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  1. #11
    BWGirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Wisconsin, USA
    Multi Format
    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie View Post
    thanks for the suggestions and constructive critisisms above.

    The pdfs are basically a necessity from a lab perspective. I am open to all the above suggestions that allow me to keep downloadable pages.
    *we are constantly sending pages of specific services to people who inquire about them. The pdfs are very easy for us to work on and move around at a fast pace.
    As a multifacit lab we have tried to divide the commercial and decor work away from the lab services.
    As well we have isolated digital and traditional processes in these pdf pages for our clients. As we all know some people are only interested in film and bypass any digital items, but on the other side of the coin there are those who are totally digital and do not care about our analogue services.

    One note , our web site from our viewpoint is basically a vehicle to give current prices and our labs direction of the services we are good at and want to continue.
    We know there are many ways of making the site look brand new rather than dated , but in fact we are dated with some of our services and would rather have prospective customers find what the require fast. We do not expect someone to surf our lab site because it is slick and full of imagery.

    So any suggestions or critisisms that can solve these issues would be appreciated by us.
    There is no reason why you can't have a thumbnail and explanation of what a pdf file contains that the user can click on & download the actual pdf file if they chose.

    There is also no reason why the suggestions the others and I made cannot be implemented while still maintaining your primary goals for the site. They are just basic/fundamental requirements for a site.

    If it is true that you want customers & potential customers to "find what the(sic) require fast." then having every click open a window is counterproductive, since it confuses most users.

    I don't think any of us suggested the website be "slick and full of imagery" only that it be orderly and easy to navigate.

    I guess my suggestion, based on your response would be to hire a website designer, give them your requirements & goals for the site, and let them solve your problems... they are, after all, professionals like yourselves and would be able to offer you solutions that do not compromise your requirements.
    .................................................. ................
    Isaiah 25:1

  2. #12
    gr82bart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Multi Format

    I agree with every critique posted above. As a point of reference, here are your competitors' websites:

    And here are your competitors locally:

    Now some of these have flaws too, but in terms of finding that balance you are seeking most in the first group get to it more.

    A&I's website I think has that balance you are seking. They have the site itself where information readily available. It's slick enough to convey the level of professionalism and clientele they get on a regular basis. Thyey have an FTP area for people to upload digital images - a must in today's world. Plus it has print and download options in various areas of their site.

    I hope these references help you.

    Regards, Art.
    Last edited by gr82bart; 01-04-2007 at 11:51 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Visit my website at www.ArtLiem.com
    or my online portfolios at APUG and ModelMayhem

  3. #13
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Med. Format RF
    Hi All
    Bear in mind that I do not take any offence to any and all comments.
    A comment on another forum was that our old site was much better, I hated it. Same web guy , and if he had his way the new site would be a massaged upgrade of that one. But I really did not like its usefulness for us and our clients.
    What we are trying to do is basically not sell ourselves visually on our site , as well we feel that the site is only for basic price guidelines.
    Our site manager or designer warned me about the pdf issues .
    I am hoping with your comments and those of others on other forums to help make the site easy for use for our clients , as well for us to keep all our info or propaganda in one area.
    I have surfed the web for years and really have not seen to many designs that suit our particular needs.
    Most of other labs that we compete with or are in major centers have a very strong desire for front counter or drop in business.
    Over the last couple of years our work has consisted more of larger projects for photographers and designers and less and less of front counter drop off of one off printing assignments *** damm epsons***
    I really do appreciate all the suggestions and we will be taking notes and moving forward with some of the ideas that you all present.
    My background is not very web based and I will have to pass on all your suggestions to my partner and web guy. Most of what you have said is not technical lingo that I understand but it will definately be passed on.

  4. #14
    percepts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Sceptred Isle
    4x5 Format
    I suspect that what is happenning with your web site is just pure laziness.
    You've started with PDF's because it convenient and you can't be bothered to reproduce the data in your web site. Well I can't be bothered to download all those pdf's, Bye Bye.

  5. #15
    jstraw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Topeka, Kansas
    Multi Format
    So you web guy warned you that your requests amounted to a bad idea...everyone you ask confirms it was a bad idea...and now you're stuck defending it. It's your business and you don't need anyone's permission to have a bad website. It's a battle you get to win. But what have you won? You can express your authoritah or you can have a decent website. What you have now is not a decent website. New visiotrs will not waste their time with it. It may serve a purpose for existing customers or to people that have heard such good things about your business that they deem the inconvenience worth it but it's an impediment to acquiring new busness, not an aid. If I were you, I'd eat humble pie and go back to the drawing board and have a website that served my business interests well. But what do I know.

  6. #16
    Sean's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    New Zealand
    Multi Format
    Blog Entries
    It sounds like you guys need to have a simple content management system installed. This will allow you to keep the look you have but give you the ability to login to any page on the site and update it without having to use web tools or ftp. These content management systems (CMS) also have a "download as pdf" link. This way you get the best of both worlds, each link is instantly viewable, and a pdf can be generated in real time depending on what you've updated.. just my 2c

  7. #17
    juan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    St. Simons Island, Georgia
    Multi Format
    I recently attended a seminar on building web sites for selling art. The one thing that was pounded into us was that sites need to be conventional. One doesn't want a customer to have to guess at where to go or how to go there. Plain and simple.

    I agree with Sean - a good content management system takes care of all of these concerns.

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