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grandmasterjack

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Okay guys, I was going to offer a prize to the one who figured this out. But sorry I get the prize but you guys get lots of thanks for your help in guiding me along the right track.

I'm not sure I like the white background please take a look and see. Should I change the colour?

Here is the answer I used;

<table align="center" border="0" width="770" bgcolor="#ffffff" ><tr><td>

<table border="0" width="100%" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0">

Lindsay I use trial and error too, mostly ERROR!


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i do think it looks better.. installing graphical borders would look nice too.. there is a contribution for that.. Or just a nice thin border.. OR you might be better of finding a new background for the outside.. would you humor I know this seems like a lot of work, but..

 

Change the text/links colors frolm dark blue to dark purple and the background of those to a light pink.. then change the far outside to a nice DEEP purple.. I think that even though purple is not the SAME as pink, its closer in color to the pink that is your header, and the blue doesnt really match your header..

 

if you want totry it, let me know.. i was just visualizing with the colors, and your blue just isnt matching the header, and you WANT everything to match your header


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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!!

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i do think it looks better.. installing graphical borders would look nice too.. there is a contribution for that.. Or just a nice thin border.. OR you might be better of finding a new background for the outside.. would you humor I know this seems like a lot of work, but..

 

Change the text/links colors frolm dark blue to dark purple and the background of those to a light pink.. then change the far outside to a nice DEEP purple.. I think that even though purple is not the SAME as pink, its closer in color to the pink that is your header, and the blue doesnt really match your header..

 

if you want totry it, let me know.. i was just visualizing with the colors, and your blue just isnt matching the header, and you WANT everything to match your header

Okay take a look at it now and tell me what you think. If I be honest I like it but I feel I need to open up the catagories again as the left side is too short.


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Im still not ok with your color choice. I think that the colors i mentioned are more hip and trendy. Yours just remind me of baby, or toddler. You REALLY want to appeal to the hip and trendy moms right?? Again, this is just my advice, but i am speaking from experience. I am 26 years old and ALL of my friends are having babies. I spent LOTS of time looking on the internet and shopping in stores.. the new thing in baby items is TRENDY. No more cutesy things. Diaper bags are stylish. i would wear one without havinga baby.. the maternity clothes are a lot better, and in all, anything for mom/baby is just trendy - notice my reuse of the word trendy.

 

I definitely think you are headed in the right direction, but there is a way to go.. That pink and yellow and baby blue are ALL colors of baby's rooms.. Or atleast all colors of babys rooms a few years ago. Lots of color combinations that are now popular are brown and blue, Brown and pink, red and black (for edgy-er stores), black and purple, pale green and pale blue with lighter high lights.

 

Just look at these sites:

My Retro Baby

Sandbox Couture

The Retro Baby

Milk Shop

 

Now, i think about ALL of those stores i posted are actually JUST for baby gear, but notice.. NONE of them are super sickly sweet and cutesy. It just shows the direction in which the baby items is moving.

 

I think that a redesign of your header would be a good idea (i KNOW, this is your second one) and a re-examine of your color choices.


A great place for newbies to start

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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!!

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Oh yea, the categories..

 

i think that you would be best actually having TWO category boxes.. the top box can say BABIES and the header and it can hold all the subcategories for teh baby items, and the box below it can say LADIES as the header and show the subcategories below it.

THIS CONTRIBUTION WILL MAKE THAT HAPPEN

 

If i make a mock up banner for you, would you be interested in looking at it?? it would be a mock and youw ould have to build and clean it up, but just an idea.


A great place for newbies to start

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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!!

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I can see that you have the lovely Lyndsay helping you out.

Do you mind if I make a couple of suggestions? ;)

 

1. Product images are distorted. See "Burberry London 50ml edp spray + 100ml body lotion" image (http://babiesandladies.co.uk/images/6898.jpg). The image holder is 140x160, but your actual image is 170px × 127px. osCommerce will squish it into the holder, which makes it look all funny.

Upload your images to match the holder size (which you can set in admin).

 

2. Product description images. Once you have the thumbnails correct (as described above), get yourself a contribution that allows you to have a different enlarged view. You can also use Lightbox, which is a nice feature to make your site look more professionl. Check out a working example at my store (http://www.datamouse.biz/catalog)

 

3. I love the icon images (http://babiesandladies.co.uk/images/box_products_notifications.gif). They're very comic and far superior to the base images. However, as Lyndsay has eluded to, you need to pic a brand. Are you going for cute, comic style? Baby colours (pink pastels etc), or do you want something different.

Before you start designing, you should work out your target audience and cater your site design to them. Otherwise, you run the risk of having a site that tries to meet too many peoples requirements and actuall meets none of them.

The other alternative is to have a design that's so friendly and attractive, that people will use it anyway (think about Facebook - dull white and blue. No "real" images, but does the job exceptionally well).

 

4. Default button images. Once you've decided on your brand, match your buttons (and head and footer and everything). It's your site's personality.

 

5. SEO URLs contribution. Slap it on. Will really help with people searching for your stuff.

 

6. Header Tags for SEO. Slap it on, too. Allows you to add <title> elements and meta descriptions to your products. Again, great for search engines.

 

7. Header url opens in new window. It appears that you're using a banner as a header. This means that 1) The url isn't direct to the index page and 2) it opens in a new window.

I always hardcode my header (and it's link). You can do it by playing about with the includes/header.php file.

 

8. Search results. It looks like you have a high limit on your search results. This means that when you search or go into a category, you get all products in that category on one page. This is fine if you have 5 or 6 products. However, Ladies belts has 13 - and my finger is stil aching from scrolling to the bottom of your page. You can set this value in admin (max values, i believe). If there are too many results, osC will put in a "page 2" (etc) option for you.

 

9. Text breaks. In Shipping and Privacy, you have large blocks of text that are split using </br>. This starts a new line. I would use <p> and </p> to seperate into paragraphs. It will give you a line between your numbers (for example), and make it easier on the eye for your visitors.

 

I hope that this helps.

I must stress that the most important thing is to decide on your theme. Pick a brand - it's the start of everything. ;)

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How about this?

babiesandladies.jpg

 

heres a little button i made in 5 minutes

bnlbutton.gif


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!!

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thanks :) that means a lot coming from you.. I just keep looking at that site and getting ideas.. i HAD to do something


A great place for newbies to start

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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!!

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I think i just figured out the issue with your site.. now dont take offense to this but.. you are a man building a site for women and babies..


A great place for newbies to start

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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!!

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I think i just figured out the issue with your site.. now dont take offense to this but.. you are a man building a site for women and babies..

We can't ask women to do it. Their brains are only a third the size of a man's.... ;)

It's science.

lol

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thanks :) that means a lot coming from you.. I just keep looking at that site and getting ideas.. i HAD to do something

It looks great. But shouldn't you be working on your smiley hat?? :rolleyes:

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We can't ask women to do it. Their brains are only a third the size of a man's.... ;)

It's science.

lol

Dont make me smack you with my small brain..

 

our brains are only smaller because they are more organized so that we can pull out all the nasty things you guys have done to us with the drop of a hat.. think of a mess closet, and a clean closet.. which has more room left.. You guys have messy brains.


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!!

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hah.. you CLEARLY dont know me.. I have 3 pairs of shoes, and i wear them soo much that they all smell.. BAD. I let my mom borrow a pair and when she got home she was like .."whats that smell?" and my sister was like "ITS YOUR FEET AND LINDSAYS SHOES!!!"

 

I have an obsession with shirts though. I have too many and i never throw them out.. loads of shirts,

 

ANYWAYS.. we are off topic again, and i dont want to be known as the girl who brings topics wildly a stray..

 

so back to the look of the site!


A great place for newbies to start

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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!!

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A lass with only 3 pairs of shoes!?

I used to have a missus that had over 400 pairs! She even had shoes that didn't fit her because she "liked how they look in the store".

Cost me a fortune!

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well, youre a better man than my husband. i cant even get him to buy me a nice pocket book because he says theyre too much money for carrying my crap in.. He has NO CLUE.

 

Im not the typical chick.. band tee shirts, skinny jeans, and flat, worn out shoes..


A great place for newbies to start

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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!!

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Roadie.. NOT groupie.. I actually worked as a "roadie" for a couple of bands.. Ididnt go on tour but i was a local "roadie" for madonna, james taylor, U2, Billy Joel, and LOTS LOTS LOTS more bands.. i guess thats way.. but NOT a groupie..

 

Ok.. STOP bringing me OFF TOPIC!!!!!


A great place for newbies to start

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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!!

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I was only joking. Can't believe you were actually a roadie.

 

Back on topic, the site needs a theme/brand first of all.

If you're sticking with pastels, but want it more "arty" and ladylike (apology for sexism), then use Lindsay's banner as inspiration.

Keep the number of other colours to a minimum.

Your site whould be predominantly white, using colours as "call to actions" to draw attention to certain areas of your pages.

Lose the blue backgrounds - they're not attractive; especially because of teh white gaps between.

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it is really killing me to have the guy who started this thread and come back and see what i did.. i REALLY want to know if he likes it!!


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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!!

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it is really killing me to have the guy who started this thread and come back and see what i did.. i REALLY want to know if he likes it!!

Lindsay I know you have spent time on this header and yes it's very good. I'm not going to use it and of course I'll tell you why, different countries.

You are in the USA and I'm in the UK and although it all seems the same it isn't. I do know what I'm talking about I'm married to an American from new york and I have lived and worked in NC for almost a year. Cultures are totally different that's why I prefere my shop as it is, what might be called conservative. so what I'm trying to say is what might suit American shoppers may not suit British shoppers and vice versa. I took a look at the links you sent me and I found them okay but too cluttered. I'm trying to keep mine simple as this is the sort of thing that would be expected here. Also although the shop is called Babies and Ladies it is not aimed at ladies with babies. I teach people to drive for a living and have asked many of my pupils too look at the site and see what they think of it. They all like it altough one person who is on dial up said the pictures took a long time to load. I had the same problems with Ebay when I was on dial up.

I am very grateful for every bit of help you have tried to give me and I have used some of your advice. So I hope you won't fall out with me and it's time I spent time on adding items, SEO and header tags. You seem to be a lovely person and I've seen you spend alot of time helping others on here so please don't let this put you off.

Have you really been a roadie for these bands?

 

Jack


If at first you don't succeed.............................Cheat!!

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If you are concered about clutter, you should redefine your site. Im not saying my way or the highway, but i am saying that if you want a nice clean site, you are on the wrong path. My design might not be exactly what you are looking for, but whether its US or UK, the quality of your site and the color combintation is not right - by any country standards.

 

I also never said your shop was conservative (what makes my idea not conservative? theres nothing edgy, its a tad more classy) your shop, i would call MAYBE old fashioned in a internet kind of way.. But that isnt nessecarily good.

 

The design i had in mind with that header was as simple as it gets.. You use the header (that is actually less busy that yours) make your infobox headers black with white lettering, some of the darker pink buttons,a nd some black borders around things.. THATS IT.. VERY simply. The colors i chose were pink, white, and black.. you have a LOT more colors.. which makes it more busy.

 

I'm not letting it put me off from helping you, but i just cant let you leave your site that way.. i KNOW you worked hard on it.. but i did some research on baby clothes stores in the UK and looked at your TOP competitors in the UK only..

 

Just take a look

Mamas and Papas (a lot like your store but opposite!)

Baby City

Mother Care (they areJUST like your store with stuff for mom and babies)

ASDA direct

 

So after looking at the UK sites, i do have to admit that they are slightly different, but still a LOT different from your site.. Do you see how theirs is SUPER clean, the backgrounds are always plain white, and if they do have dark colors, it is clean and organized? It actually seems that lots of the UK sites use basic colors - primary colors actually. They are all very "blocky" and remind me of electronics stores. Which is fine, that is what they all are.. But you should choose SOMETHING to emulate what is working for others.

 

Actually, if you are still going to fight me on this (in a good way, i'm not mad. dont take it wrong) go to some mothers to be forums.. Go on there and ask nicely if people could look at your site and tell you what they think. ask for blunt and honest opinions. If you are sincere in your questions and request for feedback, they will help you. I am really just trying to get you going in the right direction, as i think your site is well done function wise and navigationally, but i think you have a lot of doings with the design.. Again, my opinion, take it or leave it!!! I am a designer, and so is my husband.. he actually has a degree in graphic design, so if anyones opinion is valuable, it is his (and i can have him type out his opinion if you want me too)

 

And yea, i was a roadie of sorts. A local roadie where i didnt really go on TOUR, but i was the one who set up the lighting, sound, staging, wardrobe, ect.. basically EVERYTHING needed for a HUGE concert is what i did.. I LOVED the lighting end of it.. LOADS of fun and i got to meet a ton of amazing people, some famous, some just interesting.. I got offered a NEW road jobs, but i didnt really want to leave my home for 3-6 months.. I was happy being the local roadie


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!!

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Lindsay take a look now and you will see all your advice has not went down the drain. I've changed all the colours but it's 1.45 am here and I need to go to bed. I will be redesigning the buttons tomorrow.

Jack


If at first you don't succeed.............................Cheat!!

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you are on the right track, but you still need a new header.. really, if you want one, i can make a different one, but the header is still circa 1990 - also, there is no LOGO, no BRANDING in your banner.. Make sure that whatever you do with the buttons goes through to the banner too..

 

Since you are working on buttons, you should also consider moving the ADD TO CART button up in the product_info.php page.. You want the BUY NOW button to be right there next to the picture.. It makes it "call out" to the customer.

 

You need some kind of separation now since your colors are more muted. You should figure how to get some borders back around things, maybe make a nice colored header for your infoboxes instead of just the header text on it.

 

Did you look at the contributions i linked you to so you can make two categories boxes, one for babies and one for ladies?? i think tha would be great because a customer who comes here specifically for maternity closed sees the babies PLAYMATS and things to themselves "well, while i am here......"

 

This way it is all showing like you originally had it, but its more organized.


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!!

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