have to tell poeple that it is secure.

 

I was also very much confused by the optional button.. i'm not sure what it was telling me when i clicked on it.. It also took me a while to figure out that i needed to scroll down to see the individual parts of the cpu to customize them. I am pretty sure it took me a while because the arrows are not ovbious and the main content does not say anything about scrolling.

 

Instead of ADD TO ORDER and NEXT, whicha re both VERY confusing..i had to hit both to see which one would bring me to the check out page.. i would use ADD PACKAGE TO CART and NEXT COMPONENT or something more descriptive

 

When you click add note, there is no BACK TO ACCOUNT INFO, instead it says SUMMARY.. i didnt know what summary was so i clicked it HOPING.. but not knowing.

 

when you put your ordering info in like NAME and ADDRESS, it is unclear how to complete the order.

 

it was definitely confusing, mostly because of where your buttons were places and what they said. Also, my brand new computer here at work almost crashed i THINK because of the links or something.. not sure, but there was too much for my cpu.


A great place for newbies to start

Road Map to oscommerce File Structure

DO NOT PM ME FOR HELP. My time is valuable, unless i ask you to PM me, please dont. You will get better help if you post publicly. I am not as good at this as you think anyways!

 

HOWEVER, you can visit my blog (go to my profile to see it) and post a question there, i will find time to get back and answer you

 

Proud Memeber of the CODE BREAKERS CLUB!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually managed to place an order. Just a few thoughts.

 

1. Your site is extremely slow to load. I noticed it was mentioned earlier and you said that initally it would take a while but after that it would speed up. I found it took ages for your site to load at every step. Being on cable - that's not a pleasant feeling. Also images as they were loading looked terrible as they sort of "faded" into view. And some images are obvious clip-art which ruins your professional quality.

 

2. When i went in to select an order I was unsure how to proceed. I generally just click the obvious button and continue on my way. You had 3 buttons Select, Configure and..something else I can't remember. As your site loaded very slowly I kept expecting information to appear above those buttons. It wasn't until I decided to chance hitting a button then your roll-over text appeared. I would suggest having the information there immediately instead of having the text appear only when your mouse is hovered over the button.

 

3. I initally found the summary section confusing as I was not sure where to begin. That being said once I got into the summary and found I could go through the sections by pressing the down arrow - I found it quite handy. Much improved over going back to select a new section to fill in information (which is what I initally though I would need to do). However again it was slightly confusing initally.

 

4. When i first entered the index section to pick a system there was an extremely annoying "helpful" pop-up overlaying the systems. It wasn't particularly helpful, I actually didn't bother to read it and wanted to close it immediately - however had to wait for the damn thing to load. If i was a returning customer and seeing that every time I went to your index I would likely kill myself in frustration.

 

5. The ckeckout process itself is not to bad. The initial confusion with the summary was really the only problem I had with it. It was reasonably fast and quick to get my order through. Unfortunately your checkout process is ruined by the tediousness of actually getting to the checkout. You have slow in and fast out - when I think most people want to get quickly in and out.

 

Final thoughts: I'm not sure if you have done much in the recent days - it wasn't as confusing as I was expecting - however I can't say it was a lesuire cruise either.

 

Most steps required me to stop and think about what I was doing and I found myself looking for buttons. I'm not sure why but for some reason I immediately looked to the right for "Buy it now" buttons and the like. So it took me a few seconds to find it in the lower left corner. I believe most people look at e-stores from left to right - so going to the middle and back left again felt awkward.

 

I also think you have an inconsistency of information. I found that in some sections there was far to much information and "helpful" reminders and promptings and in other sections (the summary for example) there was not enough.

 

~Gemma

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi slvhwke,

 

Thanks for taking a look, and double thanks and a brucie bonus for actually placing an order (the point of the thread), appreciate it.

I'll split your post up and comment on each point...

 

I actually managed to place an order. Just a few thoughts.

 

1. Your site is extremely slow to load. I noticed it was mentioned earlier and you said that initally it would take a while but after that it would speed up. I found it took ages for your site to load at every step. Being on cable - that's not a pleasant feeling. Also images as they were loading looked terrible as they sort of "faded" into view. And some images are obvious clip-art which ruins your professional quality.

 

I may be wrong here but I looked at the site logs and it looks like you were accessing the site (England) from Australia which would go some way towards explaining the slow loading times, also I noticed that you didn't enter the ORDER site (the link I provided) but instead entered the SHOWROOM site so when you made the switch to the order site the frameset had to be reloaded to allow for SSL encryption. What speed is your cable? All images are optimised .gif files and have been saved in the format that doesn't "fade" in so I'm not entirely sure what you experienced. There is no clip art either, 99% of all images were made by me but because I'm not artistic I went for a "symbol/icon/sign" look rather than "art" look as it fits in with the site design and is easy enough for me to do.

 

2. When i went in to select an order I was unsure how to proceed. I generally just click the obvious button and continue on my way. You had 3 buttons Select, Configure and..something else I can't remember. As your site loaded very slowly I kept expecting information to appear above those buttons. It wasn't until I decided to chance hitting a button then your roll-over text appeared. I would suggest having the information there immediately instead of having the text appear only when your mouse is hovered over the button.

 

Again, I think your connection is at fault here as the panels you mention display a type of slideshow once the page has loaded, for some reason your browser never actually got to 100% page load and therefore didn't trigger the initial presentation.

 

3. I initally found the summary section confusing as I was not sure where to begin. That being said once I got into the summary and found I could go through the sections by pressing the down arrow - I found it quite handy. Much improved over going back to select a new section to fill in information (which is what I initally though I would need to do). However again it was slightly confusing initally.

 

Not sure but I think you're refering to the "Place Order" page. It's a difficult one this because I'm trying to replace what CAN take up to eleven page transitions in a default OSC with just one single page. The idea behind the summary is to convey that although you can edit/enter/change/update everything possible regarding the order... you don't have to (eg. not many people would change the delivery address) so you need some way of saying "you can change everything on this page but there's a lot of stuff that you probably won't need to"... it's a tricky concept to get your head around and as your comment indicates, a lot of people still like to be lead, i.e. the "Next" buttons. That's why I developed the checkout mode system so that rookies could use a checkout that leads them step by step and veterans could enter just what's necessary on a single page.

 

4. When i first entered the index section to pick a system there was an extremely annoying "helpful" pop-up overlaying the systems. It wasn't particularly helpful, I actually didn't bother to read it and wanted to close it immediately - however had to wait for the damn thing to load. If i was a returning customer and seeing that every time I went to your index I would likely kill myself in frustration.

 

I'm confused. There is NO popup on the index and if there was you could have just clicked the windows GUI close button in the top right?

 

5. The ckeckout process itself is not to bad. The initial confusion with the summary was really the only problem I had with it. It was reasonably fast and quick to get my order through. Unfortunately your checkout process is ruined by the tediousness of actually getting to the checkout. You have slow in and fast out - when I think most people want to get quickly in and out.

 

I'm working on it. The next update is to introduce three new features that effects every page. 1: Replace the "trick" transparent cells with proper alpha transparency with solid rounded bourders, 2: A quickhelp overlay for complicated pages and finally, 3: A button to toggle fullscreen mode.

 

Final thoughts: I'm not sure if you have done much in the recent days - it wasn't as confusing as I was expecting - however I can't say it was a lesuire cruise either.

 

Most steps required me to stop and think about what I was doing and I found myself looking for buttons. I'm not sure why but for some reason I immediately looked to the right for "Buy it now" buttons and the like. So it took me a few seconds to find it in the lower left corner. I believe most people look at e-stores from left to right - so going to the middle and back left again felt awkward.

 

I also think you have an inconsistency of information. I found that in some sections there was far to much information and "helpful" reminders and promptings and in other sections (the summary for example) there was not enough.

 

Thanks again Gemma, I appreciate your feedback... you're the first person to actually place a test order! (shame you didn't use a real email coz you missed out on the cool email system). Ref the "Buy Now" buttons, I can assure you that (in the ORDER site), every page that you could possibly add a PC system to the cart, the Buy Now (actually called "Add to Order" but surely that's clear enough?) button is always right there in the bottom right of the page in the bottom right tab area of the content cell.

 

Just out of curiosity I checked the log against your visit and despite you being a first-time guest user that's visiting to critique from the other side of the world you made it from the showroom site to the order site to adding a system and checking out in 6 minutes 41 seconds... not bad even if I do say so myself ;)

 

Cheers

 

Carbon

ip1.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

I registered and successfully placed an order in your site. BTW I found confusing the way you customize products, as after finishing, and click next, the anchor took me to the top but the add to order link was not displayed I had to scroll down, and I'm using 1280x1024 pix!

Despite that everything went ok. Another thing I didn't like was the recommend section, as it was not showing any choice, just a bunch of icons with the selected choice rank, and that's it ...

 

BTW I loved the way you added fields, I am trying to modify a contribution myself and got stuck with a query, maybe you can help me with that.

 

Overall the site needs a way to cache the images faster, as they are not displayed immediately, and as the high points, where your superb customization of the scripts in order to work with several new fields and attributes, Navigation was pretty straightforward, except where I mentioned before, I recommend you to add an add to order link at the bottom as well, and the recommend feature, search the db and show a list.

 

Nice work! Well done, good luck with your store.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah ive messed around with the custom pc majiginator. Very nice how you ahve implemented it their!.

 

Site is nice but for me everything is to cramped togther in a small box. Now i havnt tried it in firefox because i hate firefox but hey thats me but opera looks fine unless its expands down the page in firefox etc i dunno but eitherway yeah just to small and not very erm modern looking but it dosnt look bad eithere. Kinda inbetween.

 

Anyway reminds me now im going to do another oscommerce site with customer pc maker and see if i remember how to fix the dam bug at the end!


I didnt have any freakin links in my sig!!! Pm me for help any other things ;-) There!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi,

 

I registered and successfully placed an order in your site. BTW I found confusing the way you customize products, as after finishing, and click next, the anchor took me to the top but the add to order link was not displayed I had to scroll down, and I'm using 1280x1024 pix!

Despite that everything went ok. Another thing I didn't like was the recommend section, as it was not showing any choice, just a bunch of icons with the selected choice rank, and that's it ...

 

BTW I loved the way you added fields, I am trying to modify a contribution myself and got stuck with a query, maybe you can help me with that.

 

Overall the site needs a way to cache the images faster, as they are not displayed immediately, and as the high points, where your superb customization of the scripts in order to work with several new fields and attributes, Navigation was pretty straightforward, except where I mentioned before, I recommend you to add an add to order link at the bottom as well, and the recommend feature, search the db and show a list.

 

Nice work! Well done, good luck with your store.

 

Hi Icecold,

 

Thanks for the comments, it's always great to get positive feedback. :D

 

I get what you mean about the Next buttons, but what you have to remember is that Next means "go to the next step" and not "scroll down to the next cell" and of course the last Next button's arrow symbol points up where as the preceeding ones point down. I'll consider appending a final/bottom cell that skips most of the summary info and focusses on the "add to Order" button.

 

The "Recommend" popup's haven't been populated yet because a lot of content is temp/place-holder as all the text will have to be rewritten once the site goes live (The Elite systems have the missing text because they're the first listed and often get used as guinee pigs).

 

NP, if you need help with styling form fields etc just ask.

 

 

Cheers

 

Carbon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ah ive messed around with the custom pc majiginator. Very nice how you ahve implemented it their!.

 

Site is nice but for me everything is to cramped togther in a small box. Now i havnt tried it in firefox because i hate firefox but hey thats me but opera looks fine unless its expands down the page in firefox etc i dunno but eitherway yeah just to small and not very erm modern looking but it dosnt look bad eithere. Kinda inbetween.

 

Anyway reminds me now im going to do another oscommerce site with customer pc maker and see if i remember how to fix the dam bug at the end!

 

Hi killerbambam,

 

Thanks for the feedback, I'm currently working on a code pass that will effect almost every page in the entire site...

 

1: Brand new "Holy Grail" liquid, transparent cells with rounded corners and solid borders.

2: Brand new "Quickhelp" overlay that fades out content and fades in a "bullet point - label" overlay that still allows you to use the page controls.

3: Brand new "You're gonna love it" button that toggles the whole site into Full Screen mode (remove/restore frameset).

4: Remove audio cues from navigation buttons.

5: Tidy and improve code as I go.

 

I've completed the showroom site and I'm now doing the order site but you won't see it untill it's all done.

 

Cheers

 

Carbon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×