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JenRed

www.redinstead.com.au - almost ready

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http://www.redinstead.com.au

 

It's not finished yet, just want some feedback along the way. It's almost done - still waiting on photos and only 6 products added so far. So don't worry about the images but any comments on other bits most welcome.

 

Feel free to set up test account and orders.

 

Let me know good and bad. :)

 

 

Jen


I haven't lost my mind - I have it backed up on disk somewhere.

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Does no news mean good news?

 

So far, 50 people have veiwed this message but nobody has given any feedback.

 

http://www.redinstead.com.au

 

I would like to know about any issues before it goes live and would really appreciate some constructive criticism.

 

Anybody??? :)

 

 

thanks

 

Jen


I haven't lost my mind - I have it backed up on disk somewhere.

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I think it looks good. It's nice and clean.

 

A few thoughts...

 

I really like your logo. However, when I looked at it for the first time, I thought it looked like a magazine title, not a children's clothing store.

 

There are lots of info boxes. Can some be removed or combined? Maybe put the Customer Information and/or the payment information in the footer? Make the bookmark infobox a small but visable button in the header? Make the shopping cart above the login/my account box, but make it only show up when there are items in the cart?

 

I like the clean red and white colors.

 

The tell a friend doesn't have the same rounded corners of the other info boxes.

 

I also would be a bit concerned about making your main navigation a drop down menu. That may create a useability issue for your customers. I'd consider installing the menu tabs contrib - http://www.oscommerce.com/community/contributions,989 - It's nice and flexible. I think it would work really well on your site. Then you can offer the dropdown menu as a secondary "Quick Find" navigation.

 

I would also consider a light color in the bacground of all your infoboxes. That would help the users visually distinguish the columns from the main content.

 

On the home page - I love the baby picture. I would say you have too much on this page. If you want introductory text, make it no more than whay you have in the first two paragraphs then go right to the featured or sale items.

 

When I logged off, I got this as the page title: HEADING_TITLE -TEXT_MAIN

 

Just a few thoughts... However, all in all, it's a great looking site and you put great work into it. It's not at all a stock install so I must say, great work.

 

mark

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Thank you very much Mark! I will look into all that. Have to rush off now but wanted to say a quick thanks for taking the time.

 

Will reply properly soon.

 

Jen


I haven't lost my mind - I have it backed up on disk somewhere.

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It requires a lot of patience and perseverance! :)

 

Especially if you don't really know PHP in the beginning!

 

osCommerce is done in PHP yes.

 

 

Jen


I haven't lost my mind - I have it backed up on disk somewhere.

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Mark - thanks again for your comments.

 

About the infoboxes, yes I think there may be too many. Putting the Customer Info in the footer might be a good solution. The Bookmark Us box could go somewhere else too.

 

I like what you did with your site http://www.wowandzen.com - the Customer Info looks good presented like that. Do you have a javascript (or something) way of preventing people viewing the source code? I just wanted to see how you laid it out there but couldn't view source.

 

On another side issue, I see you have the Newsletter there. Is this the Newsletter for Visitors mod? I couldn't get it working!

 

You mentioned the dropdown box being a possible usability issue - I thought that dropdown boxes have been supported by all browsers for ages now. Please correct me if I'm wrong!

 

I am still thinking about the Tabs option - not sure if I like it. But I might give it a go and see how it looks.

 

The thing I don't like is having to keep clicking to drill down to the actual products - the drop down box gives a relationship (sub-sub to sub to categories) at a glance while letting you go directly to the section you want. Don't you think that is more user friendly than clicking through a few times to get to the products? I'm happy to hear your case though so let me know if I haven't thought of something.

 

A light colour in the infoboxes would probably work well to visually separate the columns from main. I will look into that - there is an issue for thumbnails if I keep the rounded corners as they are currently on white. I think if I made them square corners they wouldn't fit so well with the rounded info boxes.

 

By the way, the smiling baby on the front is my son! He is just there as a placeholder really - though he is so cute I may have to keep him there! He is two now so it is a bit of an old photo.

 

thanks again

 

Jen


I haven't lost my mind - I have it backed up on disk somewhere.

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Actually... I agree that it that it takes lots of patience and perseverance, but much of the customization can be done with basic HTML layout changes and image editing. Of course you can get as complex as you have the skill set for.

 

To customize your site, start off by visiting http://wiki.oscommerce.com/ and read the basics of how to customize. Then search the forums for other questions. Then if you have specific questions, come back to the forum and ask your questions. I've found that people are extremely helpful as long as you're willing to put your required blood, sweat and tears into your site.

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No problem Jen. So many people have been helpful to me that I want to return the favor as much as possible.

 

I'm at my office right now so tonight I'll try to forward you specific code that you may want - I do my programming from home.

 

No, I don't have any source code protection at all. If you tell me the specific page I'll forward you the layout code.

 

I agree that if you have many subcategories, it can be annoying to have to drill down, but that's why it may be nice to have more than one option - tabs, dropdown and a search... When I say useability issue, I don't mean compatability issue. I mean it can be confusing for some users to use a drop down menu to navigate a site. And when you only have the dropdown, the user doesn't see the categories that you have until they take an action. I would want to present that information to the user right away without effort on their part. Make it more clear to the user of what you sell and how they can view/buy.

 

If you put light colors in the infoboxes, you can either create background on your images that match that color, or you can make the background clear gifs.

 

All the other issues/questions I'll try to address when I get home tonight. My work day has just begun.

 

All the best,

 

Mark

 

p.s. Your son is beautiful.

 

 

Mark - thanks again for your comments.  

 

About the infoboxes, yes I think there may be too many.  Putting the Customer Info in the footer might be a good solution.  The Bookmark Us box could go somewhere else too.  

 

I like what you did with your site http://www.wowandzen.com - the Customer Info looks good presented like that.  Do you have a javascript (or something) way of preventing people viewing the source code?  I just wanted to see how you laid it out there but couldn't view source.  

 

On another side issue, I see you have the Newsletter there.  Is this the Newsletter for Visitors mod?  I couldn't get it working!

 

You mentioned the dropdown box being a possible usability issue - I thought that dropdown boxes have been supported by all browsers for ages now.  Please correct me if I'm wrong!

 

I am still thinking about the Tabs option - not sure if I like it.  But I might give it a go and see how it looks.  

 

The thing I don't like is having to keep clicking to drill down to the actual products - the drop down box gives a relationship (sub-sub to sub to categories) at a glance while letting you go directly to the section you want.  Don't you think that is more user friendly than clicking through a few times to get to the products?   I'm happy to hear your case though so let me know if I haven't thought of something.

 

A light colour in the infoboxes would probably work well to visually separate the columns from main.  I will look into that - there is an issue for thumbnails if I keep the rounded corners as they are currently on white.  I think if I made them square corners they wouldn't fit so well with the rounded info boxes.

 

By the way, the smiling baby on the front is my son!  He is just there as a placeholder really - though he is so cute I may have to keep him there!  He is two now so it is a bit of an old photo.  

 

thanks again

 

Jen

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It's almost midnight here - I work from home so I am nearly done for the day. :)

 

Jen


I haven't lost my mind - I have it backed up on disk somewhere.

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This is the newsletter mod that I used. I had no problem with it.

 

http://www.oscommerce.com/community/contri...ions,408/page,8

 

I'm trying to think about the layout that you wanted to look at. I don't know what page you were talking about. If you give me specific information, I'll be happy to post the code or forward it to you.

 

Mark

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I have been going crazy - really changed the look of it now from yesterday. Inspiration!!!

 

 

Let me know what you think!

 

Jen


I haven't lost my mind - I have it backed up on disk somewhere.

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To customize your site, start off by visiting http://wiki.oscommerce.com/ and read the basics of how to customize.  Then search the forums for other questions.  Then if you have specific questions, come back to the forum and ask your questions.  I've found that people are extremely helpful as long as you're willing to put your required blood, sweat and tears into your site.

 

Unfortunately my telephone exchange is not adsl enabled, so my connection is terrible. The docs look great but is it available as a pdf or word?

 

Many thanks

Simy

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Wow. :D You've done a ton of work! Great job. :P

 

A few comments.... And these are just opinions, so take them as you may...

 

1) The images that you use for the buttons need to correlate to the content. For Winter, show a kid playing in the snow. For Bedtime, a kid sleeping. For accessories...

 

2) One concern of mine now is that you have about 300 pixels of vertical height before any shopping happens. THat's a lot of header space. On a 800x600 screen (about 37% of users according to OneStat.com as of July 2002) that doesn't leave a lot of room to see products. Even less when you have sub categories. I'd suggest making your button images shorter. Then maybe use the top right of your headder (where you have text) for the "jump to" and "Quick Search" area. Move your text to next to your logo. Eliminate the text like the URL and the "Customer Info" (which is already located in the footer).

 

3) Sub categories - either remove the images and have the sub categories be all text links, or create nice images for the subs. Don't have text images and text links. It's repetitive.

 

4) You created image infobox headers for all infoboxes except the newsletter. Also, you have a subscribe and unsubscribe text link, but they both are the same link. I'd change the text and eliminate the subscribe and unsubscribe links and make the text all one link... "Click here to be the first to hear about new products and special prices - and be eligible for regular prizes!"

 

5) Your site was giving me trouble staying signed in. I don't know why. I logged in, but then when I browsed around, I was signed out. Then when I tried to checkout, I had to sign in again. And yes my browser is set to accept cookies.

 

6) When I checked out, your site wouldn't let me past the Delivery Information stage. I was clicking continue, but it kept taking me back to the same page. I'm on a XP Pro computer using IE 6.0. I hope this is just a freak experience with me... I just tried in Netscape 7.0 and it happened here too.

 

7) What are your thoughs about the "My Account" / "Log In" box? I'm thinking that that area is valuable real estate. I'd consider moving My account info to the footer? Maybe then using that space for the random product (see point below). I just think that space may be better used to try to sell product. I'm not sure. And maybe the same think for the log in. The log in takes a lot of valuable space that can be used for displaying product. Is it more valuable to have an easy log in or to show product? I have just a simple text log in button on my site. I'd love to hear more input on this one on the value of easy log in vs. selling space. My gut tells me (and my gut has been wrong MANY times before) that your main objective is to show people your product, not to get them to create/view accounts.

 

8 ) How about renaming "random product" to something like, "Have you seen..." I think that would make it feel more interactive rather than something random being thrown at the user for no reason.

 

9) When I log off, I get a page with a title of "HEADING_TITLE"

 

10) Your red background talbes are showing up as white (meaning I can't read white text in thoes tables) in Netscape 7.0.

 

11) you are going to want to look at your images in your header and footer. You're having problems when you sign on in your secure server by having secure AND non-secure images. You have probably noticed that you get an error everytime you try to login. You'll have to follow this format for images in your header and footer:

 

<?php echo tep_image(DIR_WS_IMAGES . 'image_name.gif', 'Alt tag here'); ?>

 

If that doesn't work, search these threads:

 

http://forums.oscommerce.com/viewtopic.php?t=25902

http://forums.oscommerce.com/viewtopic.php?t=25853

 

That's my input for this morning.

 

I really think you've done a lot of great work, so only take my comments as one person's opinion and do with them what you want.

 

Great job.

 

I hope the weather is as nice in Australia (enter your city here) as it is in Chicago.

 

Mark

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hi Mark

 

I was wondering where you'd got to! I was just about to type a message to you when I got that (above) - now I have much more to type! :)

 

First off I wanted to thank you for the link to the Newsletter mod you sent earlier:

 

This is the newsletter mod that I used. I had no problem with it.  

 

http://www.oscommerce.com/community/contri...ions,408/page,8  

 

I have just installed it and it seems to work just as I want. The one I had previously installed and had so much trouble with was this one:

http://www.oscommerce.com/community/contri...ions,535/page,8 I don't recommend it at all!

 

But on to your comments...

 

I have to say that a lot of them I knew about but there are others that I didn't so please keep them coming! I am still in the middle of lots of it so that's why things aren't always the right way yet.

 

And again, thanks heaps for your detailed feedback - it is exactly what I want and need so don't apologise for "negative" things. They are the things most people don't tell you that you need to know most, and that you often miss.

 

And by the way, you are still the only person who has given me any feedback from this thread. I find that strange. Why is nobody else saying anything? Oh well...

 

1) The images that you use for the buttons need to correlate to the content.

They are just placeholders at the moment - actually from www.tonystone.com (image library) so I can get an idea of what it will look like. I am rounding up friends/family to be models for me.

 

At first I thought the same (that the shot should be something like Winter Clothes=winter scene) but now I am leaning towards the "image" / "lifestyle" kinda thing, rather than the literal. I hope to have some other small "generic kid" shots scattered throughout the place - eg. on really "wordy" pages like the Conditions etc.

 

2) One concern of mine now is that you have about 300 pixels of vertical height before any shopping happens.

Yeah, I am pretty concerned about that also. Still mulling it over.

 

Then maybe use the top right of your header (where you have text) for the "jump to" and "Quick Search" area.

I hadn't thought of there - might try that!

 

Eliminate the text like the URL and the "Customer Info" (which is already located in the footer).

The URL I thought would be good to be visible for "branding" reasons. The Customer Info seems too hidden at the foot of the page there. ???

 

3) Sub categories - either remove the images and have the sub categories be all text links, or create nice images for the subs. Don't have text images and text links. It's repetitive.

Exactly what I am planning to do. First I got rid of the text links from the code, but then I put it back, planning to use photos as well. But I haven't got them sorted yet so the images of text and the text are both still there.

 

4) You created image infobox headers for all infoboxes except the newsletter.

I have literally just installed it. Getting to that! :)

Also, you have a subscribe and unsubscribe text link, but they both are the same link.

That was intentional - they are both on the same page of course, but by linking them both it is obvious to someone who does want to unsubscribe but can't find where to.

I'd change the text and eliminate the subscribe and unsubscribe links and make the text all one link... "Click here to be the first to hear about new products and special prices - and be eligible for regular prizes!"

Long passages of text as links looks awful to me.

 

5) Your site was giving me trouble staying signed in.

Didn't know about this one - thanks! Will check it out.

 

6) When I checked out, your site wouldn't let me past the Delivery Information stage.

I know! It is a problem with the Australian Shipping mod that I can't get an answer to. It is driving me nuts! I keep contacting the guy who wrote it but no answer.

 

7) What are your thoughs about the "My Account" / "Log In" box? (snip) Is it more valuable to have an easy log in or to show product?

Yeah, you might be right. It certainly is taking up a lot of space. I can't see your text login link cos your site is being "worked on" but I will check it out when it's back up. Was it a mod you used? Still thinking about the best way around it. I certainly want to show more products but I don't want to get cluttered again. It's a tricky balance!

 

8 ) How about renaming "random product" to something like, "Have you seen..."

Great idea - I will do that. Much friendlier.

 

9) When I log off, I get a page with a title of "HEADING_TITLE"

I know - I meant to tell you before when you mentioned it in an earlier post. I don't know why it is doing that. I have checked all the usual places but can't find it. I have been leaving it but it's on my list. It's a very big list but things are getting crossed off slowly but surely. :)

 

10) Your red background talbes are showing up as white (meaning I can't read white text in thoes tables) in Netscape 7.0.

I didn't know about that one - any ideas??? Which tables do you mean? The ones under the images in the header, the Specials and Featured in default.php and the footer one with the date?

 

11) you are going to want to look at your images in your header and footer.

Thanks I didn't know about that either.

You'll have to follow this format for images in your header and footer:

<?php echo tep_image(DIR_WS_IMAGES . 'image_name.gif', 'Alt tag here'); ?>

I have hardcoded them cos I didn't know the correct way to do it in PHP but I will change them.

 

 

 

This is an incredibly long answer. I hope I don't get into trouble for wasting space or anything but I thought it was a lot clearer to quote you.

 

Thanks again. I have more things on my list now... Will this ever be "finished"? :) But I am a lot happier with the look of it now - and a lot of that is due to your suggestions! :)

 

Jen


I haven't lost my mind - I have it backed up on disk somewhere.

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Hey Jen. I was out of town for two days. Regrettably, I have a regular job that is not OSC related. :(

 

Hopefully, others will chime in. Until then, I'm happy to help you out where I can. Again, I've received plenty of help here and I like to try to give back.

 

The Customer Info seems too hidden at the foot of the page there.

 

You may be right here, but when I have a question, I usually go to Amazon.com and see what they do. I make the assumption that if Amazon does it, it's most likely a generally accepted practice - I said generally, not always. Links for their Conditions of Use and other types of pages are all buried in their footer.

 

That was intentional - they are both on the same page of course, but by linking them both it is obvious to someone who does want to unsubscribe but can't find where to.

 

I haven't looked in the code, but is there a way to pass a variable in the link to check the unsubscribe if that is clicked? It should be simple. Also, maybe center the links??

 

Here's what I see in NS 7.0

redins_ns7.jpg

There is probably something in the CSS file that needs redefining. I'm not sure at this point.

 

Anyway, we all have long lists of todos. I'll be happy to keep checking back in on this string and give you my input. I'll be starting a new site in the next few days and I'll be sure to ask for your input as well.

 

I'm off now to paint my kitchen today. It's a low-tech, domestic day for me. Put on some music, open the doors, and paint away.

 

All the best,

 

Mark

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By the way... The site I'm currently working on is Wow and Zen. It is not done yet. I'm waiting (and waiting) for text from the store owner and he's taking his sweet time. To view the site you have to browse to:

 

http://www.wowandzen.com/index.php

 

I notice now that I don't even have a login button. I think I did this because I know that any link to "account" or "checkout" will take you to login anyway if necessary.

 

One more tiny comment... A friend of mine pointed this out to me on my site. He said that the login page is not completely clear for new people. He suggested to me that I change the "Continue" button on the log in page to a Create New Account button. He said that that should help make it a bit more clear what people are supposed to do if they need a new account on this page...

 

https://host6.globalnameservers.com/wowandz...ndzen/login.php

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Thanks for the tip about the stylesheet - I noticed that I was missing some of the "#" before colour numbers. Can you see if that fixes it in Netscape? thanks

 

I thought Wow and Zen was your site - didn't realise you were working on it for a client. It looks good anyway. I am happy to give feedback for your next one you mentioned.

 

Have fun away from the computer!

 

Jen


I haven't lost my mind - I have it backed up on disk somewhere.

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You got a lot done in the past 24 hours, and I got my kitchen painted!

 

Very productive for both of us.

 

It looks really nice, and I love the options of navigation. It will make it easier to navigate in my opinoin.

 

Comments:

 

1) You improved the secure serving of your images. But you still have four images that you need to update. header_03.gif, header_04.gif, header_04b.gif, and in the footer cards.gif all need to be served securly. Again, you need to do all images or you'll get that security error.

 

2) Your search area looks great, but in Netscape 7.0 it looks a bit funky. I'm not sure why. Are there extra <p> tags? That often messes up spacing in Netscape. Here's what it looks like:

redins_search_ns7.jpg

 

3) Can you get rid of that white line on the very bottom of your screen below the footer? I think the background should be all red.

 

4) What about installing the mo pics mod so you can show multiple images of all the various colors that you have for your products?

 

That's it for now. You're doing a great job.

 

Now I'm off to enjoy the beautiful spring weather. Spring only lasts about two weeks here in Chicago so we have to enjoy when we can. :)

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Hi Mark,

Seems u're in my area - Wicker park. :)

Anyway, I checked out the temp link you provided for wowandzen and wanted to know what contrib you used for the tabs like Furniture, Cultural objects, etc.

 

Was it hard to setup?

 

Thanks.

 

 

One more tiny comment... A friend of mine pointed this out to me on my site.  He said that the login page is not completely clear for new people.  He suggested to me that I change the "Continue" button on the log in page to a Create New Account button.  He said that that should help make it a bit more clear what people are supposed to do if they need a new account on this page...  

https://host6.globalnameservers.com/wowandzen/login.php

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Badjuju:

 

I used to live just two blocks from the North/Milwaukee/Damen intersection, but moved a mile or two north west into Logan Square about two years ago. It's no Wicker Park, but it's a great neighborhood.

 

I made the tabs with Menu Tabs v1.0 written by Tom O'Neil

 

http://www.oscommerce.com/community/contributions,989

 

Not too hard to implement. I just followed the directions exactly and it worked for me without problem. I spent more time tweaking my images and the CSS file to make it look the way I wanted it to than the time I spent installing it.

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hi Mark

 

It's strange about the images - the only one (so far) that I changed to the PHP format you told me about is the very first one, the logo in top left.

 

You gave me this code:

<?php echo tep_image(DIR_WS_IMAGES . 'header_01b.gif', 'Red Instead sells Clothing and Accessories for Children from Newborn to age 14'); ?>

 

I wanted to ask you what format the links should be in. ie. the a href bit, and can I specify height and width for the images?

 

<a href=http://www.redinstead.com.au/customer_info.php onMouseOver ="self.status=' Red Instead - Customer Information ';return true" onfocus="this.blur()"><img src="http://www.redinstead.com.au/images/header_04.gif" width=178 height=15 border=0 alt="Customer Information"></a>

 

I probably can't do the JavaScript bit to show the text in the bottom of the browser - do you know?

 

 

Will get to no. 2, 3 and 4 soon. Stupid Netscape!

Glad you got your kitchen done. :)

 

Jen


I haven't lost my mind - I have it backed up on disk somewhere.

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