Suggestions for my website? PLEASE!!!

nettasauraJuly 12, 2007

So since I am having conflicting ideas as to how to continue setting up my website, I thought that I would ask for a little input.

My biggest question right now is, would you rather see instructions on how to make ornaments, decorations, crafts, and jewelry, or would you rather just have a photo gallery where you can stroll through and look at everything?

To see the difference please check out the Christmas Crafts/Ornaments/Beaded Garlands for an instruction heavy section. Then check out Lonetta's Jewelry/Earrings section for a gallery style section.

Please let me know what you like better, any suggestions on how to make the site more user friendly, etc.

Thanks for helping!

Netta

PS - I have a better camera this year so I will be able to take some far better pictures of the Christmas ornaments this coming fall...closeups! Plus I am working on about a gazillion other ornaments for all of my other trees, so there will be tons more coming!

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nettasaura

Guess it wouls help if I gave you a link to the site, eh? LOL!!!

Lonetta's Arts and Crafts

Sorry!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2007 at 2:18PM
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columbusgardener

first I would change the font you are using on the opening page - it's hard to read no matter what color you use

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 5:53PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Lonetta, I found your website really easy to navigate! I like the way you have it set up.

girlgroupgirl
P.S. You are a VERY busy woman!!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 8:10PM
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PVick(6b NYC)

Lonetta - I agree with GGG, your site is very easy to navigate. It's set up in a straightforward manner, so there's no hopping around and trying to figure out where you were and how to get back there. I really like that -

As for your question: since your site seems designed primarily to share your creativity, then a nice mix of instructions and gallery pages is just fine. You have already achieved that. Giving instructions for specific ornament types is fine just as is; adding a gallery of your various pieces would enhance the viewing experience. But the jewelry, for instance, is very personal to your taste; while giving a basic instructional on the methods and findings used in creating them would be useful for people interested in creating their own, showing pictures of your own work is best. Anyone interested in making their own could take it from there, creating their own designs or ... using your ideas as a template.

I think you've done quite well with your site just as it is. I certainly enjoyed it, and look forward to seeing more as you add to it.

You are one very creative, and very, very busy woman.

BTW, I really like your "Loop earrings in silver and teal"!

PV

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 9:57PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Netta,
I agree that your website is very easy to navigate as is, but the font on the first page does need some tweeking.

As for instructions for your crafts. That really is a decision for you to make. Some things to consider though are the following.

No matter how well you write the instructions, there will be people that have a problem understanding them and will, in turn, send you endless e-mails for answers to questions, further detail etc. It can become a never ending e-mail correspondance with some people.

There will be people that take your directions and then turn around and sell the product at craft shows for, what could be, quite a bit of money. Is that something that would bother you if you found out that was being done with the patterns that you offer free to people?

You might be surprised that people would do that, but believe me they do.
I have my own craft business and do many shows Sept. thru Dec. and you will be amazed at the number of, what is known in the craft show business, as "crafter theft". Someone will buy your product at a show, turn around and reproduce it, and there you are at another show and you find your own merchandise being sold by someone else.

I've had it happen a couple of times, even have seen one of my thread crochet angels that is an original design of mine, being sold on e-bay by a woman who bought it at a show I did 2 years ago.

Nothing I can do about this happening, but having been in the business for over 10 years, I have a reputation and most people see a very different quality in mine vs the copy and don't buy the copy.

You might consider doing some craft shows with some of your crafts and see how that goes instead of just giving away the patterns and directions, especially if they are original designs of yours.

Fran

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 10:40PM
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nettasaura

Fran...I do have to admit that the idea of someone stealing one of my "original" designs and making a profit from it bothers me a bit. So that is probably the biggest reason why I am hesitating to do the instruction pages.
And some of the ornaments that I will be doing are from published sources so I was just going to show a picture of my version and then cite the source so that people can go hunt down the instructions for themselves.

WHAT ABOUT THIS: What if I weedle it down to each theme tree having a page of it's own with an attached gallery of ornaments, toppers, and skirts. That might reduce the "spiderweb" that that section of the site is turning into.

As a serious crafter, I usually don't need instructions just a reference photo of something to get an idea from. I figure most other serious crafters will probably do the same. So I am leaning heavily toward just doing the galleries (still citing sources on published projects). (I just hate it when I think I thought of something totally original and then turn around and find it in a book...frustrating!)

And which font on the first page is the one causing the difficulty: the heading or the body?

Thanks....and still looking forward to more input.

Netta

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 12:29AM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

Hello Netta:
I couldn't help looking since I am a retired IT professional. The navigation and technical aspects are very good, but I wonder if you would re-think the icons used for each separate category e.g. there are fans for Crochet, Knitting, etc. which have no relation to the actual subject. It might be more enticing to the user if an item from the subject category was used as an icon. This is just from a marketing standpoint. The user seeing the item would immediately make the decision about going further, and would be more encouraged to keep going. The visual impact on these sites is of paramount importance and has to keep drawing the customer in. Good luck, you have done well so just keep on keeping on!!
Northerner.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 1:04AM
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nettasaura

Northerner:

That is something I have thought about, but can't find free victorian style clip art for most of the subject matter. I would like to keep a certain uniformity to the look of the website. Which means that I need to draw my own Victorian clipart. But first I need to find the time among all of my other projects, get access to a scanner, etc. Hopefully someday soon!

Netta

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 10:51AM
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drippy(7bAL)

Um, I second what Pvick said - it's a great mix, and the graphics are fine. Very enjoyable to look at, and can't wait to see more of those trees (with or without instructions is fine).

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 8:11PM
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plays_in_dirt_dirt(Z7A VA bordering NC state line)

netta, I like the easy maneuveability (sp?)of your site, but I second the opinion that the typeface used on the heading at the top of the first page is hard to read. By my taste, it draws too much attention to itself instead of the information it is meant to convey. Many, many times I click out of a site with moving type. When I visit a site, I want information, not pizazz. The body copy is fine. I admire your talent and creativity. I couldn't begin to do what you have done. Charge ahead!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 8:55PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Hi Netta,

The blue on blue print can be hard on the eyes to read. I asked my 24 year old daughter to take a look and she said to get rid of the light blue background, use white with blue print and enlarge the print of the smaller type.

She also thinks your "nuts to give away your directions for free". She said that it's your hard work designing these creations and you figure out the directions. Either sell the directions, sell the product or just show your creations.

I like the ease you have in navigating too. The easier to use the better.

I'll see if I can find you some free clip art pics to use in place of the flowers you are using now. Give me a week or 2 and I'll let you know what I come up with.

Fran

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 12:24AM
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nettasaura

Fran,

Better yet?

I have condensed down to theme tree pages where ornaments for each specific tree will be available for viewing. Possibly directions for a very few of the very simple ornaments....like the beaded garland tassels, and the pinecones, etc.

Netta

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 1:43AM
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nettasaura

I made extensive changes to the front page.....is this easier to read, etc?

Netta

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 12:59PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Netta, I hate to say it, but you asked for suggestions. I think the new changes make it worse. The print is blurry. Thought it was my eyes and a couple of people I know checked and said it wasn't my eyes, it's blurry. The color contrast isn't really any better than the blue on blue.

Another problem with the new front page. It is wider now and only part of it is on the screen at one time. The yahoo stuff takes up space on the side so you don't have a full screen look.

Can you go back to the original and keep the page the same size so as not to have to move the bar on the bottom to see the whole page. it was easier to navigate before you made the changes.

Don't give up on making changes. tweak one thing at a time and let us take a look. If you change to many things at once it gets overwhelming to figure out what looks good an what doesn't.

I actually liked it the way it was originally better than the new way.

Fran

    Bookmark   July 18, 2007 at 10:18PM
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nettasaura

Fran....do you have a newer or older style monitor? Mine is a little bit on the wider side. So even with the yahoo ad, for me, everything still fits just fine. But that also means that I have no way of knowing who it doesn't fit for.

Plus, I don't like the main page either...definitely going to change that. But I really like the new look of the Christmas pages....not going to change those....maybe rearrange things so they will "fit" better.

Netta

    Bookmark   July 19, 2007 at 11:01AM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Netta,
I have an old dell laptop, daughter gave me her old one 2 years ago and it has a regular screen. Her new laptop is a wide screen, 15 inches (and is not a dell, they are junk.)
Anyway, I looked at the site with her computer yesterday and
she had the same problem as well.

Wow, this new first page I great. I like it alot and all the links fit on it, just scroll down the page. Looks really good, but I'm partial to blues.

On suggestion on the main page. The print info with info about the site, can you make the print just a little bit darker and the print one size larger? That, I think, would make it perfect but need to see it first.

All the other pages look great. Set up is good, easy to use, user friendly is what I think they call it.

You make beautiful crafts and I still think you should think about picking one or 2 types of crafts, concentrate on them and do some craft shows. You'd be surprised at the amount of money you can make.

Good for you to keep those directions to yourself.

Fran

    Bookmark   July 20, 2007 at 10:12PM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Netta, just took a look again at your website. Now you got it girl, looks perfect to me and love that blue on the first page.

Fran

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 10:29PM
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