Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Website Usability - Personalised Gifts Specialist Make it Personal Launches a New Website


Personalised Gifts website Make it Personal offers gifts such as engraved gifts, wine gifts, personalised mugs and photo frames plus an exclusive range of birthday banners plus personalised gifts for kids including Fifi and the Flowertots and Roary the Racing Car, and has just launched their new website at www.makeitpersonal.co.uk  – offering a perfect opportunity to demonstrate how poor website usability worked against them on the original website and is greatly enhanced on the new.

This is the original home page.

Old MIP 3

Make it Personal were generating reasonable traffic to their website via their SEO program but the conversion rate was very low.  And most were leaving from the home page. 

On looking into the home page usability it wasn’t too difficult to identify the changes that were needed;

  • The site needed to be focused on the mainly female audience, buying gifts for family and friends.
  • The home page was far too busy and confusing – a more simple and clear design was required.
  • The website speed needed improving 
  • The buying path required clarifying
  • The onsite search needed improvement
  • Website security needed to be more obvious 
  • The website lacked a sign-up box to encourage customer communication

Make it Personal decided to go for a redesign and the new site has just launched.  If you compare the usability between the original site and the new you can see clearly the improvements. 

The whole feel of the site is much more modern, clean and attractive, right through from the home page to the check-out pages and it is directed to the gift buying female audience.  The navigation is very clear, helping visitors to find what they’re looking for in just a very few clicks - there’s also a much wider choice of personalised gifts on offer.

Here’s the new home page…

MIP Home Page Banner Area

MIP New website 2

MIP New Website 3

The footer area is beautifully clear, containing all of the social media links, newsletter sign-up, security logos, payment gateways and utilities. 

Make it Personal is now poised to grow in a busy market but one which is full of websites that are not as well designed as this one now is.

The jury’s out of course, as the site has just launched, but there are no inhibitors here against a fast track to higher conversions.

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Friday, 10 August 2012

Email Subject Lines–What are you talking about?

No I don’t mean the type of subject line you put on your newsletters.  I’m talking here about email subject lines for the every-day emails you send out all of the time.

The temptation is, even if you are changing the subject, talking about something completely different, to just click on the last email from your chosen recipient and ignore changing the subject line.  The problem here is that when you want to refer back, to find the email about this particular subject you won’t be able to, because it will have an inaccurate subject line.

To make life easy and clear in this age of ever increasing virtual communication I suggest you look at the subject line of each and every email you send.  Forget being in a hurry, this will pay huge dividends later, trust me, I know these things.  Make sure that your subject line refers exactly to the subject in the body of your email and don’t click and send without doing so.

We all do it, it’s far too easy.  But it’s time to talk specifics.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Mozy Data Backup–Backing Up Into the Cloud

Mozy LogoData backup is something many do automatically, and others (like me until just recently) don’t pay enough attention to because we think ‘it’ll never happen’.

Deciding, as I was about to go away for three weeks, that the time had come to take the plunge, I did some research and decided that data backup service Mozy was going to be my cloud of choice.

Founded in 2005, Mozy has more than 3 million customers and 80,000 business customers backing up 90 petabytes of information to multiple data centres around the globe.  It is backed by VMware and EMC Corporation.

For those of you out there who as I was, and haven’t properly got around to it, I suggest you click on this Mozy link right now.  Firstly it’s very reasonably priced (there are different levels depending on how much space you want) and secondly it couldn’t be easier to set up.  Forget the discs (does anyone do that any more?) and the physical hard drive – you do all of this online.

One of the best features of Mozy to my mind, having got the backup out of the way, and particularly ifstash you, like me, do quite a bit of travelling, is the ability to sync your most active data across multiple computers.  This facility is called Stash

First download the Stash software onto your PC and transfer into it the documents you want to be able to access regularly and from anywhere, those most important to you.  Note that they will move across totally from whatever files they were in previously to Stash and will be held only there.

Then download Stash onto your laptop, iPad or wherever else you want to access them from remotely.  They will be synced constantly.  Every time you make a change it will appear in your Stash document.

You can also access Stash (and Mozy) via any browser.

There are many other backup and sync options out there – this is one I have tried and tested.  It’s simple, and it works.