20i Reseller Hosting

learningfromplay_co_uk

Discussion in 'Website Reviews' started by awgthomas, Oct 18, 2012.

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  1. awgthomas

    awgthomas Active Member

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    Hi all,

    I am working with a new client and have identified several areas which I feel are hindering this sites potential.

    I know some of you guys on here are happy to open up with their feelings on a site so I know I will get honest answers.

    Let us know your thoughts as I am looking to see if anyone comes up with similar issues I feel are not right. (Don't want to post yet as would like unbiased feedback )

    Thanks all
     
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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    articles.co.uk
     
  3. dashu1 United Kingdom

    dashu1 Well-Known Member

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    Do you seriously need to ask?

    It's pap.

    Perhaps a better idea would be if you posted your thoughts first - just in case people think you haven't got any and are just fishing for other people to do your job for you.

    On top of that, seriously who's going to pay £45 for a cardboard boat that's going to be heading for the bin in no time flat.

    Trying to sell expensive rubbish by hiding behing the "eco friendly" label just doesn't wash I'm afraid.
     
  4. Bailey United Kingdom

    Bailey Well-Known Member

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    Have to be a bloody big Bin - that carboard boat is over 9ft long

    The site certainly needs to make visitors aware (early-on) they are looking at very large cut-out models. You need to bring some sort of perspective into your Cut-out toys
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
  5. dashu1 United Kingdom

    dashu1 Well-Known Member

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    Yes but you can cut cardboard up with scissors, and it'll be falling to bits anyway in a couple of hours.

    "Learning through play" - they'd learn a whole lot more if they got some cardboard from some old boxes and made something with it instead of it all coming in a kit.

    They're taking the imagination and learning out of it, plus the schools could save themselves a boat load (haha) of money by using free cardboard from old boxes - that really would be eco friendly rather than it being made out of new cardboard and then delivered half way across the country via some form of carbon burning vehicle.

    Do you really need to buy a cardboard puppet show box for £35 when you can just stick 2 cardboard boxes together and cut a hole in it.
     
  6. awgthomas

    awgthomas Active Member

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    haha, this is exactly the reason why some users on here are not worth contributing

    Yes, you say its 'pap' - you offer no more than that so your views far from constructive and poor.


    As I said, I have plenty of views on it and have already presented these to the client - just wanted a general overview and will be happy to post my thoughts on it after all have contributed - i simply didn't want people to just agree with my ideas if they couldn't see it for themselves !!!

    Think you are showing a touch of ignorance here!!

    Try to wash with who?? Just you or the general public ??

    My guess is, your not within the target market and don't have children. If you do, well, sucks to be your kids! £45 for a cardboard model isn't cheap - you have to look a tad further than the value of an object and open up a deeper value - Time with your kids, fun to build, fun to paint, and surely several fun days in the Garden within the summer.

    Just some of my thoughts and are all of course IMO :)
     
  7. awgthomas

    awgthomas Active Member

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    Great, this is what I'm after - Thanks
     
  8. dashu1 United Kingdom

    dashu1 Well-Known Member

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    If you've already passed your thoughts onto your client then what anyone else thinks is irrelevant.

    Yes I do have kids, and it's expensive shit like this that makes my blood boil.

    It is uneconomical, unfriendly to the environment, and a hindrance to education not beneficial to it.

    All the things it claims to be it is not, it's trying to sell on the back of eco friendly bullshittery.

    Your premise is basically - if you're not spending far too much money on crap for your kids then they're having a crap time.

    How much you spend on your kids is not the important thing, it's the quality you give them, and cardboard rubbish does not fit that bill.
     
  9. dashu1 United Kingdom

    dashu1 Well-Known Member

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    Let me just expand on this with something I read yesterday.

    Here IS something environmentally friendly that is made out of cardboard - a cardboard bike that will cost under $20 and give access to transport in the poorest regions of the world:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/20-cardboard-bike-headed-to-market-2012-10

    Compare that to £35 for a glorified cardboard box you call a puppet theatre that no one actually needs.
     
  10. awgthomas

    awgthomas Active Member

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    In the interest of getting a general overview - I know what issues I have with it, but my views are not going to be the same as everyone else's so understanding others overviews is valuable excercise .
    Okay, so you have strong views against this - so again this is nothing that would be of interest to you in the first place so perhaps you are not part of the target market

    You have got this all wrong. Are you telling me that your kids won't love to build a big pirate ship in the garden and have a days worth of fun out of it.

    You are missing the point, it is not about how much you spend on the kids - you have placed a monetary value against the product from the start. Personally, I believe there are many qualities that can come from building this and painting it with your little ones.
     
  11. dashu1 United Kingdom

    dashu1 Well-Known Member

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    It's difficult not to when it has a monetary value placed against in order to buy one.

    There are plenty more things to do with your kids than build a cardboard boat in your garden.,

    You should try taking them out more.
     
  12. awgthomas

    awgthomas Active Member

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    haha, with 3 kids under 5, the last thing I want is them stuck in the house ;)

    Personally, while I thank you for you input, I feel your views are narrow and miss a bigger picture. Several things I feel you are missing here is:

    The quality time that you spend when building something.
    The appreciation for something that you have helped construct.
    The understanding of following instructions to construct something.
    The fun that you can have through role play with the products.
    The fun kids can have simply painting something.

    How many families have 'kitchens' for kids only for the bulky items to only be used occasionally and made of plastic?? - This can be folded flat again and easily stored!

    Whilst I have valued your input, I would like to leave you with a link that you may find valuable

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/...asures-to-organised-trips-research-finds.html
     
  13. dashu1 United Kingdom

    dashu1 Well-Known Member

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    1) You don't need to be building anything, much less out of cardboard to have quality time with your kids.
    2) I thought this was aimed at kids, not your appreciation for something you've built. Kids have no appreciation for anything, they can't associate time or value to whatever you do with them, it's just the norm as far as their concerned.
    3) It won't be kids following instructions it'll be the adult, like when you follow the instructions from IKEA - yippee.
    4) You can play and role play without spending £45 on a lump of cardboard.
    5) Like a piece of paper for example.

    Simple pleasures = things like walks, planting things in the garden, going to the park (my kids all time favourite), playing football, playing hide and seek, making cakes, doing 99,000 other things. You don't need to spend £45 on a lump of cardboard to build in the garden hoping it won't rain and turn it to a lump of mush before you've finished.

    Anyway, you haven't responded to the eco nonsense I've pointed out, and seeing as that's one of their main claims in order to sell the things I'm surprised.

    It's almost like you're emotionally involved in it.

    Also you haven't explained the disparity in price between a fully functioning cardboard bike for $20 and a cardboard box at £35, nor how the cardboard box offers more to the consumer, the environment, or anything else than the bike.

    You see this is the crux where education is concerned.

    In this country we play at games - I mean the teachers, government, and other officials - that a bit of cardboard that you can paint is somehow good for education, whereas in Africa kids have to walk 10 or 20 miles to even get to school.

    Now, what do you think offers the most benefit in any kind of terms in the real world, not the namby pamby nonsense PC world of the UK - a bike that can actually deliver some real benefits over a period of time, or a cardboard pirate boat that is going to last for 5 minutes and would cost the same as 3 bikes?

    People have little spare money these days, and I'm sure they can think of plenty of things to do with £45 than buy a cardboard boat.

    Apart from that:

    The site is a cluttered mess.

    It still has the Diamond Jubilee as the first thing you see (and doesn't mention the DJ until the end of the slide, if you've watched it that long, and what have cardboard pirate boats got to do with that anyway.

    As said previously the dimensions are given in cm in a table rather than there being scaling.

    But most of all there is no clear message, no key benefit, nothing that shouts at you why you'd want to buy it - but that's possibly because there isn't one really.

    You could at least if you're pretending it's eco friendly make that more prominent, but the kids education is the main thing so you should pretend more about that really if you can put across a realistic argument on that front - good luck with that.
     
  14. awgthomas

    awgthomas Active Member

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    Good, you were finally getting there to constructive feedback for the site thanks.
     
  15. eddieb United Kingdom

    eddieb Active Member

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    For the target audience (parents with young children and the children themselves) I like the look of the site.
    Agree with Bailey, some pics of children with or in the toys is needed to give them perspective. I didn't expect the toys to be as big as they are, but you will have lost a lot of visitors before they find this out.
    The slider at the top is nice but out of date, this would be a good place to show children playing with the toys.
    Regarding prices, that is up to the manufacturers to decide what to sell at and parents to decide to buy or not. You may be surprised how much some parents/grandparents will spend on their children, on one of my sites I show a rocking horse that is over £4.5k
     
  16. seemly

    seemly Well-Known Member

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    My thoughts:

    Other than the domain name being descriptive (which joe bloggs would arguably care about), the site/home page fails to describe what the site is actually trying to promote.
    There is no imagery of kinds having fun or any suggestion as to how or what they could be learning.

    I know it's an ecommerce store (or that I can at least buy something from this site) due to the secure payment logos in the top of the sidebar.

    In order to maximise the real estate on the home page (and product page for that matter) to explain fully what the site is doing and/or promoting, I would be removing the sidebar on both of those pages.

    I would also restructure the non existent header, as a lot of emphasis is to login or register. I would try having the email newsletter signup higher up the page and in the same position throughout the site to get the email marketing setup, as this will be the main bread winner for special and/or seasonal offers.

    I would argue to prioritise having the about us link in the header.
    Give parents and schools the chance to get to know the companies ideals and ideas to help sell their product.

    I would promote the link for "we are helping the environment" further up the page, too. As this seems to be one of their key promo points?

    I am with Bailey on the fact of getting better product photography on the site, particularly the perspective. Get the kids in or next to each and every product. Show the children interacting in lifestyle imagery. Give the potential customers something to relate to (imagining the child in the photo is their own, having loads of fun!!).

    The main banner on the home page, as other have stated is poor, and should be one of the key areas that should be updated almost on a monthly basis at the very least.

    I read an interesting article on not using scrolling banners recently:
    http://conversionxl.com/dont-use-automatic-image-sliders-or-carousels-ignore-the-fad/

    A dead link from the product (and home page) to the accessories page. Not good at all.

    The product range is really quite small. Or at least seemed it?

    I don't really know what the "group products by" in the sidebar is actually doing? It seems to do a very similar job to a category/subcat page... but different and no description to the user as to how it will improve or help their shopping experience on the site?


    Product Page:
    The product imagery on the product page is ridiculously small (unless you choose to zoom). This page is THE sales pitch. Plenty of text, which is great, but only one, small image...?

    There is a lot of emphasis given to the header, breadcrumbs and going back to a subcat page, rather than promoting the current product.
    Nearly 300px (height) of real estate is consumed before giving me any details of the product.

    The "buy" button is way below the fold on a laptop and lowest common denominator of 1024x768. That definitely needs sorting.

    Not sure if this is the stuff you were looking for, but they were a handful of my thoughts on initial browse. :)


    Regards,
    Chris
     
  17. awgthomas

    awgthomas Active Member

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    Thanks Chris,

    A great comprehensive review, and hopefully others can see why I have asked for such and not just being lame. This is a site that was built 3 years ago and has had very little work on it. I am changing it soon

    Given you have hit many points, here is my take on it

    General:

    1: Its target market is limited - looks like schools only etc
    2: Site has outdated content - Banners - remove (Seen same article )
    3: Prices are ex Vat - I feel that would put general users off
    4: Site needs pictures of finished products and children interacting with them

    Homepage:

    1: Remove search and Grouping - to many options and not required
    2: Remove banner
    3: Products need to be a focus
    4: Remove accessories link until they have some.
    5: Focus on the products

    Category page:

    1: Show all an organise by may be irrelevant due to limited number of products
    2: cookie trail is top and needs moving


    Product page -
    1: Image should be main focus
    2: call to action needs to be higher and not at the foot

    Cart:

    1: Remove as much as possible to avoid distraction in cart - no links away so remove related items

    Thanks all for you input, and some points in there I hadn't considered.

    Andrew
     
  18. seemly

    seemly Well-Known Member

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    That's actually a great point and is something we do actually employ on the ecommerce stores I build at work. I hadn't even gone as far as the cart.

    The checkout button is really quite small and as it is the CTA for that page, it should definitely be the most prominent thing on that page.

    I hope my views helped. :)


    Regards,
    Chris
     
  19. namealot United Kingdom

    namealot Well-Known Member

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    A picture says a thousands words if I were selling a minimalist product then I’d choose yours ? Distinguishing large from small ships etc e.g. a child adult, dwarf near, in etc would give a visual indicator ditto with all product pics?
    They look like cardboard boxes with holes cut in them? It is what they are but is that a selling point? Professionally painted to show what they can look colorful, realistic interaction with them etc is a route I’d have chosen.

    The design just doesn’t flow for meI'd say its poor . summed up with the payment methods being accepted taking such a prominent position. add links not working as others have said also not good...
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
  20. Edwin

    Edwin Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    For me, the biggest confusion was size. On the same page, you have what are effectively "tabletop" cutouts that kids can gather around, and - indistinguishable bar the price and some dimensions nobody's going to pay close attention to - models large enough for children to play INSIDE.

    That's an enormous variance! Perhaps separate the versions completely, or as others have said, put enough "context" into each photo/description to make the difference clearer. I expect some shoppers only want one sort of product and others the other kind - a playgroup might be VERY disappointed when what they thought would be a fun toy for kids to romp in turned out to be something the size of a toaster, and a school might be taken aback to see the model they thought they'd whip out in class wouldn't fit through the main doors!
     
  21. pugyrob United Kingdom

    pugyrob Well-Known Member

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    I agree with all the points on the size of the objects, at a glance it looks like cardboard origami/miniatures whereas on closer inspection some are big!

    I also have to agree that £45 for products like this http://www.learningfromplay.co.uk/product/145/Pyramid does stop me looking further as a potential customer with two young kids!! But i know the appraisal was not on the price. I actually liked the site until i saw the prices.

    We would have a far better day buying some cardboard, glue and a pair of scissors and making these things in the garden for pennies, then spending the extra £40 on something else. I doubt my kids would know the difference. Perhaps there is something that makes these things worth more than at first glance but in a poor economic climate i would want to try to justify the price a bit in the description to stop customers leaving.

    To say we are selling the concept of spending more time with our kids making these things does not justify the price, nor does using eco friendly cardboard. Using your own cardboard from recycled boxes you own is more eco friendly. You can spend time with your kids making etc without buying pre made things at a premium. In fact i would argue that kids making their own things encourages playing with imagination.

    To me these looked more impressive http://www.tipjunkie.com/all-crafts/32-things-to-make-using-a-cardboard-box-diy/

    i mean look at this as an alternative http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/olivers-cardboard-box-train-pa-130060 im off to make my train!! :)

    I like the concept of the site and the domain name just not the prices as it stood. but as an seo/designer i know these might not be in your remit. SO in summary

    Price justification
    Size's made to some sort of scale
    detailed description of what exactly you are buying
    why buy this bullets under each item maybe
    perhaps move the higher priced items deeper in the site for now to not put off the initial parent, gain the trust first with the reasonably priced things
    video of making them, how long it takes etc
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
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