A few weeks ago I asked my blog readers to help with design ideas for Martin Reed’s Ilovebluesea.com website. (See the earlier post for the design challenge instructions and to listen to a short interview with Martin).
Many of you wrote in via comments to the blog and through email. (Thank you!) Martin wrote up a summary of the suggestions that you made for the Ilovebluesea.com website:
1. Improve clarity on shipping details – how cost/timeframe/packaging materials all work
2. Improve the competitive advantage content and make more visible on home page – perhaps bold words ‘sustainable’, ‘fresh’ ‘quality’
3. Daily Specials work – leave this alone
4. Move cart to top right of pages
5. Sell the newsletter more
6. Make information on product pages more fun! More visuals such as location or harvest method. Perhaps ‘save’ fish with low bycatch, show how many gallons of water you’ve cleaned by ordering oysters, etc.
7. Increase prominence of FB/twitter/blog – perhaps offer incentives, like discounts, entry in contest, etc for sharing
8. Remove ‘Home’ from heading tabs
9. Try using colors that inspire purchasing behavior, ie orange, red
10. Add categories to home page to start shopping experience
11. Increase content on product pages. Perhaps summarize the links on sustainability.
12. Remove pricing from product titles since it changes
13. Is there a way to graphically represent how we work (ordering, shipping, less middlemen)?
14. Calls to action should be contrasting colors
I got back on with Martin to find out which of these suggestions he was going to implement first. Here’s a short audio interview with him I did this week:
Martin Reed is a tall, young entrepeneur with a passion for fish. I met up with him in San Francisco recently, and we sat down at an outside table at Hog Island Oyster Bar in the Ferry Building. I tried raw oysters for the first time, and Martin told me about sustainable fish, and the company he started to sell sustainable fish through the internet. Martin runs a tight ship (pardon the pun!) — the business on a tight budget (it’s a year old, so it’s still kind of a start-up). He doesn’t have a huge budget for website re-design. He told me he wants to improve the design of the website, but he’s not sure what he should do. Somewhere around the 4th or 5th oyster I had an idea. “Let’s tell your story at my blog and see if my readers will help you imrove your website.” And so that’s what we decided to do.
How you can help:
1. Click on this ilovebluesea link to listen to the 7 minute interview I did with Martin via Skype. We recorded this a few weeks after our San Francisco meeting. He explains how he got the idea for the company, why he’s so passionate about sustainable fish, and he talks about the web site, ILoveBlueSea.com
2. Go look at Martin’s site: ILoveBlueSea.com Spend some time at the home page, category page, and individual product pages.
3. If you have ideas about how Martin can improve the site, write a comment to this blog post, or send me an email with your ideas: email@example.com
4. I’ll compile the ideas and share them at the blog and also with Martin. We’ll even get Martin on Skype again to talk through the suggestions, and I”ll write a follow-up post so we can see what he thinks of our ideas.
So that’s the Design Challenge. I hope you will listen to the recording and send in your ideas!
Disclosure — Martin did say he might send me some oysters in return for attention to his site!