Love to have critical feedback

matco

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Jun 22, 2007
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Walla Walla, WA
I''ve had the opportunity over the last several months to put together a web site for a coffee client in Hawaii. Any feedback from coffee lovers like yourselves would be invaluable. The site is ultimately for us who love coffee and Hawaii. I just want to make it the best it can be. Thanks so much.

The url is in my profile.
 

equus007

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Apr 4, 2006
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Austin, Tx
site

Nice site. Well composed and easy to use. Only suggestion would be to make the slide show for the various plantations run faster and with more pics of the actual plantations.

Like the Hwaiian proverbs. Would make it bigger and animated on home page w/link to the past ones(the book page).
 
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matco

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Jun 22, 2007
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Walla Walla, WA
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Thanks

Thanks! I think the proverbs are cool too. I am trying to design shirts with the proverbs on them right now. I have a couple samples that I wear around. We haven't settle on a style yet.

I'll take a look at the home page again. We have quite a few good photos that we're not using yet. It would be easy to add more. . . . animating the proverbs . . . cool idea.
 
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matco

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Jun 22, 2007
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Walla Walla, WA
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Proverb animated

equus007: Well, it has taken me some time to carve out some time to add animation to the Hawaiian Proverb on the front page. What do you think? Clicking on the link to the right of each proverb takes you to the translation and gives you a chance to browse more of them.

Thanks again for the feedback.
 
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matco

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Jun 22, 2007
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Walla Walla, WA
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jlyon10:

I have wondered about load time with the larger images. We wanted to give a sense of place with the larger photos. I live on the mainland but my wife grew up on Moloka'i and we visit every couple of years. Looking at the photos on the site takes me back to the places I've been.

Was the load time for the images really distracting as you were going through the site?

Thanks for checking it out.
 

jlyon10

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Feb 16, 2007
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Clemmons, NC
load time

Once the site was loaded it didn't take long to move around. Just something to keep in mind. Especially for people who don't have a fast connection.
 
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matco

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Jun 22, 2007
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Walla Walla, WA
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Adding music to the site . . .

So, for some time we have been wondering about adding Hawaiian music to the site. We've found an amazing local musician who has agreed to let us feature his songs. I am working on creating a page where we can share his work.

A question I have is whether anyone has feedback on having the music play automatically when people first go to the site or should there be a button you click to listen? I've visited a lot of site that have music and it is annoying to me when it starts without my control. Most of the time I mute my speakers. But, this music is so appropriate . . . Hawaiian . . . a local artist. It feels like it really works with the feeling of Hawaii and our Hawaiian coffee.

Any thoughts?
 

jlyon10

Super Moderator
Feb 16, 2007
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Clemmons, NC
music

I agree that when music starts playing all by itself it is annoying especially at work, but in your case I think it would be perectly appropriate. I would pick one song and always play that when the site comes up. If people want to hear more then they can play other songs.
 

Davec

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Oct 18, 2006
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Old England (UK)
Honest feedback

1. I lost the will to live trying to navigate the website and find all the coffees
2. It's full of irrelevant stuff I don't care about (i'm not going on a holiday there)
3. Please don't add music...my god!
4. It gives me the impression of a company trying to pretend its group of bearded sandal wearing tree huggers whilst making a profit.
5. Hard coffee related content is thin

Recommendations

Most adults like me can read real good, try putting on a single page, what you seem to want to present to me in 5 pages (I hate to keep clicking next to read the story a paragraph at a time).

Stop trying to prove how good you are at doing websites and concentrate on the content. The site is like a fancy chocolate box with no chocolates inside. Put in some hard information regading the coffees you sell. type of bean, height grown, cupping notes, roast levels....recommended preparation methods e.g. drip, espresso, cappa, latte etc..is the coffee a morning, all day, after dinner etc..
Premium beans from throughout Hawai‘i come together, capturing the essence of the islands. A medium roasting releases that essence. ...what essence, whats it taste like

Show more about how the coffee is grown, harvested, processed, graded, roasted...picture of your roaster and nice steaming piles of beans. Also a bit about your master roaster would be nice.

I personally hate it when people call something "Island Style Kona"....and it's got 10% Kona. I know you say so, but you know, it isn't Kona is it. It's also questionable how much 10% does for a blend...I know Kona etc.. is the big headline bean, but really 10% is a miniscule unimportant amount for that type of coffee. Same comment applies to all the big name coffees forming only 10% of the total e.g. Island Style Moloka‘i contains no less than 10% Moloka‘i beans.

10% in a blend is the equivelant of 3 or 4 beans out of the 40 used to make a single espresso shot. What are all these blends for, is there a rationale behind their design, or is it just to have a large number of different coffee choices, each with a big name coffee in very small proportion.

Add other hard coffee content

Otherwise attractive website, that needs a few of the "gadgets" removing, made clearer to navigate and with better hard coffee content. A long hard look needs to be taken at the reasons/rationale for creating a blend.

Sorry it's not all super positive, it is first impressions though....and you wouldn't have got any value from a post that said "brilliant site"!.
 
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matco

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Jun 22, 2007
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Walla Walla, WA
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Davec:

Thanks so much for the honest feedback! Some of the thoughts you shared have been bouncing around in my mind the last month. Others are new and I'll be pondering them over the next few weeks.

No need to apologize . . . it is more than generous of you to take the time out to be honest.
 

HarveyC

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Jul 26, 2007
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Nice site, colour scheme fantastic. Love the brown+red, and then the picture in the centre.

''Fraid I don''t have anything too constructive to say; just keep designing sites of that quality!

PS: Didn''t notice the music as my sound was off, but that''s a no-no if you ask me :)
 

equus007

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Apr 4, 2006
315
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Austin, Tx
again

sorry I wasn't following the thread.

I do like many of the changes but I would rather like to comment on DaveC's post. He is right in many ways. I personaly would like to see more hard content however it all depends on who you are trying to draw in and what the purpose of the site really is or more precicely what your client wants to do. While DaveC and many others on this forum(including myself)scower the earth for the perfect beans every season(too far?) I personaly don't think I have ever ordered beans from a website if I haven't tried them before or at least heard of the brand. Many many people, as Starbucks can attest to, want to be told what is good. One way to motivate the masses to buy your product is by being sexy. Your site is sexy, or at least girl-next-door that could be sexy in the right light cute. I don't know if it alone will get you any new customers but it is a nice compliment to an already known product.

I would not put music on the load page. It's hard to remember a life without cable but were I on a slower connection I would skip your site when it started loading music. I do like the idea but I think it should be on another page of the site or make a skipable intro though those kinda annoy me when I'm in a rush.

The product is what it is and if I understand correctly you are their web designer and have no other real connection to their business. To this I would say all the comments on the blends are valid but misdirected. You do with what you are given and you've done a nice job of spicing up a product that on the surface coffee snobs(because conniseuers is too hard to spell) would probably avoid.

Keep us posted on how its going

A lot of the content seems to be directed to locals. I have mixed feelings about this. I live in Texas and don't really care to know much about joining the Hawaiian Canoe Club but somethng in me likes the idea that they are involved in the local scene. Its a minor note and not something I would worry about changing...just odd to see that much of a fusion. Usually a site is either local or national/international but rarely both.
 
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matco

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Jun 22, 2007
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Walla Walla, WA
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equus007:

Thanks. I am the designer for the brand; everything from the logo, packaging, advertising, as well as the site. So, though I am not an owner, it seems that this coffee thing has become a second life. (I am even going to play around with home roasting this Fall.)

It is true that the demographics the site is targeting are not "serious" coffee enthusiasts. With Hawaii being the only place in the US coffee is grown, surrounding the brand with a "sexy" hawaiian voice does give it an appeal that sets it apart. At the same time, I think the product needs to be quality and it's only the enthusiast that can be the real judge--from brand to taste. So, I have really valued the feedback I've gotten from the forum.

I've felt the lack of "hard content" myself as I become more knowledgeable about coffee. I hope to add more in the next few weeks. We are walking out on a limb making the site local and national. Time will tell as to the effectiveness. The exciting thing is the coffee is selling and there is a "cult-like" following for the Muleskinner.

As for music . . . yeah . . . not the home page. I very much agree. But, I don't have the final word. I'll definitely keep everyone posted.

I know I say this every time . . . but I mean it -- Thank you
 

CoffeeDetective

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Jul 10, 2006
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Montreal
Great site..and some video maybe?

I think you have done a wonderful job with your site. There are dozens of sites where you can get great 'coffee content'...but few that give a sense of place in the way yours does.

I don't think coffee buyers always crave tons of information. I think you are right to focus of creating atmosphere around the growing region. It makes your site quite different from any other, and that's half the fight when it comes to getting the attention of potential customers.

I think I would go a step futher and add some video clips for those who want to see them. Let's see the coffee being picked, processed and packaged.

Congrats on a great job.

Nick
 

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