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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

Site Review Request

I'll just launched a new version of 3D Box Shot Pro. The site has grown over the years, so it will take me a long time to develop an entirely new site to promote the product. As a result I've tried to update the existing site to promote the new features of the product. There is still a lot of legacy material on the site from the last version and one of my concerns is the impression this creates.

I'm trying to move the product away from purely being a tool to create box shots and other virtual packing to appeal to a broader market. I.E. anyone who needs to incorporate 3D in a design for print or the web.

Any feedback you can offer would be most appreciated:

Andrew Gibson Send private email
Monday, October 14, 2013
I found the amount of text on the site to be a bit overwhelming. There's loads of it and it uses a small font. It is ironic that you use so much text to attempt to sell the benefits of a graphic.

The design seems quite dated, so I'd prefer to see a modern home page, with some nice examples, a few bullet-points and a call to action.
Scorpio Send private email
Monday, October 14, 2013
One question: you seem very focused on software box shots. Aren't e-book cover shots potentially a bigger market for you now whereas software is declining (SaaS becoming more popular etc)?

If you do go after that market bullet points like "Hardware Accelerated OpenGL 3D Graphics" seem more like a negative than a positive (confusing to non-tech people). Even for software people I'd be more inclined to stress easy of use and the quality of the output first.

I'd show some large examples of super-sexy books / software boxes and a 1 min video showing exactly how easy it was to create them first, talking about OpenGL on the home page seems like filler to me.

Also on the "Hardware Accelerated OpenGL 3D Graphics" thing, when I go to download and see I have to make a choice on that it rings alarm bells. I can see myself being caught up in a load of graphics driver drudgery and crashes. Probably not true but it's what thad makes me feel. Is there no way to package both and auto-detect on install?

I also wonder how many of your visitors aren't looking for software but just want the end product? I'd look at adding a well defined service to your lineup, e.g.:

$49 for the software
$149 for a design consultation by email and three revisions. You can use stock art to fill the blanks in production so I don't think you'd have to be a super-designer to provide this service.

Remember you're the person who made the software. It should be believable that you're the best person in the world to make a box shot. $149 may actually be a low ball for the perceived value you could provide.


Having written the above I looked around the site some more. I see you can also do lot's of other types of models. There may be an argument here for doing something like Collectorz.com does & having multiple different products, or at least multiple different sales sites focusing on the various things you can do.

For instance I see these three things as quite valuable:

- Software box shots
- iPhone shots
- eBook shots

But... the buyer for each one isn't interested in the others. You have 3 seconds to grab their attention, I'm not sure if you can achieve that if you're selling so many use cases to them at once.

You could see which of these things people are searching for using the adwords keywords tool. Just remember they may not be using the same keywords you imagine to search for your product(s), you'll need to get creative.
Jonathan Matthews Send private email
Monday, October 14, 2013
+1 to Jonathan for great feedback.

Additional thought, prompted by what Jonathan said: Why is this even a download? It is 2013, not 1993, so this would be better as an online solution.

I get that it would require a total pivot, but I wonder if you'd get more customers/revenue if you could do a one-off design for say $9.99? Most customers probably only want to do one thing, so having to buy, download, install and learn a new piece of software is very inefficient.

Much better for you to have a website where you have several "starter projects" and templates, the client selects or uploads their graphics, creates text, customising their project, then you provide the full artwork, in various sizes and formats after they pay their one off fee.
Scorpio Send private email
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
> Additional thought, prompted by what Jonathan said:
> Why is this even a download? It is 2013, not 1993, so
> this would be better as an online solution.

When should one say, "This would be better as an online solution"?  Is your attitude that if the software does something "relatively simple" (like produce a box shot...although I agree there may be much behind it), then it should automatically be an online service?
Racky Send private email
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Many thanks for the time and effort put into the feedback so far.  I do very much appreciated it. The issue with 3D Box Shot Pro, is that it has grown into far more than just a program for making 3D Box Shots. It can basically render any .3DS file (supporting up to 16 per scene). As a result it can be used to create a 3d representations of more or less anything.

For example, all of the graphics on this page were generated in the software:

I'm not at all convinced that the desktop is dead, as this software does still sell steadily, but like everyone else we could do with more sales volume!

I think I need to bit the bullet and crack on with a new modern website that does a better job to showcasing what the software can do in way that makes it easier to understand it's potential.
Andrew Gibson Send private email
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
No, that's not at all what I meant. I just thought that this is the kind of thing that most potential customers would want on an ad hoc basis, so paying a small one-off fee for a one-shot deal would be more attractive than paying for the software.

Lots of customers paying $9.99 may add up to much more revenue than a few paying full price. Also, if the website guided the user and limited their choices, as you'd expect, it would likely reduce support costs and allow new features to be added much more easily.
Scorpio Send private email
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Yes, a new website would be good.

I'm not saying you should abandon your desktop product. Rather that a web-based one-shot deal might be worth investigating. I believe it was Steve Jobs who said "If you don't cannibalise yourself, someone else will."
Scorpio Send private email
Wednesday, October 16, 2013

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