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Ridefix.com New Home Page, New Features Review, Please


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#1 Dr Lando

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 08:47 AM

Hello everyone,

I updated my site, RideFix.com, with a fresh new home page and am looking for feedback, opinions, and/or suggestions. I'm trying to give a brief overview of the site that's informative and not boring.

http://www.ridefix.com

I have also added some new features; the most important being the Ride Manager. I'd like to get feedback on the style, functionality, and real world usefulness of it. It is an application that allows people to track the service and repair history on their cars. Any insight is appreciated.

Login: tester@ridefix.com
Password: password

Ride Manager Link(once you're logged in): http://www.ridefix.c...?r=ride_manager

One last request: I have also made a forum for individual cars. Would like your opinions on the style, functionality, and if I'm missing anything you'd expect in a forum.

Here are some sample topics:
http://www.ridefix.c...lago/topic/2265
http://www.ridefix.c...elta/topic/2090

Thank you very much,
Mark

PS If you're so inclined to wander about the site, all opinions and feedback are welcome.

#2 Dr.Marie

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 10:23 AM

Cool idea! I think you could do well with this!

But reading the front page, I need more information about what your program does. When you wrote about putting a QR code on the car, I find that very interesting...but I need more information about what that means. The average joe has no clue about QR codes. It doesn't necessarily have to be on the front page, but a link to more info on that would be great.

I'm not sure why, but the main content portion of your page took about 2 minutes to load for me. :(

I really like the idea of being able to keep track of my service info online. I'm always saying, "When did I get an oil change? I can't read that sticker!" and stuff like that. But again, some clarity about what can be done or what to expect from the program would be great. And, is there a fee? I likely would not use the product if there was a fee.

I like the design - nice and clean.

#3 Dr Lando

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 10:40 AM

Dr. Marie,
Thanks for the reply!

But reading the front page, I need more information about what your program does. When you wrote about putting a QR code on the car, I find that very interesting...but I need more information about what that means. The average joe has no clue about QR codes. It doesn't necessarily have to be on the front page, but a link to more info on that would be great.

Will do. Good tip.

Basically what the QR code on a car does is allows people to find your RideFix profile and rate or comment on your car. If a repair shop scans it, they can view certain information you permit such as last oil change, mileage, vin, recent services etc.

I am going to make a page for all the features, and possible a video.

I'm not sure why, but the main content portion of your page took about 2 minutes to load for me.

Was it the home page? Might have to do with a script I run to prevent people in certain countries (spammers) from signing up. Or, it might be from google, twitter, or facebook apis. They sometimes slow it down. Need to work on optimizing my code too.

And, is there a fee? I likely would not use the product if there was a fee.

No fee. It's totally free for users. Probably should have that listed somewhere too, huh? Sign up if you'd like :( .


Thanks for the help!
Mark

#4 Dr.Marie

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 05:47 PM

Yes, it was the home page. The menu (top and side) loaded immediately and then the content in the middle took ages to load. Mind you, I just logged on from a different computer and everything was fine...it could have been the internet connection I had this morning?

#5 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 06:39 PM

The text on the home page needs to be broken up a bit more, with main points standing out more.

Right now, even with the bulleted list, it's pretty much just one big blob of text.

Capture my eye instead.

Main Point 1 - Big, bold, colorful

blah blah

Main Point 2 - Big, bold, colorful

blah blah

Main Point 3 - Big, bold, colorful

etc.

Otherwise, its looking good. Hm, I'm not crazy about the gray background of the large menu tabs on the left, but that's just me. Gray = blah to me.

But yeah, in general, looking nice.

#6 AbleReach

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 07:09 PM

You could use a technique I call a "learn more" box. I don't know if it has a for real name - LOL. Look for them at the top of a service's home page.

Check out the "learn more" box at the top, here: http://aws.amazon.com/
It's visually distinct and introduces the *benefits* of AWS. I'm not crazy about things that slide automatically. Could one of the boxes in the slider have been enough?

Basecamp has a nice "learn more": http://basecamphq.com/
Notice how they show three specific target user groups in three more little boxes below, with "Watch Video" links in place of the more general "learn more" on the top box


Some sites tell you what to do, in steps.

Actual steps to take can be inferred - check out meetup's header: http://www.meetup.com/
Header says "Find," "Start," and "sponsor."
Title text says "Do something, Learn something, Share something"
Is that enough for you?

Consider yelp: http://www.yelp.com/
Here, the words chosen in Yelp's top nav tells you what you can do (write a review, find reviews, invite friends.) A seo who doesn't put usability first might want to try to use more specific words [keyword+review] into the top nav and miss the call for action. The list of locations underneath fulfills a keyword need while giving users a more specific way to explore.
Add the top nav words to "Yelp is the fun and easy way to find and talk about great (and not so great) local businesses" and I have a pretty good idea of what I as a user can do on the site.

#7 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 09:41 PM

Ok, just for fun, I did a quick mockup to show what I mean. It's far from perfect, but I think it'll do just to visualize what I think would help. Don't use the wording I used. You can come up with better wording...again...this is simply a quick visual, not meant to be taken literally.

ridefix.png

#8 Dr Lando

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 09:28 AM

Thanks for your suggestions, AbleReach and dazzlindonna. I am going to make a few versions incorporating your ideas and post them a little later today, hopefully.

Thanks for the help!

#9 Dr Lando

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 09:44 AM

Ok, I made a quick mock up for a different style:

http://www.ridefix.com/?2

I haven't worked out all the text yet, but it should give a sense of what it will look like. I only changed the first tab so far.

I also styled the tabs a little bit. If you want to try some different tab colors, you can add a hexidecimal color code like so(six digits, no #):

http://www.ridefix.c...2&tab_bg=FF0000

The above will show red tabs.

Going to do some more styling and writing throughout the day, but feel free to give comments.

@AbleReach, need to work on the 'learn more' styling. It seems kind of hidden, but I did link to an actual learn more page.

Thanks for the continued help :)

#10 AbleReach

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 12:10 PM

Why not do away with the boxes at the left, and integrate their topics into your text? At first I thought that those boxes were a sidebar.

#11 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 02:54 PM

At first I thought that those boxes were a sidebar.


Isn't that essentially what it is?

#12 Dr Lando

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 03:01 PM

They're tabs. You can click on them and see more information.

Hmm, maybe I should go with the whole page route.

#13 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 04:08 PM

Ah, yes, clicking on them, does indeed make it quite clear that they are tabs. Works great, imo.

#14 AbleReach

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 08:33 PM

Huh. Interesting. Why would I miss that the boxes/tabs at the side are navigation items? Maybe because the same basic stuff is already in the horizontal top level nav? Is the difference between the vertical tabs and the horizontal top level nav unclear to anyone else?

It is a little confusing to have a "Diagnose Car Problems" vertical tab that takes me to a different place than the "Diagnose Car Problems" top level horizontal nav.

#15 Dr Lando

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 08:50 PM

Perhaps changing "Diagnose Car Problems" in the side tabs to something else, like "Having Car Trouble", might alleviate the issue? I just updated it.

#16 AbleReach

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 01:23 AM

Having Car Trouble?

I like that! It has a different flavor than the top nav. The top nav feels like, well, navigation. "Having Car Trouble?" feels like an invitation to tour the site's benefits. It fits the purpose of that tabbed area.

#17 Dr Lando

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 05:28 PM

OK, I've updated the second version of the home page with different style headers and tab wording.

http://www.ridefix.com/?2

Is it better at giving an overview from a glance?

How are the tab colors? Do they look like tabs now? Should I keep the original tabs now that the wording has changed?

Also, I made a change to the shops search page:

http://www.ridefix.c...r/Ann Arbor, MI

Before it had hard coded pages, but not all the map markers showed up. So, I changed it so that all markers are shown immediately.

Would like opinions on the pagination. Try going from page 2 to 3 or 4. Are the page changes too subtle? Would an animation make it more noticeable?

Thanks again,
Mark

#18 tam

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 08:33 PM

Home pages are a pain because unlike most pages they don't have an obvious purpose, they are just a doorway to somewhere else, it makes it a bit difficult to decide exactly what to do with them.

I actually like your internal pages better, particularly the boxes in the right hand columns. I think you could pull the repair shop search box from the diagnose page, the most viewed box from the carpedia page (make it top 5), the tutorials box (again go for top 5) and a showroom box (latest one with a pic) and add those to the homepage to replace the 4 buttons on the right you'd tempt people further into the site better. I'd go for arranging them horizontally. So you had header and text to the right, the QR code advert to the left, then the 4/5 boxes across below.

I'd also add text to your QR pic, that invites people to 'create your car's QR code now' or similar, so your invite them to take action and click through.

#19 Dr Lando

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 05:49 PM

Hey Tam,

Thanks for the input. Here is what the original home page looked like:

http://www.ridefix.com/index2.php

It took various parts from the site, but I think it gets too cluttered. I kind of would like to add the most recent forum posts and Fastlane (car news) stories though.

I do like the idea of making the QR code a call to action.

Thanks,
Mark

#20 tam

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 09:29 PM

I see what you mean :) Maybe pick the three most important 'boxes' and just have those in a row below the content section.

It might have to look at how magazine style sites arrange their homepages. If you look at the top here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/ for example the top section is a header the shows three stories giving you move information as you roll over the names at the side. I think you give too much information in your site buttons, you need to condence it to one sentence that lets people decide if that's the option they want and then click through otherwise your putting an extra page between them and their goal.

#21 fisicx

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Posted 26 July 2011 - 05:01 AM

I really don't care about the layout. It doesn't actually matter. The most important thing is to get across your message.

What exactly is it you are offering? The word RideFix indicates some sort of repair organisation but reading your blurb it seems that all you offer is the means to keep my servicing details online. What are the benefits of this?

How is this going to help my keep my car on the road in good working order?

I did click on 'learn more' but the layout changed and all I saw was a bunch of unreadable thumbnails. Still no benefits on offer.

But back to the homepage - no call to action, no contact details and most of the links on the page are unrelated to the main purpose of the site.

I'd drop the tabs altogether. A guy in the UK did this and conversions quadrupled. The more I have to click the less incentive there is to find out more.

Sell me your service: tell my why this is such a great idea and how to get it. Make me want to use your product.

#22 Dr Lando

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 01:12 PM

OK, I did another version and would like some feedback if it's not too much to ask:

http://www.ridefix.com/?3

I tried to combine all the previous feedback and give an overview of the site that you can quickly glance over.

NOTE: the 'learn more' page for Track Your Service History is not done yet.

Any comments would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Dr. Lando

#23 tam

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 01:25 PM

Definately getting there. I would make the top right graphic a little smaller to pull everything else up the page. Also link it to something - it's a call to action but when people click on it nothing happens.

Same with the other images, make the image a link too.

You need to check the alignment too so the four boxes line up with the two below.

#24 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 01:45 PM

Oh yeah! Looks great!!!! Yes, I agree, the images should be clickable too. But overall, great job!

#25 Dr.Marie

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 02:26 PM

I love this design! Looks very professional!

#26 Dr Lando

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 06:35 PM

Added links to the images, including the first one(and made it smaller), and aligned the bottom boxes to the ones above it.

Thanks for the quick feedback!

Now, I just have to get non-googled pictures, i.e. images I can't get sued for using, and make a real first image. :D

Dr. Lando

#27 AbleReach

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 06:58 PM

MUCH better. Much clearer.

Love it when a design goes from "is this ok?" to "gotcha."

One small thing. The bottom row puts "diagnose" second, before "get your car fixed."

I think "diagnose" should come before "get your car fixed."



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