We design websites - and want your feedback!

inkwireinkwire subscriber Posts: 3
edited October 2006 in Website Critique
Hello Startup Nation,I just joined the forums today, and have found some great topics and inspiration so far.  Glad to be here, and I look forward to this experience.We`re a web design & development network and we`d like to get critiques from non-designers on our site, http://www.inkwire.net. We want to help businesses and organizations of all sizes, and who better to ask than other business owners?  Please let us know what you like or dislike, what you think works and what could use improvement.Graciously,Arp Laszloinkwire2006-10-22 22:45:19

Comments

  • ideaanalystideaanalyst subscriber Posts: 0
    hi there....would you contact my company at theideaanalyst.com...I am
    in need of a web designer on an as needed basis for clients, sometimes
    it is just a monthly agreement to make some basic text changes and they
    pay a monthly fee to designer...if you are interested pleae contact me!

    thanks
    Lisa
  • InactiveMemberInactiveMember subscriber Posts: 12
    A bit busy for my taste but I prefer minimalism. Please consider the following phrase:
    "Welcome!  We are Inkwire, a full service design and development network focused on providing effective, elegant solutions to a variety of organizations. We believe in the beauty of simplicity."
    This is meaningless to me and possibly meaningless to a wide swath of prospective customers. What exactly is a full service design and development network? Is this a product or service? Where can I buy one? Are you a graphic design company? Or do you design and develop networking solutions? Or are you a marketing company that specializes in e-commerce? I got very different ideas as I scrolled down your page. In addition, your page does not reinforce the idea that your organization/product/service believes in the beauty of simplicity.
    Clarity is extremely important. Focus is extremely important.
    You need to either hire a professional writer or significantly reduce the amount of text. For example, "open-sourse" is misspelled. It should read "open-source". Having such basic grammatical errors does not convince me that you should design a web site for my business, if that is in fact your line of work.
    Just simplify everything. Don`t talk so much. Is there a single line of text you can use to define your purpose? Is there a single line you can use to convey the value of your product/service to your clients?
    FIRST HEADING: What about "Having Trouble Marketing Your Product Or Service?" as the heading, followed by "Inkwire believes that clarity is the foundation of successful communication."
  • inkwireinkwire subscriber Posts: 3
    Thanks - that is quite helpful.  Glad you didn`t see the first draft that was almost 3 times longer 
  • InactiveMemberInactiveMember subscriber Posts: 12
    Glad to be of help. Also, I viewed some of your client sites and I like the visuals, but from what I can see, the marketing might need a bit more cement. For example, the yoga site starts with "Welcome". At the bottom of the page it says, "Plant your practice. Nourish your heart." Why doesn`t it say this instead of Welcome? Why start with a very pedestrian "Welcome"? I don`t know what "Plant your practice." means but I assume it has something to do with yoga. Shouldn`t this be at the top? Just a question.
    Similarly, the construction site begins with a welcome. This doesn`t make sense either, especially when you could start with "We build the best and fix the rest." This is a web site, not a secretary answering the phone. A secretary says "Hello" when he/she answers the phone and "Welcome" when he/she greets a visitor. The web site doesn`t need to welcome people, it needs to clearly and crisply communicate the product or service while helping to position the organization relative to its competition or relative to something. Ideally it inspires action. A phone call, a download, some business.
    Some specific language critiques I would have upon viewing your portfolio might include the following:
    I`m sure you didn`t write the copy, but if you`re providing a marketing-assist in addition to web design, you should be able to steer your clients away from worn ideas. The construction company is obviously well-established. Why not have the rather beautiful picture covered in testimonials? Do you know the difference between inductive and deductive copywriting? You might, but your clients probably don`t. In case you don`t, here`s a link: http://www.canadaone.com/ezine/feb02/ad ... _copy.html</A>
    When I look at the construction site, first I see the picture. Then I ignore the Welcome message. Next, I look at the first line, "We exceed expectations with quality and service.", and I ignore it as well. This is very white bread and very worn out indeed. Anyone who looks at this will simply think "that`s what they all say". Why is that testimonial at the bottom? That makes no sense! Shouldn`t it be front and center? Other worn out ideas are "We`ll watch over the entire project" and "On-time and within budget.". What about "this enables you to focus on your company and not be stretched..." Is there a truly original or mind-catching thought anywhere on the front page? Who cares if the other pages are boring. The front page needs to be awesome, in context granted, but awesome. Who knows. Maybe people who go to construction company web sites don`t care.
    There`s a lot of text in all these sites. If it`s brochureware, then I guess it`s fine. But when someone is looking for a product or service, I always like to think about the "Back" button. It takes a prospect about 1 second to go right back to google and resume their search. That`s why web sites *need* that killer hook. You don`t want the prospect to hit the back button, right? Just try counting the number of times you hit "Back" and return to google because a site could not hold your attention.
    Last.
    I notice two words on the bottom of your site. XHTML and CSS. So I assume that I should be able to view your source code and check if your site is XHTML and CSS compliant. Guess what? I was highly, highly impressed that the front page XHTML and CSS were compliant. That`s really excellent and a very smart move. Now, I doubt that you have very many clients who know how to do this, but I can tell you what. If the front page had not been compliant, I would have been completely unimpressed. Instead I am completely impressed. Your site also looks the same in Internet Explorer and FireFox. Another mark of good design. Your company obviously does good web design work. That`s entirely clear. However, as I said at the top, I think the marketing angle needs a lot more cement.
     
  • inkwireinkwire subscriber Posts: 3
    We have not provided any content for our client sites.  The construction site is a work in progess - all we`ve done so far is create a design, build the pages and copied the text from their current site.  (You`ll see that the url leads to a subfolder on our own site.)Are you a designer?  Marketer?  Professional Critiquer ?  Any examples of your work online?
  • InactiveMemberInactiveMember subscriber Posts: 12
    I run a very low-profile software company.
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