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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

Web Site Launch

Hi everyone,

I'd be very grateful if anyone can spare a minute to critique my new(ish) web site: www.seareachsystems.com

Thanks in advance.
Guy Send private email
Thursday, May 09, 2013
How ar eyou planning to sell? looks like it would provide value.
Bring back anon Send private email
Thursday, May 09, 2013
It looks very basic and dated, which may be appropriate in a more conservative market.

I'm not really clear what you are selling or how it would work, so a page about "How it works" would be good (unless it is because I lack domain knowledge and it is obvious to people in the industry).
Scorpio Send private email
Friday, May 10, 2013
Hi Guy, this page:
should be part of the main nav bar (at least).

Actually, I would even suggest this content to be re-embedded into your homepage. Or even better, turn your PDF http://www.seareachsystems.com/docs/AIS%20Chronicle%20Brochure%20Iss%201R.pdf into an homepage.

I suggest not to expect visitors to ever open the PDF. Most of them won't be bothered in doing so.

For a niche market like your's, I believe it's OK to have a long detailed homepage with most of the content directly on it.

My 2cts,
I do not think your site look is "dated" or "basic". You are not selling your product to teen users. The look is just fine for your niche audience and the message is clear and effective even for a dummy reader like me.

I agree with Joannes: you shall move the content of your PDFs online. It is not just a question of opening them (chrome, for example opens PDF like a link), but of navigation and marketing: you shall know what your visitors look at and how long. But I would not not use long pages but sub-topics instead. Again the point is not navigation, but knowing what your visitors do.

As an alternative you can use slidng pages with JQuery (I see you already use it). By the way I also see you use GA. I would add Woopra to look step by step visitors in real time (it is free too) and - considering your niche market - why not revert their IP and make a cold call...

Also you are missing a "call to action", at least a phone to call or a form to capture contact information (there are better alternatives and I pretend to write an article on it - email me if you wish to be notified). Initially a "Call us ..." is just fine.
Franco Graziosi Send private email
Friday, May 10, 2013
Thanks for posting a site that solves a problem I never knew existed. Looks like a very nichey but interesting product. TIL there is such a thing as an International Cable Protection Committee!

I think the site looks professional and solid; I couldn't spot any issues with it. It's not particularly flashy but I think that's OK, with this sort of thing, that would likely detract.

Here are a few fairly superficial comments:

1. Until one "gets" your company name, your URL looks like a misspelling of "search". Maybe it should have a hyphen, though, hyphens in URL's are kind of strange also.

2. All the birds in the boat picture makes it look untidy (in an otherwise pretty pristine page).

3. Your page left me wondering what "AIS" stands for.

4. I have no clue what your product costs.

5. The "download PC software" link doesn't seem to do anything, is it supposed to be a trial or something?

6. I find it slightly annoying when a site wants me to click a PDF brochure link. If it's worth saying, say it in the site, don't make me read a PDF. (I realize that's probably where you answer some of my questions).

7. On the other hand, I really appreciate it when sites link to their manuals the way you do. I reserve my disdain for PDF for sales / brochure-type documents only.

Good luck!
GregT Send private email
Friday, May 10, 2013
@ Scorpio  "It looks very basic and dated"

C'mon the man is dealing with submarines there don't you see?!
He is in serious 'waters' not like many of us in trifle things...
"Basic and outdated..."  what a nerve...
alexandar Send private email
Friday, May 10, 2013
I've seen a lot of replies from Scorpio where she says the site looks dated (including mine when I had one).  Can we please see your own web site, Scorpio, so we have something to compare against?
Harry Phace Send private email
Friday, May 10, 2013
If you quoted the whole remark, then you'd see that you took me out of context, as I went on to say that may be appropriate in the kind of conservative environment that we are discussing.

Actually, I did write a suite of software for a submarine when I was a student, as I have posted about here in the past. It was for a Royal Navy nuclear submarine, to monitor certain classified aspects of the main steam line from the reactor. I seem to remember those Navy guys were quite happy with the modern look I gave them, but YMMV.
Scorpio Send private email
Saturday, May 11, 2013
@Harry Phace
I will update the link in my sig once I launch my new startup. Not sure many people around here will like it though ;-)

To be fair, I have given positive feedback too, where a site and/or product looks good and when it looks bad, other people say so too. If it was me, I'd want honest opinions and I'm secure enough to know that I can't please everyone. As always, IMHO, YMMV, etc.
Scorpio Send private email
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Thanks to everyone that has provided feedback, it's much appreciated.  We've already implemented some of the suggestions.

BTW, our product has nothing to do with submarines (watercraft), it's a system for  protecting submarine *cable*, that is, undersea telecomunications cables.  Lots of info here in case anyone is interested:  http://www.iscpc.org/

Thanks again.
Guy Send private email
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Scorpio, yes, you've given positive too; I apologise for not mentioning that.  But you *do* have a lot of "dated" responses, you must admit.  :)
Harry Phace Send private email
Saturday, May 11, 2013
It is true that I give good and bad feedback, when asked. It is also true that not everyone agrees with me. However, if you think I've been unfair in any feedback, good or bad, then I hope you'll let me know. I'm just trying to keep it real. Have a great day.
Scorpio Send private email
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Oh, the page is a bit simple, i think you can add more sections to it, for example, add a section related to your clients comments and cooperation, and some big news or upgrade of your system, etc..
Make your homepage more attractive.
Here is my one-man business site - http://www.ilikemall.com , hope it can give you some tip, of course, i still need to improve my site's design.
siber james Send private email
Monday, May 27, 2013

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