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  1. #1
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Max Cash for Gold is a gold-to-cash website we just completed a full redesign on. There are a couple components left to work out, but it's good enough to show at this point. It's .NET based, and was a pain to get the new skin on... to see the old look, click the "Espanol" button on the top right... pretty big improvement in my opinion! What do you guys think?

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  3. #2
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    Interesting. On pure aesthetics basis, I can see the improvement.

    Crass commercial interests being the driving force here, issues leave me wondering.

    First, it was nearly impossible for me to find the alternative version button. Since this might be important given the audience, perhaps better visibility is required for the Spanish language option.

    In FF 2.0.0.20, the black section seems to fall behind the green header section. I can see a sliver of a button within this black area -- clicking gives "Server Error in '/' Application."

    The layout, splitting the page into horizontal thirds, seems to provide reading speed bumps hindering visual flow. It's pretty straightforward and one dimensional what the objective should be: Getting the visitor to request a MaxCashPak.

    All the other options, which include the blog entries, are forcing options on the reader which may reduce response for the central objective of the page. In other words, the older versions was clearer and more focussed on a singular objective. The old one clear column branching to three at bottom more clearly leads the readers eye without having to jump horizontal design elements running across.

    The three icons, while clear, seem to draw attention to themselves without getting the reader's eye onto a potential call to action. (Critical for this type page)

    On the old page it is unmistakable what the focus is. The new page offers too many different articles and choices, which could be better done on the one page rather than send the visitor on a scavenger hunt for information. Put in an objection-handling blurb, then nondescript "Learn more..." link if need be. You want to grease the skids for a one path start to finish clear objective for the visitor.

    The page tries to do to much, and goes "modal" with a box for every separate action. (Like refer a friend). There is a high response design best practice for referrals, and that isn't it.

    In all, a little too much "Modern design sensibility" and too little "Crass commercial what pulls best." I can see more people leaving the site to go hire the designer than do what the page was designed to do for the client than with the old design. But that is not necessarily a good thing.

  4. #3
    WDF Staff Wired's Avatar
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    Took me all of a second to find the alternate version button.
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  5. #4
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DC856
    On the old page it is unmistakable what the focus is. The new page offers too many different articles and choices, which could be better done on the one page rather than send the visitor on a scavenger hunt for information. Put in an objection-handling blurb, then nondescript "Learn more..." link if need be. You want to grease the skids for a one path start to finish clear objective for the visitor.
    DC, thanks for the detailed review. As always, I really appreciate your feedback - it's very thoughtful and backed by solid knowledge.

    However, in this case, the problem the customer was having was that the response rate for the site was very low. Feedback from visitors indicated that the site felt TOO "infomercial".

    Furthermore, although this IS supposed to be a website with a heavy call to action for response, the industry / genre is such that APPEARING like you're trying to induce a response promotes skepticism. Remember, what you're asking for isn't just an email address - you're asking people to send you their gold.

    As such, I felt it was best to provide a lot of information about the company on the homepage, links to the blog, etc., and space everything out enough to make people feel at ease (not pressured).

    In doing so, I believe that the lower stress will make people feel more confident in the company behind MaxCash.

    In addition to the above changes, I added the "Request a Pack" form on every page - an important oversight in the previous design. If you click away from the homepage, you don't have a clear path to responding to the advertisement.

    ---

    Although I agree that the site I created is a less powerful (forceful) user-response format, I would bet my butt on it that it will prove VASTLY more effective at generating responses... by appealing to the psychological state of the person looking for money and entrusting a company with what little valuables he/she has left.

    ---

    Oh, and regarding the "espaņol" - the site name we selected was chosen for "Cash for Gold" SERPs (not for a Spanish audience). The link is only there to show the company is large enough that it's multilingual, which also inspires confidence.

  6. #5
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    I'll keep this short and simple... I like it... It's MUCH MUCH better than the old site. Nice, professional, clean and solid. Very nice. Keep up the good work...

  7. #6
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    Although I agree that the site I created is a less powerful (forceful) user-response format, I would bet my butt on it that it will prove VASTLY more effective at generating responses... by appealing to the psychological state of the person looking for money and entrusting a company with what little valuables he/she has left.
    Time will tell. I do believe you can add more credibility building within the guidelines I set forth. The layout is professional looking, but there's too much in separate areas and not one whole message without clicking around.

    It's an interesting challenge, given the industry. The question for designers is what is the best way to support credibility with design.

    One way to do this, in design terms, is with a prominently displayed burst "Guarantee" with well written copy. A photo of the owner/CEO would also help.


    Here's a quote from the competition:
    If for any reason you feel that any of your items have not been fairly evaluated by {company name}, simply return our check or call 100% guaranteed .... (company name} will promptly return your items.

    That I guarantee!

    {name}, CEO
    People (users) feel "pressured" with insufficient information. I would agree the old version was a little information poor. The usual one-size-fits all application of a blog does answer this, yet still leaves me wondering whether it's best to take the user off the page, even when there are response boxes elsewhere.

    Rather than stock photography rather conveniently situated near a pullquote, a real photo of the people giving the testimonial. If people are savvy enough to respond to professional graphic design, they'll respond to real-looking testimonial photos.

    Most of my critique is not on the level of how professional the layout is, it is about more simple readability. There is a lot to like about the layout itself. While there may be an uptick in response due to the look, I think this is countered by the other issues I point out. If I had to guess, the two cancel each other out so the result would be about the same level of response -- give or take.

  8. #7
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    More great suggestions! Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by DC856
    Rather than stock photography rather conveniently situated near a pullquote, a real photo of the people giving the testimonial. If people are savvy enough to respond to professional graphic design, they'll respond to real-looking testimonial photos.
    This one is actually already in the works.

  9. #8
    Senior Member entity's Avatar
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    I think it's a great redesign. I'd trust it much much more than the old, rather dirty design. It's very professional.
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  10. #9
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    Not all redesignings I've ever seen are great, but this one is really a successful one to my mind.So keep on creating something new, good luck!


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