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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I've been slaving away untold hours to redesign the entire theme of the Rabid Teddies/Rabid Creations entity to get the design ready for future expansion and implement a new online "design" process. Before, we were branded to sell only Teddies graphic designs to females, but now we're set to release our other shirt ideas for everyone else, and display it in a much cooler and easier way.

So, I knew next to nothing about online t-shirt shops before trying to do it myself, except the exposure to T-shirt Hell and Threadless (which I hate), so I have no idea still what's out there, but I was wondering what you guys think of my process and how people shop for my stuff online. Is "innovative" stretching it?
 

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I like the color scheme of the website, but I think there are some useability issues with it.

With the light brown on brown of your special offers area, it makes the text hard to read.

The initial header graphic doesn't seem to clearly explain what to do on the site. As a new person shopping on your site, I'm not sure I would understand how to buy a t-shirt.

I clicked on one of the featured design images at the bottom expecting to be taken to the page where I could buy that design on a t-shirt, but the image just got larger and didn't take me anywhere. Same thing happened when I clicked on the design name in the left hand navigation menu (which is a bit hard to read because of the text on the image background).

I think you might need some very clear text in lots of places that explains exactly how to buy a t-shirt on your site.

I think the actual t-shirt designs (and the site design) look great. But you have to make it much easier for people to buy your t-shirts and navigate your website.

I think while it's good to try to be innovative, there are certain "givens" with ecommerce that you shouldn't mess with too much or you're going to confuse (and lose) customers.
 

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A couple things:

1. Your new design looks great (so did your old one).

2. What you've done is very different and I haven't seen that before. However, it threw me off for a second. What I mean is when I click on a shirt on your home page for example it brings up the new window with the design. It took me a few seconds to realize what happened and to figure out how to close the window because I couldn't see the Drag and Close options at the top. I think you should make those options stand out more.

3. Add a way to click on the design from that new window so it takes you to the product page or add another option at the top to Place Design On The Tee. I've been online since I was 13 and it took me 10-20 seconds to figure out what had happened so I think this may frustrate novice internet users.

Kudos on the new design and way of displaying the designs. This is a bit risky so if it was me I would see how the new design works for a month or so. If you experience a slump in sales I would attribute it to the new layout and maybe think about going back to the drawing board.

- ph0yce
 

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I think the process of ordering itself is fine. Pick a shirt, pick a design, customize it, order it! Pretty good. The customization is a good feature, I think. Although, like you, I’m not to keen on what else is out there!

I have to say, though, that when I clicked on the “Popular Designs” link I was expecting to see those designs laid out on the page for me to view, then have my pick of those designs. Instead I had to click the name of the design to see what it looked like. I think it would be better if a visitor could see what the designs where without clicking the name of the design. That way they can see all of what’s available in that section and compare them, if necessary.

This kind of makes the process a little confusing. You have the “apparel + design = customized” but it makes it hard when you’ve got the designs on the side, before you have the shirts to choose from. But, then I can’t choose the design, only look at it, and only 1 at a time.

Also, I don’t know if you saw it in another thread, but I liked your previous color scheme much better. It seems as though you are giving the rabid teddies a dark feel with this color scheme, which makes sense because they are “rabid”, but the previous color scheme was visually more appealing to me.

My 2 cents.
 

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I think that's a great way to put it, Rodney!

The designs are the same. You had the customization available before also, but I would have been more inclined to make a purchase before rather than now, just because of how the site made me feel.

It was almost a dichotomy of sorts. You had these "Rabid Teddies" with a "Feel Good" color scheme. I like the previous color scheme MUCH more than this one.

If you still have access to it, I think it would be good to get some opinions about it from people here. Especially those that didn't get to see the other one, or don't remember it.
 

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Comin'OutSwingin said:
If you still have access to it, I think it would be good to get some opinions about it from people here. Especially those that didn't get to see the other one, or don't remember it.
Great idea. Rabid you should setup the old site on a temp server and direct people here to both and take a poll.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Rodney said:
There is something about this new color scheme that doesn't make me feel "shoppy".
I laughed my *** off at this. :D

I get your points though.

First, the old site didn't allow people to place any design they wanted when they picked a shirt. You had to browse shirts, then designs, then you could change the color to see what it looked like before putting it in the cart. THEN you had to choose your color all over again and size. Now, someone can find a shirt and then choose color and any deisgn to be displayed real-time and even size info, so when they add it to the cart they're done.

As far as the color scheme goes, I could adopt the old site's look with the new site's functionality?

Enough comments have been made about the "Popular Designs" so I think I should just scrap that...

What I was struggling with before was the fact that I didn't think I could force people to choose a shirt before even seeing my designs. Do you think I could solve all the problems by reversing the process I have now? Like, show all the designs and then choose one, be taken to the customizing page where you can choose clothing and color? instead of choose clothing, be taken to a page to place a design on it and mess with colors?

Gah. :(

I definitely should add some links in under the designs too.

I'll see about throwing up the old website.
 

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Yes! I think that would work perfectly.

The color scheme of the old site. The funtionality of the new site. Reverse the process of the new site. First, I pick what design I like, then I pick the shirt and colors. I think that would be great.

I would like to be able to see all the designs together, too. I think that would help alot. I think that is really "browsing" the designs, when you can get an overall view and choose which one/ones you want to go on a shirt.
 

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rabid said:
I laughed my *** off at this. :D
Felt kinda funny when I typed it. I like the word though. "shoppy".
I even looked it up as a domain name after I typed it, but it was already taken.

Do you think I could solve all the problems by reversing the process I have now? Like, show all the designs and then choose one, be taken to the customizing page where you can choose clothing and color? instead of choose clothing, be taken to a page to place a design on it and mess with colors?
That was going to be my next suggestion :)

I think when people are shopping for t-shirts, they aren't particularly shopping for a garment style, they are shopping for a unique design that catches their eye or says something about them.

I think your site would flow much better if you organized it by design on the main page and then after the person has selected the design, you get to wow them with the ability to get that design on all different types of tees.

I know you might have been going for innovative, but there is something to be said for looking how established successful sites are selling their tees (tshirthumor,tshirthell,threadless, cafepress, etc all organized by design).

Everybody has a garment. You want to showcase what makes your t-shirt site unique. Your cool designs!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yes I agree, I'm an idiot!

Back to the drawing board. I swear I'll come up with something good this time damnit. I could probably kick it out in a couple days, I can't believe how the notion that I should organize by design flew right over my head. I guess the way I discovered how to code the variables to be passed to the shopping cart, then testing it on my item detail pages, then working backwards to the front page didn't help at all.

Plus I got 4 kids and a new puppy and a pregnant wife to deal with... ok, so I don't feel so bad about being airheaded lately...

Thanks for all the reponses of honest opinions guys. I REALLY appreciate it.
 

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rabid said:
Plus I got 4 kids and a new puppy and a pregnant wife to deal with... ok, so I don't feel so bad about being airheaded lately...
4 kids! Man, you've got me doubled :) And a pregnant wife...I'm surprised you have a site up at all! Congrats on all counts!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Rodney said:
4 kids! Man, you've got me doubled :) And a pregnant wife...I'm surprised you have a site up at all! Congrats on all counts!
Thanks, I do have my hands full. I do a lot of my t-shirt bidness work at my real job.

Ok, so hopefully by the time I type this the old site will be active at http://www.rabidcreations.com

Of course, I like the new site better but if the general consensus is Crappy Color Scheme then I'd better change it. After all, it could mean sales!

I made some temporary changes until I get the redesign of the redesign done. I couldn't stand to look at some of the crappy things you pointed out and hopefully this works better in the meantime.

Thanks people!
 

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My opinion is that this site is innovative, and the graphics are wonderfull. If this was a personal site, or a portfolia for a web designer, it would be great.

That said, I would redo the site. This website is not made for the average customer. It is too javascript dependent and hard to use. All the javascript is going to alienate the 5%-10% of internet users who dont use javascript enabled browsers. It is also too hard to use. The user should be able to click on a design they want, and go to the page and buy it. It is confusing that you have to click on the shirt, and then place a design on the shirt. This is not how people are used to shopping, and it will alienate potential buyers.

Why when I click on a design does a javascript image thing pop up. Just take me to a new page and let me buy a shirt with that image on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
jdr8271 said:
My opinion is that this site is innovative, and the graphics are wonderfull. If this was a personal site, or a portfolia for a web designer, it would be great.
Thank you.

jdr8271 said:
That said, I would redo the site. This website is not made for the average customer. It is too javascript dependent and hard to use. All the javascript is going to alienate the 5%-10% of internet users who dont use javascript enabled browsers. It is also too hard to use. The user should be able to click on a design they want, and go to the page and buy it. It is confusing that you have to click on the shirt, and then place a design on the shirt. This is not how people are used to shopping, and it will alienate potential buyers.
Point taken, I'm in the process of redesign now.

jdr8271 said:
Why when I click on a design does a javascript image thing pop up. Just take me to a new page and let me buy a shirt with that image on it.
The image pops when you click a design because the thumnail is too small and only displays a small portion of the design. It's there for you to see it in more detail. I should be less fancy and more straightforward in the buying process, I agree.
 
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