Daily Archives: June 2, 2011

Softwate Update

Our Shiny New Website

After literally months of planning, arguing, designing, developing and testing we finally went live with our new website yesterday. We really like it, we hope you do to – and we’d really like to hear what you think.

Here’s what the old one looked like:

And here’s the shiny new one (to compare)

Why a new site?

Well the old one had been around since early 2005, and it was really showing it’s age.

To start with it wasn’t very wide, built for a time when screens and resolutions were a bit smaller.

Second, the font was very small, making it hard to read and hard to engage with.

Third, although we had addressed this over time, there were too many unclear demands on the visitors’ eyeballs.

Over the years we’ve added to it and experimented some too. But wholesale change was what it really required.

Why this design?

What we’re trying to do with our homepage is to reduce clutter, make it easy to navigate, and make signing up to a trial as easy as possible. There’s been a general movement in web design towards ‘single action’ pages where the design reduces the choices for users to just 1. In the case of our homepage, it’s all about getting people to sign up to a trial.

Who did it?

The original design was put together by our designer Kevin Man, and it’s been coded up by resident developer Raymond Francis. And our hats are taken off to them for the hard work.

Here’s a picture of the happy couple (Kevin in the left, Ray on the right)

Is it working?

Waaaaaay to early to say at the moment, but take a look at this, a graph of the ‘bounce rate’.

Bounce rate is the percentage of people who leave your website without looking at any more than the first page.

Before the change our bounce rate was around 30%. Now it’s nearer 23%. That’s nearly a 25% improvement. That seems like a pretty good improvement to me! But more importantly, this shows the benefit of having a re-think about the design of your website  too.

There’s still lots of work to do: sorting out the design for the forum for starters!

What’s next?

We’re really working hard to release our blog feature to you as soon as possible. It’s in testing, the feedback has been good, so it really won’t be much longer. Honest.

What do you think?

We would really appreciate your feedback on the design, good or bad, constructive or otherwise. You’ve all got good opinions on what looks good when it comes to the web, and we’d like to hear them!

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