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kookietees said:
please let us know what you think.
Well, since you asked...

I think your site contains illegal (copyrighted) material. I think you don't have a cohesive idea of what you are selling; some of your stock appears to be heat transfers, and others screen printed. Some is retro kitsch, some is touristy, and some is in the 'offensive' genre.

I think your page is extremely poorly designed. Elements overlap, images are inconsistent sizes, full sized images are being used instead of thumbnails and they are insanely huge (I noticed one was 750k! that's got to just about be a record for the size of a one inch thumbnail...).

I think your photos are a higher resolution than they need to be, and a stupidly large filesize, and in spite of that they are still frequently out of focus and/or have poor colour reproduction.

I think your designs often lack the detail they require - probably because they're copied rather than designed (e.g. Bill Gates mugshot looks particularly terrible, Lard is even worse).

I think your colour scheme clashes. A lot.

I think your logo graphics contain ugly artefacts, and your "Coming Soon!!!!" picture has an ugly font, is poorly rendered (the edges are rough) and has way too many exclamation marks.

I think several of your shirt slogans have grammatical errors (and I'm not just referring to the intentional ebonics), and there's at least one spelling error... and I only checked a few of them.

I think you shouldn't tell people what they like to wear ("The styles and fit we select are just how you like 'em"). It makes you look like a donkey when you're wrong.

I think your designs should be more organised; if you insist on selling such a random hodgepodge together, you could at least cluster like with like.

I think the fact that I'm seeing an horizontal scroll bar on your faq page when I'm in 1024x768 resolution shows that you've done something very wrong with that page. I think your size chart table is broken.

I think your faq is hard to read due to the funky graphical errors already mentioned.

I think your design (such as it is) is inconsistent; the navigational bar is centered on some pages, and left aligned on others.

I think your attitude towards potential customers is at times unprofessional ("WARNING- our response to your remarks may make you feel bad-Thank you").

I think the similarity between your name "Kookie" and the established fashion company "Kookai" puts you at some risk of getting sued since you're both in the same industry. However, you may have nothing to worry about on that front.

I think your contact form is broken; the input area is unusably small.

I think using found-on-the-internet pictures for your 'About Us' page is tacky, juvenile, and unprofessional.

I think you have no corporate identity. There is no way for people to identify with your store, to remember it in a positive way, to think "this is my kind of place", to feel comfortable shopping in a professional environment (or alternatively to feel they are supporting a cool indie store), or to know what kind of message you are trying to get across. I think your site creates cognitive dissonance in the viewer.

I think your designs are really badly rendered & ugly (they're bad enough that it's worth repeating).

I think your website is horrible.

Since you asked.

...but most of all I think you shouldn't post ads in more than one section of these forums. Rodney would like y'all to cut down on the blatant self promotion, and he's been real nice about it.
 

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kookietees said:
For example, your comments regarding our attitude towards customers...have you SEEN other t-shirt websites? Are we allowed to have a personality? How about having a sense of humor? I guess not...
While I agree that it's common to give sites an 'edgy' feel, I personally don't feel it's a good idea. If you take it far enough (like t-shirt hell) it can work, but it's hard to find the balance.

Of course you're "allowed" to be mock-insulting if that's the image you want... I just think it doesn't come across well in my opinion.

kookietees said:
Another example...our name. We have an established business license and of course took the correct steps to make sure our name was unique. You're right - we have nothing to worry about on that front. Besides, I searched for "Kookai" on Google - it's in the U.K.
To be sure I'm not a trademark lawyer, and that was the part I was least confident about.

However I will point out two things. Kookai are huge, which means they're potentially going to see infringement where a smaller company wouldn't - they're nowhere near as small as you are implying. Second, they're not a UK company. If you'd looked past the first result you'd've seen websites in France and Australia; Kookai are a large international company. If you do a trademark search (Rodney provides a link in the left navagational bar on this site) you'll see that they have their trademark registered in the US.

On the other hand, you've gone through all the appropriate legal precautions, so it's all moot.

kookietees said:
HOWEVER, those are minor errors common to a new web designer and are also easy to change.
They're not minor errors. One is a minor error, but by the time you have that many of them it's a massive problem. Each individual problem is easy to change, but again by the time you have that many of them it takes effort to fix. If they are so easy why were they there in the first place? Because it's not that easy. You more or less need to start your website again from scratch.

kookietees said:
That is simply all I asked for - NOT to have some arrogant, unprofessional know-it-all take a free for all at my website. You were simply rude.
I resent being called unprofessional.

As for the rest of the personal comments in the post, I personally disagree but you're welcome to your opinion.
 

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Rodney said:
Alright folks, let's not forget one of the first rules of T-Shirt Forums: Be Courteous

While there was some very good feedback in Solmu's post above, some of it could have been worded a bit more politely.
Could have, but not necessarily should have.

I was also very clear that everything I stated was my opinion, and I was completely honest. I didn't exaggerate or hold back - it was the simple truth (as I saw it). To me, that is the epitome of courtesy. If people lie to protect my feelings, that is most uncourteous.

If people are posting actual feedback requests (and not ads disguised as them) they should find honesty useful. Most of the time we're all too busy playing nicey-nicey to actually give any useful critiques.

(besides, I thought the first rule of T-shirt forums was "1. Do Not Talk about T-shirt Forums.")

Rodney said:
Quote: Originally Posted by jdr8271 Also, alot of the shirts on your site are copyrighted. Unless you bought officially licensed t-shirts, you are breaking the law. End quote.

This is a good point. Are you officially licensed to sell Rolling Stones t-shirts and James Brown and Ron Jeremy?

We can't allow unlicensed or copyright infringed work on the forums.
That was the very first thing I said. So when I say it it's rude, but when someone else says it it's a good point? ;)
 

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sarafina said:
Hey Solmu, do you have a website? You seem to know alot about functional web development, i'd love to take a look at yours if you don't mind.
My website's not live yet (and at the rate development has been going, won't be for quite a while :(). When it is it probably won't be unusually good anyway - I'm sure it'll be decent, but not special.

The things I was pointing out on the website that started this thread were really basic mistakes - even most badly designed sites don't make all of them at once.

It's a lot easier to find the faults in something than to make it work (which doesn't excuse atrocious design). I'm very good at analysing, but unfortunately not as good at designing. When my website goes live I'm sure it won't be riddled with the same flaws, but I'm hoping people will like my content rather than my site.

If you can develop a really great looking website that is useful, and it will help your sales. The main thing though is just to avoid the pitfalls and traps (like slow loading times and ugly colour schemes).

Take a look at T-shirt Hell for example. If you actually stop and think about their website it's really not very well designed. It's not attractive, it's not cool, it's not sleek, most of the site loads on one page.

But what does it do well? It has a lot of content (that's the most important thing), a lot of options on that content, reasonable load times, clear branding, a reasonable colour scheme, clear labelling, a detailed and professional faq, etc. It's cohesive.

They put their product right up front. They don't do it in a way that is particularly good or bad, but they allow the shirts to sell themselves. I think they're proof you don't need great site design, just make sure your website doesn't look like total a**.
 
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