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Q: Need some feedback on my new website ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Need some feedback on my new website
Category: Business and Money > Advertising and Marketing
Asked by: antigone-ga
List Price: $4.00
Posted: 18 Jun 2002 13:23 PDT
Expires: 18 Jun 2003 13:23 PDT
Question ID: 28627
Dear Google Researcher, is a free classifieds site serving the
midwestern states.  It is primarily for listing personal ads and other
related classified ads, and is entirely a free website which I made to
learn the cgi programming language.  I am looking for a web site
review.  I need an expert
Researcher, preferably one who… 
1) has usability analysis experience and  
2) who can put themselves into the shoes of a potential customer 
…to perform a usability test on my site. 
My potential customers are anyone who owns a computer, lives in the
midwest, and is looking for a relationship, friends, pen pals,
excercise buddies, etc.
I'm looking for impressions/feedback/opinions, and suggestions for 
improvement.  What did you like/not like? Please help me understand 
the reasoning behind your opinions. 
I'm not after books, or services, or links as to how to design a  
website, or who can do this. 
My aspiration for the web site is to intrigue the potential customer 
enough to stay and look around the site, and hopefully contribute to
the site by posting their own ads or even by telling others about the
If there are HTML flaws that you see, please state your OS & version 
and browser & version. 
Thanks in advance for your assistance! 
Note: I thank the questioner for giving me the idea of 
posting this question
Subject: Re: Need some feedback on my new website
Answered By: xemion-ga on 18 Jun 2002 14:51 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello and thanks for the question!  I'll just be going through your
website a little and pointing out what I see.  As just some general
background information, I'm a professional internet developer and I've
been designing websites since 1997.  I'm also single so that'll
probably help put me in your customers position :-)

The first thing I see is a "" banner.  This banner is
both confusing and annoying.  Because of it's position on the page, it
looks like the title of the page.  I'm thinking..."I though this was a
personal site?!  Now it says it's about web hosting!"

Secondly, I see a tagline that says "this site is a free service blah
blah".  This is bad because I instantly want to click on the link and
see what else Green Web Design has done.  You need to focus your
customers on YOUR website and what YOU have to offer, not Green Web's.
 I suggest putting this link at the bottom of the page.

In light of the first two things, you need a clear title for the
website.  All websites need clear headlines defining the page.  A good
title would be " - Online Personals".  This tells me
where I'm at and what I'm doing here.  Currently, you have no clear
title and it's confusing.

Your pictures look good, but your "enter site" button is dwarfed by
the pictures.  Visitors should never have to "enter" your site. 
They're already there!  Change the button to say "view classifieds"
and make it more noticeable or take it out all together.

You have too much text on the website below the pictures.  I don't
like reading text to figure out what I can do on at your website.  It
should be evident by your the links and navigation.  Anything over a
couple sentences is too much.

The feedback link should go at the very bottom of the page.

Why does your site only serve those states?  It's the WWW, you should
be able to go global.  If you want to only serve a couple areas,
divide the website into a separate site for each area.  I suggest
making a map of these areas and posting it in a box that says "We
serve these areas".  The list is a pain to read.  I could look at a
map and know if I my state's on it in a split second.

Why do you have games?  They really aren't of any benefit to me.  I'm
here to post and view personals, not play games.  Keep your website
focused on your main business.

Next, I clicked on the "enter site" button.  Nothing came up.  You
need to get this fixed.  I don't even get an error message.

I then clicked on the suggest a feature link.  This should probably
also be moved to the bottom of the page and away from the main
navigation.  The main problem with it though, is that it's a mailto:
link without giving the e-mail address.  A lot of people don't have a
default e-mail program so this link is worthless to them.  Hotmail and
Yahoo users for example.  You link should go as follows: "Suggest a
feature!  E-mail us at:".  Put the link on just the
e-mail address, not the text.

Your driving directions link just goes to a basic yahoo page.  It's a
little confusing because I thought it was driving directions to your
business or something.  This should not be in the navigation. 
Navigation should only be for link on your site.  Since this is a
Yahoo site, you should place the link in the body of your page, not
the text.  It should read something like "Need to meet someone?  Try
Yahoo's driving directions!"

For the contact link, please look at my above paragraph on the
"suggest a feature" link.

The help page is confusing because it totally changes the design of
the website on me.  I think I'm at a different website.  This page
does have a title though, which is nice.

The same things goes for the registration page as the home page. 
Completely different design.  Title is good.

Ditto for the Post Ad, My Classifieds and View Ads pages.

Your view ad page is done very well.  Easy to navigate and understand.

The services page should not be on this website.  And if you're going
to put it on it, put it at the bottom of the page, not on the main
navigation.  First, you talk about web design.  With no title, this
makes your website all the more confusing.  Don't offer web design
services on a personals website.  The advertising rates are fine.  But
this should be under a link called "Advertisers" or "Advertise With
Us" and it should go at the bottom of the page.  I can't stress this
too much.  Keep your visitors focused on your core service.

From a customers point of view, I honestly would take one look at this
website and leave.  It's probably not what you want to hear, but
that's what I'd do.  I would leave because it's confusing and I'm not
sure what's going on.  The website seems to be about a number of
different things.  I only want to post and view personals.

My suggestions are:

- Get rid of the banner and Green Design link. 
- Add a clear title that includes the name and purpose of the webiste.
- Take off the images and text on the front of the website.  Take the
View Ads page and make it the front page.  Show your visitors what you
have to offer right away.
- Separate your navigation into features and business.  Business links
(like Contact Us and Advertising) should go on the bottom of the page.
 Website features such as Registration, View Ad, Post Ad, etc., should
go at the top or on the left.
- Keep the color and navigation the same for the entire websites.
- Remove links that are not directly related to the website such as
Services, Driving Directions add Games.  Add a link section if you
want to keep these links.

That's the end of my review.  I would also recommend contacting a
professional firm and get a full site review.  This will cost you
hundreds of dollars, but it will be worth far more than I can write
for you here.

Thanks for the question and if you require more information regarding
my answer, don't hesitate to ask for clarification.  And if you find
this answer satisfactory, please feel free to rate it. Thank you!
antigone-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thank you for the time you took to view my site and give me feedback. 
I made alot of the changes you suggested and will think about the
rest.  It really helps to have someone look at the site who hasn't
seen it before because I've been looking at it for so long that I
wasn't really an objective viewer anymore.

Subject: Re: Need some feedback on my new website
From: tomg-ga on 18 Jun 2002 16:29 PDT
Hi there!

Firstly I'd recommend totally getting rid of the "splash" page. It is
confusing and irritation, especially for users on 56k or below.
They'll have to wait for the page and images to load before getting

I doubt many people will bother clicking on anything other than the
"enter" button, so I'd recommend removing it and going straight to the
proper home page.

Once on the homepage, there are too many options. I'd recommend
grouping the links together, and placing the most commonly used
options in a prominent position or typeface. Doing the same with the
search box (say, higher up in the page), could also prove beneficial.

As for the main 4 main "seeking" categories, however, it isn't clear
from which perspective the title is from. If I'm a man seeking a
woman, do I click on "Men seeking Women" or "Women seeking Men"? It
depends if it is asking "what do you want" or "what are you interested
in looking at" perspective. Adding an "are you a" title above the
links would make it clearer.

When away from the homepage, I didn't find it immediately obvious how
to get back. I first tried clicking the main logo at the top (which,
by the way, I find a bit distracting - could do with toning down a
touch), and then scanned the red-background navigation bar for a home
link, before eventually finding the actual link below that. Making the
main logo a link to the homepage wouldn't hurt.

So to some up: removing the splash page and adding more site and
navigation structure are the two main things I'd recommend.

And as for the person who answered this question - the point of the
site is that it is for the American Midwest - so it shouldn't be more
global (although this does indicate it isn't pointed out clearly
enough on the site, as it was missed) :)

Subject: Re: Need some feedback on my new website
From: respree-ga on 12 Sep 2002 14:19 PDT
Thought I'd offer some feedback for you.

I would lose the mouseovers on your navigation.  Its confusing to your
visitors to combine that with underlined links.  You should strive for
consistency in design.

Also, when there is a call to action, it should be a link.

In your header, you have "Check out our Restaurant Guide."  I searched
and read and couldn't figure out how to do this.  Had "Restaurant
Guide" been a link, it would have been easy finding the page you
intended to lead your visitor to.

Navigation should be intuitive and most of all, very clear what will
happen if you click on that link.  Make it 'easy' for your visitor to
get around and find wht they need.

Also, on you splash page, your header (top of page image) is a link
that takes you to your classified section.  I don't think it occurs to
the visitor to click on this.  I just happened to do it by accident.

Good luck with your site.  Hope that helps a little.


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