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Discussion Starter #1
Hallo to one and all. I'm new to this forum, new to the t-shirt business and I have a brand-new site that just went live yesterday. The site is still a work in progress, but we've uploaded our first 6 designs. Many more will be coming in the days and weeks ahead. www.aaaTee.com.

My background is advertising, design and illustration. The site is going to present the work of my cadre of artists, writers and designers. Most of us are free-thinkers and cynics, and our first batch of shirts reflect that. Personally, I love t-shirts (pretty much the only shirts I wear) and finally decided to throw my hat (and our work) into the ring and see what happens. I'm hoping to make a very successful business out of this endeavor.

To this end, I'd love to hear from anybody and everybody, on both our new site and the shirts! Comments, compliments :)-p] and constructive (!) criticism are all more than welcome. Advice and ideas on the best ways to promote and get business going would be great! Additionally, anybody "in the biz" who wants to drop by and say "hi!" should feel free to do so.

I hope to hear from you all... well, from a bunch of you, anyway. :)-p] Good luck and my best to all.

-- ArttMann
 

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I'm guessing you designed the site in 1280 (or higher) resolution, and haven't checked it on lower resolutions/smaller monitors.

I'm running a 15" TFT 1024x768... on those specs (becoming less common, but still seeing a lot of use) there is a lot of scrolling, including a massive side scroll. The site is extremely impractical at this resolution.
 

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Welcome Artt!

I agree with Solmu....most people visiting your site have an awful lot of scrolling to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Solmu said:
I'm guessing you designed the site in 1280 (or higher) resolution, and haven't checked it on lower resolutions/smaller monitors.

I'm running a 15" TFT 1024x768... on those specs (becoming less common, but still seeing a lot of use) there is a lot of scrolling, including a massive side scroll. The site is extremely impractical at this resolution.

Ouch.

Well, you're right about the rez. Unfortunately, not much I can do at this point I don't think. Any suggestions on dealing with this?

Thanx.
 

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monkeylantern said:
Welcome Artt!

I agree with Solmu....most people visiting your site have an awful lot of scrolling to do.

Not sure this is a huge problem in the U.S.. Everybody I've shown the site to here has been extremely complementary... though I admit many of those folks are people "in the biz" with larger monitors. Urk.

Oh well. Too bad there's no way to just scale the whole thing like in Photoshop... :( Any suggestions?

Thanks for the input! :)
 

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I would seriously consider fixing this problem. I understand that you've put a lot of work into it to get to the point you're at but this could have a big effect on your sales. Besides, taking into account different viewing resolutions when designing your site is good design practice -- it says a lot if it's obvious you've ignored this basic rule. Just bite the bullet and do it right.
 

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Not sure this is a huge problem in the U.S.. Everybody I've shown the site to here has been extremely complementary.
I'm in the US, and while your site looks good, you definitely have a side scrolling problem.

Not all of your customers will be "in the biz", so you can't count on them to have the larger resolutions. Like Phil said, it's probably a good idea to fix it now before too many potential sales are lost because the site is disorientating/harder-to-navigate.

Recent studies show that at least 20% of surfers are still at 800x600, and that doesn't account for the ones at a higher resolution that don't use their browsers at full screen. You don't wanna mess with 20% of your customer base :D

Any suggestions
You can probably resize your product images on the main page to be a bit smaller.

Also, it looks like your table width is 1400. You should definitely shrink that down below 768 if you want it to be easily viewable at 800x600.

Code:
<table width="1400" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" bgcolor="black" height="1000">
 

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Discussion Starter #8
TeeShirtSamurai said:
I would seriously consider fixing this problem. I understand that you've put a lot of work into it to get to the point you're at but this could have a big effect on your sales. Besides, taking into account different viewing resolutions when designing your site is good design practice -- it says a lot if it's obvious you've ignored this basic rule. Just bite the bullet and do it right.
Nope. You're right Samurai! This is a serious design oversight on my part. Oooooops. Can I blame somebody else? No? Damn. Would that I was a politician...

Anyway, I've bitten the bullet. And while it's blown out the back of my head... I suppose it's better now than later! Argggghhhh. Based on the feedback here I've decided to fix the width problem (scale it all down a bit and move the navigation stuph to the top) and give the viewer more shirts to look at on the main page.

Anyway, I'm just glad I got this feedback now... as opposed to weeks down the road when I'd have done a mountain range of work. Now it's just a *mountain* I need to re-climb...


Snif. Woe is me. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Rodney, you're absolutely right. Design for the minimum requirements. Even if it takes another redesign. I know that in the long run it will be worth it. Thanks for the link and thanks for the suggestions. I will definitely keep all this in mind.

To everybody who's weighed in on this, thanks! All suggestions considered, all constructive criticism welcomed! :p
 

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Wassup Arttman, I like the whole distressed text & bacground this going on I think it gives the site personality, also like the mispelled & bad grammar used on the site, your english teacher would deny ever having you as a student :D

I would probably try & use better shirt croquis, maybe a little more realistic looking shirt.

Keep us posted

Narc72
 

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Discussion Starter #11
NARC72 said:
I like the whole distressed text & bacground this going on I think it gives the site personality, also like the mispelled & bad grammar used on the site, your english teacher would deny ever having you as a student :D
Thanks Narc72! I see you "get" the whole vibe. Kool. Thanx.

And yes, she would, did and has denyed ever having me as a student... long *before* I ever even heard of Adobe GoLive. Hehe. Might have had something to do with the ultra-explicit Burroughs-esque human-alien sex story I submitted for the final... Oboy.

So, thanks for the kind words. I'm already hard at work (mad, I say – he's bleedin' mad!) on the redesign. I hope I can have it working in a few days. Pharaonic is some dope stuph, BTW. Love the logo and the graphic.

Out,
ArttMann
 

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maybe a little more realistic looking shirt
Good point there. There are some decent t-shirt templates out there that will help the customer focus on your design more. istockphoto.com has a couple.
 

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ArttMann said:
Thanks Narc72! I see you "get" the whole vibe. Kool. Thanx.

And yes, she would, did and has denyed ever having me as a student... long *before* I ever even heard of Adobe GoLive. Hehe. Might have had something to do with the ultra-explicit Burroughs-esque human-alien sex story I submitted for the final... Oboy.

So, thanks for the kind words. I'm already hard at work (mad, I say – he's bleedin' mad!) on the redesign. I hope I can have it working in a few days. Pharaonic is some dope stuph, BTW. Love the logo and the graphic.

Out,
ArttMann
:D :D :D

Thanks, I'm going to be adding some new designs to the shop in the next couple weeks. But I'm busy now working with a friend on my site, so look for that that real soon y'all!
 

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Glad to hear you decided to fix the res.

If you're having second thoughts, these screenshots may help galvanise you ;) (sorry about the crappy artifacting - have to keep the files below 97.7k to attach and PS sucks at compressing screenshot jpegs)
 

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First ..I would like to say that your over all appearence of your site is pretty awesome looking.
I too use a smaller resolution while surfing and viewing websites. Pretty much about 90% of your viewers will also, so fixing the scrolling issue will be a major fix in my mind.

Second.. The under construction pages are kind of a thing of the past. They are fine for personal web pages and non business type things, but for a business site trying to sell products, you should really go live with your whole website done and every page having content. Ive taken web publishing classes in college and they teach you that there.

Third.. When I click the buy button and go to the new page, the top part of the page changes a little. You should try to keep the top banner section of all your pages the same. Even on your buy pages. Keep the same look through out all your pages.

Forth.. You should list your phone number on your contact page (hell every page for that matter) The more shoppers see your contact info, the more likely they will feel comfortable buying from you. Instead of trying to mask your email address from email scammers, go ahead and make your email a clickable link, most people will like that alot more. And add it to all of your pages as well!

Fifth.. Consider adding some shipping information right out in the open somewhere, so people know exactly what their costs will be. Some sales can and will be lost if people get the product in their shopping cart and then find out that shipping is way to high or higher than they like. Try not to profit to much in shipping, but make sure you get everything that it costs you. Like package materials and driving time if you deliver to the shipping place, but dont try to take advantage in this area, it will lose some shoppers that way!

Bought it for now.
Over all I like your site very much and I would buy from your site for sure.

Thomas
Tshirt designer!

My links dont work below because my site needs to be renewed and I cant afford it right now!
 

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skulltshirts1 said:
Instead of trying to mask your email address from email scammers, go ahead and make your email a clickable link, most people will like that alot more. And add it to all of your pages as well!
I noticed this when I visisted the site, and I agree.

That's what spam filters are for, and you're better off not inconveniencing a customer if they want to e-mail you. E-mail is there for their convenience, and putting up with its little annoyances are one of the costs of doing business.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Solmu said:
Glad to hear you decided to fix the res.

If you're having second thoughts, these screenshots may help galvanise you ;) (sorry about the crappy artifacting - have to keep the files below 97.7k to attach and PS sucks at compressing screenshot jpegs)
Wow man. That's going the extra mile for a perfect stranger! Thanx a bunch! No worries about the screen shots... the point is well taken! :eek:

Yes, you have demonstrated definatively why I need to change the design, which, as you know, I'm hard at work on. But I think the site will be much better for it (and hopefully more successful, too!).

If there's anything I can do for you, don't hesitate to ask... :D
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yo Thomas!

Thanks for all the kinds words, encouragment and suggestions. From one designer to another, that means a lot. I hope you can get your site back up and working shortly. For one, I am interested in seeing what you've been working on. ;)

As to the "under construction" sections: I had been planning on replacing those immediately with new shirts over the next few days, so they would not have been an issue. However, that was before "we" decided I needed to change my entire site. So, I don't know what I should do at this point. I suppose it's better to have some web presense, even if it's not perfect, than none right now. I've curtailed my promotion plans until the new, revised site is up and working. Rather than have the "under construction" sections I'll be sure to have real shirts there, even if it's just a few. I have over 30 different designs ready... the problem is creating all the pieces for each and making it all work. Having a shopping cart is wonderful, but as you all know, that's a second set of files if your "front end" is different from your cart, as mine is. Fah! Just a lot of work.

I haven't been able to figure out how to get the header and footer in my shopping cart to match my pages just yet. But I agree with you that they should match the site front end and that was (and is) in the works.

As for the phone. I'm setting up a seperate phone line, so that will be implemented shortly and on the info page. I know it's important to have that these days, and I will. This is a good suggestion for everybody, though. So many "fly by night" operations out there. Having a real phone and address makes people feel much safer about ordering from you.

Finally, your idea about Shipping and Handling costs being "up front" is an excellent one. I'll definitely be adding "+ S&H" to my prices and possibly put a blurb somewhere with more information on the main page. Somebody else suggested "Made in the USA" on the main page, too, which is smart (I think... I'm somewhat global in my potential customer base, though I imagine the lion's share will come from Amerika). I'm also going to emphasize the uniqueness and "not available in stores" or something like that.

Again, thanks for the great suggestions and kind words. It all means a lot. I wish you good luck with your project, as well. :)

Yours,
ArttMann
 

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Solmu said:
I noticed this when I visisted the site, and I agree.

That's what spam filters are for, and you're better off not inconveniencing a customer if they want to e-mail you. E-mail is there for their convenience, and putting up with its little annoyances are one of the costs of doing business.
Another good suggestion. You guys have all been really, really helpful. Again, thanx a bunch! I feel really indebted to each and every one of you who have taken the time to help a total stranger. In an odd sort of way, it gives me hope. ;)

Functional email address on every page it is!
 

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Hey Artt, I wanted to take a second thank YOU for taking in the criticsm and feedback in the spirit it was intended. We're definitely here to help :D

Sometimes folks can take feedback harshly, even though we are trying to be helpful. I appreciate you taking the time to come back and comment on the feedback :)
 
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