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Bingo Card Creator

I launched

So I finally pulled the lever and its out there - very much a soft launch in that I'm holding back the main advertising for another week or so, until I'm confident that everything is running smoothly.
Anyway - any and all feedback welcomed. There's a heap of docs up on the site now, and demo data that installs with the app so you don't need a boat to have a play :)
cheers,
matt
Matthew Fender Send private email
Friday, January 25, 2013
 
 
Good luck!

First page should make it clear what type of app this is. I assumed it is a web app till I clicked 'try now' button and found out it was a Windows app.
Nick Moore Send private email
Friday, January 25, 2013
 
 
One other comment. Clicking a "Try it now for free" button should not lead to a "Buy it now" page. I know I can scroll down to the download part, but really it should be the main item.

Also you don't specify prominently on the download page about the terms of the download. Free trial? If so how long? Or do I have to pay first?

This info might be on the site, I don't know. But it wasn't clear to me in the first 10 seconds.
Nick Moore Send private email
Friday, January 25, 2013
 
 
Instead of doing a slideshow for the main page, I'd pick your biggest benefit and tout that.  The three sections underneath kind of do that, but they're pretty weak on the benefits side of things.

I'm no fisherman, but "underwater mapping" definitely isn't a benefit.  Why does a fisherman want underwater mapping? Will it make my life better? Tell me how! :)

Just my two bits from a 30s first pass.
Jesse Mecham Send private email
Friday, January 25, 2013
 
 
Yeah thanks for the feedback guys.

The mapping is the main feature of the app - knowing the structure of the sea or lake bed gives a lot of insight into where the best places to fish might be, and the level of detail you can get from creating your own maps far exceeds anything you can get on commercial navigation charts etc.

But - you are right, I need to focus more on the benefits than the features. I'll refine it as I go but for now I'm happy just to get it out there.

cheers,
matt
Matthew Fender Send private email
Friday, January 25, 2013
 
 
I've always wanted something like this. I can't wait until summer to give it a try!

There's not a ton of structure here in Lake Michigan, but there's enough contour to desire some maps!
Mike Dixon Send private email
Saturday, January 26, 2013
 
 
cool - hope you try it Mike. Sometimes the less structure there is, the more important it is to understand what is there. It would be great if you could d/l the app and give some feedback - there is demo data included. You can always email for a trial extension when boating season comes round.
Any comments on the website layout/docs layout etc?
You've also got me thinking about the seasonal thing now. The US is the biggest potential market but I can;t imagine there's a lot of boating going on in most states right now. If d/l now and run out the trial, they may not be able to try it when they need it. Of course I'm in Australia and its the middle of summer :)
matt
Matthew Fender Send private email
Saturday, January 26, 2013
 
 
> comments on the website layout/docs layout etc?

On the system requirements page, it would be nice if there was a little more information on what GPS/Sounder units are supported, or how to find out what specific track data format they might need. I have a nice Humminbird 937 unit from about 2007, but I have no idea if it outputs depth with its tracks.

I think your "How To" pages are really good for both showing how to do stuff and what the software can do.

I'm the type of person that really likes to see screenshots, and you have plenty of those.

Overall, I think the site is very good. I think the only thing it's really missing is a small intro video.
Mike Dixon Send private email
Monday, January 28, 2013
 
 
Hi Mike,
Thanks again for the feedback.
I agree with you absolutely on the supported units - its a tough one, because there are so many out there and I simply have no way of getting the information for a lot of them. Pretty much any 'bird with a card slot will be fine - 99.99% all 9 series will be cool (I have a 997 which I do a lot of my testing with).
I am currently working on the video, I agree I need to show the app.
The "launch" so far has been a very soft one, just a couple of very small forums I frequent down under, but even with just a couple of hundred visitors its noticeable how hard it is to get people to commit to a download/trial - < 10% of quite targeted traffic so far. I think the vid would help a lot in that regard.
If you haven't done so already it would be great if you could try the app yourself - you can always get another trial if you want ;)
Also - I have updated the site as per Nick and Jesse, above, and tried to address most of their points. I still need to do more on the sell I think.
cheers,
matt
Matthew Fender Send private email
Monday, January 28, 2013
 
 
Congratulations on launching, Matthew. Your app looks cool.

A couple of things you should look at:

1. Your site loads slow. Particularly the images. I'm not sure if this is a result of the type of server you're running on (i.e. "shared" GoDaddy-style server vs. a VPN or dedicated server) or whether it's because your servers are housed in Australia and this is just the time it takes data to travel around the globe to the East coast of America. If it's the latter then you might try a CDN.

I see you're on BizSpark. I'm fairly sure Microsoft has free Azure hosting for BizSpark users. You might want to give them a shot. I don't know if it will be an improvement or not, but it's worth a shot.


2. The dropdown menus are hard to read. Get rid of the alpha-transparency on the background. Also, make the contrast better (grey on black is hard to read). White on black (or, even better, black on white) is much easier to read.



Overall it's a good start (a hell of a lot better than us when we started). If I had a boat, or knew how to fish, I'd definitely give your app a try.
Wyatt O'Day Send private email
Monday, January 28, 2013
 
 
thanks for the feedback Wyatt - I have wondered about the site speed in other countries - the images and pages are hosted here in Aus. It got a reasonable (I think?) score of 79 in the Google page speed test, but I am planning to cache the images on Amazon CDN. I have the app binaries and documentation pdfs on Azure, but it doesn't support pull caching, its a lot easier for me to get an account with Amazon and a simple Joomla plugin to do the whole thing out of the box - I'll get on it.
I'll have a look at the menus as well, although I'm not sure the template I'm using allows a lot of flexibility there, and I'm a total noob at websites.
Incidentally I am using LimeLM for the licensing :)
cheers,
matt
Matthew Fender Send private email
Monday, January 28, 2013
 
 
I downloaded the install (which, by the way, needs a better name than "setup.exe"), but I aborted with the .NET 4 install. I don't want that on this machine right now, so I'll have to do it later when I'm on another machine. Yes, I detest the .NET runtime, but that's another topic.
Mike Dixon Send private email
Monday, January 28, 2013
 
 
@Mike Dixon - that's a shame, I hope you are not typical.

For reasons too tedious to go into right now, I ended up needing the full framework and not just the client profile, which most probably already have installed (and is a lot smaller if they don't). Maybe its something I could rethink - the tedious reasons are to do with some open file/folder dialogs, so they are also actually rather trivial. Maybe the benefit is being outweighed..
Matthew Fender Send private email
Monday, January 28, 2013
 
 
well I just set up a Cloudfront distribution and configured my site to use it for all the images css and js files - and my page speed score fell from 79 to 78. D'oh!
Matthew Fender Send private email
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
 
 
>> "Incidentally I am using LimeLM for the licensing :)"

Great, I hope you like it. If you ever have any questions just shoot me an email.



>> "well I just set up a Cloudfront distribution and configured my site to use it for all the images css and js files - and my page speed score fell from 79 to 78. D'oh!"


Things improved here, but the problem is ultimately the server you're running on. Here's the results from the "Network Inspector" in Google Chrome:

http://i.imgur.com/C7N0ea4.png?1


All of the images are delivered super fast. The slow part of your website is the script processing (notice the long horizontal lines in the image -- those are your scripts). You can do a few things to fix that:

1. Install / Enable APC cache on your PHP server.

2. I presume you're using some sort of CRM system like Wordpress or Drupal. Use one of the many "static file cache" plugins for these systems. That is, instead of your server doing the hard work of generating the page on every request, your server will instead generate the page once, then deliver that cached page for every new hit to your website.


Those 2 things alone will dramatically improve your performance. The problem might also be the weak hardware you're running your servers on. If your performance is still suffering after enabling opcode and static file caching, and if you're on a shared host, then you might want to get off of it.


There are other things you can do to debug and then improve your site performance. Here's a pretty good starting place:

http://developer.yahoo.com/performance/rules.html
Wyatt O'Day Send private email
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
 
 
Thanks Wyatt,
grappling with it now - all new to web stuff and the plethora of different cache options, plugins, server config options etc I have which all seem to do different things - its confusing. I did manage to find an 'gzip everything' option in my cPanel and noticed one other major furphy, which is that all my images were pngs - just changed them all - or most of them at least - to jpgs and halved the size.
cheers,
matt
Matthew Fender Send private email
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
 
 
Well done!  You've joined an elite band of entrepreneurs and actually created a product and launched it.

That is no small achievement, it takes a wide range of skills, dedication and shouldn't be underestimated.

Most people don't get past the "talking about it" phase.

Have yourself a beer to celebrate ...... and then get on with your marketing strategy!

I'm looking forward to your next post entitled

"My First Sale!"
TomTomAgain Send private email
Thursday, January 31, 2013
 
 

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