* The Business of Software

A former community discussing the business of software, from the smallest shareware operation to Microsoft. A part of Joel on Software.

We're closed, folks!

Links:

» Business of Software FAQ
» The Business of Software Conference (held every fall, usually in Boston)
» Forum guidelines (Please read before posting!)

Moderators:

Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

I launched, please provide feedback

In another thread, Kuzmitskiy "outed" my website to me, so I may as well announce my launch here officially.  :)  You can find it at coalde.com if you can please provide feedback.

In the other post, I said the two products on my site look like clones of each other, but Kuzmitskiy was more concerned that my front page had only 3 graphics and no text, and that I may lose visitors at that point.

In yet another post, Scott and a few others said that if they can't identify me, then they wouldn't buy.  I have tried to combat this by placing my ABN (Australian Business Number) on each page, as well as offering to directly phone any user if email contact fails to help.  I will most likely purchase a PO Box today and also put that on there, too.

When viewing my site, please remember that I am truly a one-man band here with very limited funds.  Everything you see was done myself, from the apps, screenshots, and even using Notepad to build the website.  I have zero money left to spend on someone to help, so don't suggest that.

So, what do you all think?  Be harsh, I can handle it!  :)
Harry Phace Send private email
Sunday, February 10, 2013
 
 
I'd highly recommend showing a screenshot or two of your app in action.  I didn't see an up arrow anywhere -- will yours look exactly like it did previously?  Slightly different but similar?  I don't know (I gave it the page the standard 5 second scan before moving on).
Doug Send private email
Sunday, February 10, 2013
 
 
Pardon me but do people actually make money doing these little utilities? I can imagine so if they have a ton of them to sell that they can bundle.
Bring back anon Send private email
Sunday, February 10, 2013
 
 
Harry, I agree with Doug, for "UpFolder" you should tell that you don't actually add the "Up" button. A full-sized screenshot with little text will help.

And you should make the first page better:
- logo has red underlines explaining the "company" name - do you think customers care about it? Also it looks like 90's style.
- no text on the first page! Looks like the site is under construction.
- there is only 1 screenshot per program, maybe add more?

The software looks good BTW. I tried "UpFolder" and it works except it doesn't want to copy folder path (always says "cannot be copied").
I also see there's a help file included, but how one supposed to open it from within the program?
Kuzmitskiy Dmitry Send private email
Sunday, February 10, 2013
 
 
> "Welcome to coalde.com"

1999 called, they want their idea of a "dot com" sounding high tech back.

This should say "Coalde Software" plus some strap line indicating your company values; e.g. "Must have utilities for Windows", but better than that.

This is a landing page as far as I'm concerned. I often find myself at a product page when I'm surfing and edit the URL to go to the index page to learn about the company. The two warped screenshots do not look good.

Your product pages come across as verbose and a wall of text.

I very nearly missed that the thumbnail images link to guides. OK, that's the Show Me link.
koan Send private email
Sunday, February 10, 2013
 
 
You should at the very least display the application names on the front page along with a very brief description of what they do. The images are too small and blurry - they don't help explain to explain what the apps do either.

There was nothing on that front page that made me want to learn anything about your apps.  That's more important than explaining where the name"coalde" comes from.

Also too much text on the app pages. Add some nice large clear screenshots.

Good luck! :)
Dominic Send private email
Sunday, February 10, 2013
 
 
Harry,
I like the individual application pages fine - they describe the products well enough, and are big and bold and the rest of it. I do agree with others that a screenshot or two wouldn't go amiss.
As far as the front page goes - I'm sorry but I don't like it all. its not clear at all what the page is about - or even that you are trying to sell some software, let alone what type of software. I'm no expect but I'd ditch the current one and make it look more like your application pages - even just include a cut down version of each app page on the front page, and have a more detailed version linked - with the screenshots or whatever. Also, the ctrl-alt-delete is cute but they all go to the same page. Is that deliberate? I just wasted 12 seconds of my life clicking each one in turn.
Good luck!
Matt
Matthew Fender Send private email
Sunday, February 10, 2013
 
 
Thanks for all the responses!  :)

I'm no webmaster (as you can tell).  I'm going to search around for some better website templates instead, and see what looks better.

As for your specific comments, I'll address them here.  Everything I say below is not meant to offend, so don't take it that way.  Like immediately below where I ask "is that not visible" -- that's not being sarcastic or condescending.  Just a serious question.

Anyway, let's go:

* "No text on the first page"
Under both images is the phrase "Please select an application of interest", which infers to click an image.  Is that not visible?

* "More screenshots"
(1) The folder app is GUI-less, so no screenshots are possible for it.
(2) The note app has only one window: what you see in the single screenshot already provided.  So I don't see how "more" can help there?

* "Explain that the folder app doesn't have an up button"
My site does currently say that it brings the *functionality* back, not the actual *button* back.  In fact, I was careful to use the word "functionality" for that very reason, because I knew people might wonder where the button is.  I guess I'll have to spell it out for them.

* "Doesn't copy the path"
Okay... don't know about that.  Works fine on Win 7 and Vista that I tried on.  Specifically, which folder name are you trying to copy?  And are you using the latest version uploaded (v1.02) which did fix "Libraries" folders?  Also, if copying doesn't work, does opening the DOS prompt work for that some folder?  If one works, the other should.

* "Help file included, but how to open?"
The Start menu, like for any installed app?  Is that not the norm anymore?

* "1999 called"
LOL, okay, I get it.  New template will be sought.

* "Too much text"
Say what?  Look at www.bingocardcreator.com and the page is literally more than three times the text of mine!  Why is his okay but mine "too much"?

* "c-a-d all go to the same page"
Yes, they're all meant to link to the "About" page.  New template won't do that, and neither will I have that as a logo anymore.

I'll just call it "Coalde Software" instead.

Thanks for your honest feedback.  :)
Harry Phace Send private email
Monday, February 11, 2013
 
 
@Harry black text on a dark gray background is not visible.
And why would I need to choose an app in the first place? I don't know what your apps do. No idea at all. Two small blurred screenshots doesn't help to figure this out.
For most people it will be easier to just close your web site and go somewhere else.

About screenshots for FolderUp: Windows Explorer window, and a text "Middle click here will move you one level up". This should explain everything.
Kuzmitskiy Dmitry Send private email
Monday, February 11, 2013
 
 
The two blurred shots are just links that take you to their pages.  But never mind, I'm going to redo them all with a new template.

"Windows Explorer window, and a text "Middle click here will move you one level up". This should explain everything."

Are you suggesting I do that, or are you commenting on what's there?  Because what you just said is what already exists there.  So you're saying what I have there is enough to explain everything?
Harry Phace Send private email
Monday, February 11, 2013
 
 
Oh... I just saw the "Show me" link and it has a screenshot there.

So everything is good except for the start page. Perhaps you won't need to change a template, as program pages look good enough.
Kuzmitskiy Dmitry Send private email
Monday, February 11, 2013
 
 
Yeah, the start page is shit.  No other way to describe it.

Do you think I need the virus reports shown above the download links?  Seems a bit paranoid I guess.

And I guess using something like FastSprint for payments would be better than PayPal?  They accept PayPal too, so I guess I should sign up.
Harry Phace Send private email
Monday, February 11, 2013
 
 
Okay, I've redone the start page just slightly, but it's not permanent.  It's all I have time for right now.  Just so it's not so crappy anymore.  I'll add info on what the products do there, too.

I've also gotten rid of the logos that Matthew wasted 12 seconds of his life on.  :)

More changes to come later this week, probably way less text, I'll cull that down to the bare minimum.

Thanks again.
Harry Phace Send private email
Monday, February 11, 2013
 
 
>  Look at www.bingocardcreator.com and the page is literally more than three times the text of mine!  Why is his okay but mine "too much"?

The other page has clear headings and lead in sentences. If you squint you can easily pick out the key points, but on your pages everything is the same.

"You know how it is. You're using some app but keep forgetting how to do something with it. Wouldn't it be great to just press a hotkey to pop up a window of your own custom reminder notes for it?"

I don't find this type of copy persuasive; it sounds like an infomercial. I could probably get this whole page down to about 4 bullet points.

Why two download buttons ?
koan Send private email
Monday, February 11, 2013
 
 
OK, everything is not quite the same, there is a heading. But you have each paragraph in a different colour. I think this is why it's so difficult to pick out key points.
koan Send private email
Monday, February 11, 2013
 
 
"Do you think I need the virus reports shown above the download links?  Seems a bit paranoid I guess."
I don't think it adds credibility. Instead it reminds people of viruses and some of them could go away, just in case... I would remove those.

A new version of start page... well... it's still far from good :)
Kuzmitskiy Dmitry Send private email
Monday, February 11, 2013
 
 
New start page is kind of creepy. If I'd casually come across this I would be hesitant to go any further as it looks rather questionable on whats is going to happen when you go to the page she's pointing at.

I personally wouldn't bother with the virus reports because how is a causal user supposed to even make sense of such a report. If it must be mentioned just a quick line that all downloads have been scanned. Getting past the girl on start page alone wouldn't happen if I was worried about viruses.

I'd combine your Show Me page with the description page. Add some more white space and maybe some bold section headers. Loose the double columns. It's not news print where you are trying to conserve space. Put a download link at top and bottom of page.

Big thing to me. If the download links say Free, what are you buying with through PayPal. Loose the 'while the price is still ridiculously low'.
TrippinOnIT Send private email
Monday, February 11, 2013
 
 
Oh yea, this may be one instance where just a animated gif actually showing the functionality in action may be good.
TrippinOnIT Send private email
Monday, February 11, 2013
 
 
Okay, ditched the index page totally now so it just goes straight to the note app (I consider the folder app a dead cause for now).

Had two download buttons because another thread in these forums said you should have both an setup.exe and setup.zip in case people can't download one or the other at their end.  Should I just have the exe?

I can see now how the PayPal button clashes with the "free download" description.  Will rectify that later this week.

Virus reports will go.  Would probably make people think twice.

Thanks once again for all feedback; I'm sure I'll nail it by this weekend with a new template.  Got one I like now, so we'll see how it goes later.

BTW, this is why I don't let my pages get archived by the Wayback Machine and Google.  ;)
Harry Phace Send private email
Monday, February 11, 2013
 
 
I don't want to go against the wisdom of the other thread, but if I go to download Firefox I can only see one link for downloading a Windows version. Same with Skype.

IMHO one download button would mean less decisions. If you are dead against losing the second download, why not put it underneath in small print ?

Calling your download "setup.exe" seems rather anonymous and unhelpful. Is it a Windows convention that installation packages must all have the same filename ?

How about appnote-setup.exe or AppNote-SetUp.exe ?
koan Send private email
Monday, February 11, 2013
 
 
OK.

So the ABN is a good move, and the details about where you are in general.

The product pages are decent, they seem to indicate what the product does and covers basic information about them. I was suspicious of the claim that customers told you they wanted only one page for app though, it sounds to me like you just didn't want to spend the time putting an interface to have multiple pages of notes and you made up a story about a customer to justify your lack of effort. I'm not saying that's what happened, but as a random person stumbling into this page and not knowing anything about you or the company this is what I would suspect. If it's not really true that you were overwhelmed with customer requests to only have a single page of notes, then I would remove that claim as it stands out as something that's unlikely. Just clarify that there's only one page and don't say it's a feature put in by popular demand.

The C-D-L front page was bad, and I didn't realize it was an explanation of the name until someone here mentioned that. And I even tried to find an explanation of the company name because I didn't know how to pronounce it. I didn't notice the meaning of the red lines, it just looked to me like a weird sloppy underlining job consistent with the rest of the design on that page. The revised front page I guess is a joke so no need to comment on it. Obviously the front page needs to address the suggestions made above.
Scott Send private email
Monday, February 11, 2013
 
 
Hi Scott, I wondered when you'd join in.  :)

Yeah, the ABN and WHOIS search will reveal my true name and location, but no need to repeat it here, please.  If it makes people like you happy, then good.  :)  I will also join FastSpring for those people who hate PayPal with a passion, for that extra added professionalism.  To be honest, the PayPal button is one I found on the web (it said free to use) but it does kind of look cheap.

As for one note per app, it's true, the users I tested with all said they were fine with it and weren't fussed about multiple ones.  It's something I can look into, though, but I really don't see a need.  The purpose of the app is for quick notes, so separating into different pages seems silly.  The app is basically just like launching Notepad, which is one file, but with some basic editing features thrown in.

The home was garbage, and not being a webmaster I really have no idea how to solve it.  The new template I downloaded seems good though, and means I won't really need a home page as such.  The page will just link to everything.

The C-A-D logo is dead and buried, and nowhere to be seen on the site at the moment.  I'll keep the name because I like it, but won't draw attention to what it means anymore, unless possibly asked.

Thanks for chipping in, Scott.  :)

@Koan: I'll remove the zip button for downloading and just use a smaller text link instead.  And BTW, the setup filenames are actually the names of the apps; I just posted "setup.exe" above to save typing their full names.  You didn't check the page, did you?  Sprung!  :)
Harry Phace Send private email
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
 
 
Ah, but the alt text on your download buttons says "Click to download .. as setup.exe".
koan Send private email
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
 
 
Ah, that was just due to keeping it shorthand, so as not to have such a long title showing.  But you're right, you're right... it looks misleading.  I take back that you were sprung.  :)

Tangent:  I'm going to ditch the up folder app totally.  I've been re-doing the site for the last few hours and I really don't want the app on there anymore.  I don't think it's a great loss.
Harry Phace Send private email
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
 
 

This topic is archived. No further replies will be accepted.

Other recent topics Other recent topics
 
Powered by FogBugz