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Old 02-24-2012, 12:24 PM   #1
brad2575
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My new website I wrote

Hello,

I am working on a website (have been wanting to put one up for a while) and it is in pre-release mode right now and wanted to get your guys feedback.

No offensive material or anything, it is actually about Happy Meal (and other resturant) toys.

It is still being worked on/updated but any input/feedback you can provide would be greatly appreciated so I can get the bugs worked out and officially release it.

The site is www.FastFoodToyFinder.com

Post comments here or register on the site and post in the forums.

(admins/monitors if this should not be posted please let me know, this is just a personal site I am working on and nothing more).
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:25 PM   #2
The Red Baron
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I hope you can take criticism because here they come...

1. You need a graphic logo. It doesn't have to be fancy, and it could even be all text that's stylized a bit (such as Yahoo! or Google). But a logo with simple unchanged text makes the site look like a generic link farm page. Just try to find a respectable web site without a graphic logo.

2. You need a better slogan. Your current slogan is "Fast Food Toy Finder: The place to come when your looking for fast food toys" and it's just redundant. Look at the slogan of this site on top left of the page. It's equivalent of the slogan of this site being "SprintUsers: The site for users of Sprint service".

3. There is really no need to require login to post. Not many people will actually register for a site like that which is naturally oriented towards info consumption and not so much for discussion. One might casually type "cool" or ask simple question like "does it come in red?" but again, not many people are gonna go through registration just for that. And having many posts without even a few comments could make it feel like a dead site. So make registration optional or remove it altogether.

4. The pictures are too small. On images that have multiple objects, I had to click on it to see it all. It may not seem like much trouble but don't ever underestimate the laziness and the short attention span of users. You could make the images take up the whole width of the screen and start the text on the bottom of the images.

5. Get to the point first. If I was a parent looking for info, I would first like to know what it is, where it's available, and when the promo starts and expires. You're doing good about saying what it is, but the other two is a miss. You give the promo start date, but don't give the exp date. If you don't know, just call the store and you'll find out in a minute. Also, I still have no idea were I can get that "star wars" or "build a bear" toys.

6. Your posts with individual descriptor of toys (hot rods) are redundant. Descriptions like "it looks good" or "it has blue windows" are totally useless when there's a picture of it right there! Maybe you could combine all the images in one post and give a more general description that isn't just describing the picture I'm seeing.

7. This is about your "Transformers" picture. Even when looking at the bigger image after I click on the smaller one, the figures on the sides and back are fuzzy and there's no way around focusing issue. It would be better to take individual pictures (like you did with hot rods) and put them side by side in one post. Also, it looks like you're using a cheap foldout light box/tent which is totally fine because it's good enough for the job. But it's not fine when I notice the light box/tent. Not professional at all. A simple white uncoated poster sheet from a dollar store should solve the problem: use that as the base and have it curve up towards the back. Hell, if you feel like spending big money, buy a couple more colors!

8. Your images are generally dark and bland. Best way to fix the problem is to get more lights for your box/tent. If you want to fix it in photoshop, its better to adjust the levels than brightness/contrast. Go to levels (control-L) and move the center ponter left to make it brighter. And here's a simple trick: If there is a true white and true black in the image, move the left and right pointers to the beginning and end of the "mountain" which will sharpen up the images. If you see different hue on your white background (such as pink or blue), go through all the color channels and repeat the above) which will solve the problem and not mess up the hue of the whole image like you would if you tried to fix it in hue/saturation.

9. Menu tabs on top are useless. "home" is redundant since everyone knows clicking on the logo brings you to home page. "forums" is redundant since no one is gonna use a forum on a site like that (info consumption) especially if you can comment on the posts themselves. "about us" is useless because nobody cares or reads them--when's the last time you read a site's "about us"? "My account" is also useless to everybody except maybe a half dozen people who would actually sign up. Hide "about us" and "my account" in a small link on the bottom or something and kill "forum" at least until the site becomes popular. "Home" is just stupid. When you're on any other page other than "home", did you know there are three separate elements on the top left of the page that brings you to home page?

10. The side menu is just waste of space, especially on a site where you want all the horizontal real-estate you can get for the images. Move them to the top menu. Have a drop down box for "restaurants", another for "recent promotions", another tab for login, etc.

All in all, you just gotta make yourself a user and think about what you want in a site like that. Me as a user would first want to know what it is, see clear picture, know where it's available and when it's available. Descriptions aren't even important to me, especially ones that just explains the picture I'm looking at: The picture is worth more than the 50 words you describe it with. If you have a good sense of humor, you might wanna try that in description (see woot.com for example). I hope you didn't take any of the above personally and I'm not saying I'm right on all/any of them. Just my 2pesos.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:21 AM   #3
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"The Red Baron", thanks for taking the time for such detailed review, really appreciate it. This is exactly what I wanted, good/detailed feedback so I can improve the site before fully launching/advertising it.

Some of them I noticed (like images, and need for logo) but others are good ideas I will work on implementing.

For some of it (like forums) it is not really utilized now (like you said) but future updates/enhancements/functionality to site they would become more usable.

For having each item have its own post, for some (like hotwheels and star wars) it may not apply as much, but other toys each toy has completely different functionality/etc and for those do you think I should have more details for those?

Or do a post with all the toys, then when you click the promotion/full set of toys details, it has each page (like I have now, just not on main page) detailing each toy individually, just remove some of the redundant descriptions/etc)?
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brad2575 View Post
Or do a post with all the toys, then when you click the promotion/full set of toys details, it has each page (like I have now, just not on main page) detailing each toy individually, just remove some of the redundant descriptions/etc)?
As a user, that would be a lot more convenient, especially since your site is in chronological order with newest on top. Again with the Hot Wheels as example, I read through 3 individual reviews on specific models before I came to a post that told me that they're available at McDonalds and when it was first available (but still don't know if it's available now). And don't just remove the redundant descriptions; also improve the meaningful ones. For example, do you think such description as "Weight (oz): 1.20" mean anything to regular people? From my experience with ounces, I know that 1.2oz of decent weed will probably run me about $300-$400 but I still have a hard time "visualizing" that weight in a toy. It would be a lot more helpful if you said something like "it feels pretty hefty for its size" or something like that.

Again, make yourself an average user. To do that, you'll have to dial your IQ waaay down and pretend you're lazy and don't really have any special interest in your site.
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:47 PM   #5
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TRB - Excellent advice, and the OP took it in the right spirit. Well played.

My only disagreement is with "About Us."

Suspect that a lot of folks like myself find that page very useful. What everyone else thinks is all over Google...what they think of themselves is a little rarer. I find gold there more than you might think...

It's a little like the people that say they never use Help files. In 1992, I was the same way, but once the web "went wide," help files tend to point directly to web content, saving you a Google search. People who never use Help files don't know this...
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:56 AM   #6
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First feedback is greatly appreciated, that is why I posted here before I moved the site (live).

I made a lot of the upates TRB suggested and I have more in the works (the logo especially, cant find the right design that is why it is still text).

As for the extra info of weight/size (and some others) I wanted to distinguish myself by having more info (even if too much) on the items. I put these on the second page/after the click as they are less important and like you said most people wont see/read it unless they click the link to get those details.

I still like the idea of posting each toy (on some and others not) with full details on each one because some are very similar, or the same just diffefrnt colors, and for these (where they are all the same) i would only have 1 page with a quick picture of them all together or something.

For ones where they are completely different (like the new Transformers toys now) I think the individual descriptions and details would be beneficial because there would be more pictures and more details that differentiated the toys and functionality.

For the hotwheels, those are very similar but look different. My thinking on having seperate ones for those is to have multiple pictures and not clutter up too many pictures (if I had 2 pics of each toy I would have 16 pictures just on the one story page and I was thining that was too much info/pictures for 1 story.

Also if I only had 1 post per promotion (all 8 hotwheels on one page) the site would not be updated very often (once or twice a month). Plus more importantly future functionality I want to add would not work if I did not have a seperate post for each toy. I want to tie some functionality on the toy level (a few different sets of functionality actually) but all to be worked on still.

I did make a few of hte updates so anymore feedback/suggestions would be appreciated!!
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:58 AM   #7
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Oh yea also I have another site I had a domain for a while that I finally setup. OneWayUTurn.com. I am still working on this site as well (logo/etc), so if you wouldnt mind taking a look there as well taht would be good.

I set this up as more of a "Live" test bed to try out some new functionality, layouts/etc that the public can see/use so I can test things out here.
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brad2575 View Post
I made a lot of the upates TRB suggested and I have more in the works (the logo especially, cant find the right design that is why it is still text).
I had some free time and was sufficiently bored... so here you go. Obviously, it's gotta be resized but it's a .png with transparent background so it should work with any color background. And yeah I know: the magnifying effect turned out crappy but I've already spent half hour on this logo so I gave up.

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Old 04-04-2012, 11:39 AM   #9
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RedBaron, that is very nice and much appreciated.

I am going WAY slower then I would like to get this going (thought if I had something out there it would move me a LOT faster then I have been). Your feedback has been much appreciated.
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