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Geek Culture / Some pointers regarding store website!

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Wolf
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Location: Luxemburg
Posted: 26th Jan 2015 19:20
Hey guys!

I've recently opened a little 3D Model store where you can purchase modelpacks from me and friends for affordable prices, however, I'm not much of an "internet-guy" and am unsure about the design.

I think the template is pretty good but there is also lacking some...well...spark!

I have 4 Packs on there so far and I'm okay with how they are presented but I'm not sure about the homepage yet.
Keep in mind that I do want to keep a "cozy" indie/amateur feel to it rather than ape off a professional website.

If you where to check out the website and you'd like to buy something, what would prevent you from doing so/throw you off? What do you think I could do to make the site feel more pleasant?

I've already asked a webpage-person to take a look at it but input from a larger community is always appreciated!

Synergy-3D


Thanks for looking!

"When I contradict myself, I am telling the truth"
"absurdity has become necessity"
JLMoondog
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Posted: 26th Jan 2015 19:52
Looks great on mobile. very clean and fast. I like it how it is.

BatVink
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Posted: 26th Jan 2015 20:14
Looks good. You have broken the first rule of web design though...

Nobody cares about a welcome message or who you are. It's sad but true.

Fill that first, precious space with what you are selling. Demote the welcome and who you are to the About page. If people can't tell what you are doing from the home page, then you need to rethink the content.

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur
Happy Cheesecake
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Posted: 27th Jan 2015 01:58
BatVink makes a good point, I never knew how true it was until I saw it written out.

I like it a lot though, the design is very clean and functional. I think it'll look even better once you fill it with more content. The best part about going to sites like these are being able to flip through pages of content staring at all the shiny pretty things. 'Course you're obviously not asking about that and you're obviously going to develop more content over time, so just sort of ignore what I'm saying in terms of feedback.
Ortu
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Posted: 27th Jan 2015 07:17
Hey man, good luck with this!

Some thoughts, in no particular order:

The featured products block makes me think those are the only two products currently available, it took a while to notice and then think to click on the text link 'Catalog' up at the top. Stick something in the featured block which indicates that there is more to see and links to the full catalog.

It is a bit confusing to match the triangle counts from the text based list of contents to the actual models in the preview images. It's hard to tell what goes to what. Some wireframes would be nice as well.

The preview images on the left side when viewing a product a too small, and often the models are dark on a brighter background, the moody scenes are nice, but it is difficult to pick out much detail. Maybe add a larger light box which can be shown when clicking to enlarge a preview image.

For me, it is the realtime renders down at the bottom that will sell a pack, rather than the assembled scenes, but they are so far down the page they may not always be seen, is there a reason these are not included in the thumbnail previews on the left side?

The EULA should probably be under 'About Us' or even it's own 'Terms' or 'Licensing' section rather than the blog. It isn't really news and it will get pushed down out of sight as more posts are added.

Got a 404 page not found when attempting to subscribe to the newsletter, looks like nothing has been set to the form's action field. You may want to just hide this form block until you are ready to handle the submissions.

The cloud background distracts somewhat from the content, maybe desaturate it a bit, 50% looks pretty good.

None of the models in the rotating hero banner appear to be for sale!

MrValentine
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Posted: 27th Jan 2015 14:53
Why do images link to the images and not replace the preview space?

Are you using something from a third party for them? I block all third party content so maybe use a light box instead?

Quote: "
Pack License

The content of this pack can be used royalty free in your projects. No further payments are required. Use in videogames, movies, books, artwork. No resale as a pack or individual models. It would be nice to put Synergy-3D in your credits altough this is not necessary.
"


I love the verbosity! much needed on other sites, lacking far too much! but check that spelling

Quote: "
•>> Hallway Construction set (4 parts) - Highest LOD: 1574 Triangles // 2048x1024 Diffuse<<
"


I think you don't need the arrows to indicate multiple unit pieces, just keep the bracketed context and it will be fine, maybe group them at the bottom of the list instead?

Quote: "
All Models come in .X, .OBJ, .FBX and .ms3d Format! (see below for description) (additional formats can be requested)

•Textures Included: Diffuse, Normal and Specular maps in .dds and .png format. (additional formats can be requested)

•A total of 24 Model files (including variations)
•Included are FPSCReloaded ready .fpe files
"


Don't italicise the whole thing, it hurts the eyes...

Reference link for the above http://www.synergy-3d.com/products/dephts-of-rlyeh-fantasy-3d-modelpack

A problem with the cart:



Prices are a bit steep, but maybe we need to see some video [in-game] footage of the models in action to justify the cost? [hint hint]

Keeping track of this... perhaps you can post new additions to this thread to keep the forum updated?

Wolf
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Posted: 28th Jan 2015 00:09 Edited at: 29th Jan 2015 21:33
Hi!

There is a lot of really solid advice here. I'll be implementing as much as I can tomorrow and also reply individually. Thanks a lot to all of you for taking the time to write that out.

Edit: I didn't make it, sorry! I'll be updating this once I'm back from switzerland.



-Wolf

"When I contradict myself, I am telling the truth"
"absurdity has become necessity"
Wolf
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Posted: 14th Feb 2015 19:36 Edited at: 16th Feb 2015 20:36
@josh:
Quote: "Looks great on mobile. very clean and fast. I like it how it is.
"


Thanks Moony! Good to hear from a fellow 3D person

@BatVink & Cheese Cake:

I never realised how true that was either...so I removed it and replaced it with direct links to content below the featured products. (yet I thought the first rule of web-design was not having some kind of music player.)

Quote: "The best part about going to sites like these are being able to flip through pages of content staring at all the shiny pretty things"


I'm working on it ..as you said, but you are right of course.

@Ortu:

Quote: "Hey man, good luck with this!"


Thank you!

Quote: "The featured products block makes me think those are the only two products currently available, it took a while to notice and then think to click on the text link 'Catalog' up at the top. Stick something in the featured block which indicates that there is more to see and links to the full catalog."


Very true! I added a direct link below the featured content and the first hero-banner now links to the catalog aswell.

Quote: "It is a bit confusing to match the triangle counts from the text based list of contents to the actual models in the preview images. It's hard to tell what goes to what. Some wireframes would be nice as well."


Wireframes are a good idea! I'll add them to some future packs as they are not only useful to see how the models are constructed but also just plain look cool

The polycount is more ment as a general information of how the models are optimised rather than being able to pin point how many polygons go to what specific model. At first I didn't want to write it all out in the first place and while your advice makes sense, linking every element in the lists to a screenshot is too much additional work.

Quote: "The preview images on the left side when viewing a product a too small, and often the models are dark on a brighter background, the moody scenes are nice, but it is difficult to pick out much detail. Maybe add a larger light box which can be shown when clicking to enlarge a preview image."


True! you should be able to zoom them now. Most packs also have renders when you scroll down

Quote: "
For me, it is the realtime renders down at the bottom that will sell a pack, rather than the assembled scenes, but they are so far down the page they may not always be seen, is there a reason these are not included in the thumbnail previews on the left side?"


Cluttering at first. I'll however mix them for future and some current packs! Glad to hear the realtime renders find interest!

Quote: "
The EULA should probably be under 'About Us' or even it's own 'Terms' or 'Licensing' section rather than the blog. It isn't really news and it will get pushed down out of sight as more posts are added."


I'll give it its own page later! What I changed so far is that there are more visible links to it now.

Quote: "Got a 404 page not found when attempting to subscribe to the newsletter, looks like nothing has been set to the form's action field. You may want to just hide this form block until you are ready to handle the submissions."


Thanks for spotting that! Removed.

Quote: "The cloud background distracts somewhat from the content, maybe desaturate it a bit, 50% looks pretty good."


Here I must disagree...I like the more colorful look.

Quote: "None of the models in the rotating hero banner appear to be for sale!"


Thats pretty bad! I changed that of course.

@MrValentine:
Quote: "Why do images link to the images and not replace the preview space?

Are you using something from a third party for them? I block all third party content so maybe use a light box instead?"


I must admit, I don't know what you mean. The images I have on the site work fine and rather standart for me. They don't link to anything. The renders are usually linked from my old blog (wordpress) and don't link anywhere either. I'm probably misunderstanding though.

Quote: "
I love the verbosity! much needed on other sites, lacking far too much! but check that spelling "


Thank you I proofread most of the content on the site. I realize that occasionally my phrasing is odd but often am unable to put a finger on what exactly makes it that way though

Quote: "I think you don't need the arrows to indicate multiple unit pieces, just keep the bracketed context and it will be fine, maybe group them at the bottom of the list instead?"


True! It looks more like something is wrong with the pack than anything else. I'll just stick to regular formatting for grouped entries in the lists.

Quote: "Don't italicise the whole thing, it hurts the eyes..."


Okay!

Quote: "A problem with the cart:
"


I was looking at the visual theme editor to fix this and didn't see any possible way to fix it...then I checked the code and didn't find one either. I'll give this another whirl soon though.

Quote: "Prices are a bit steep, but maybe we need to see some video [in-game] footage of the models in action to justify the cost? [hint hint]"


I checked the market and...man! In-Engine stores and other sites draged the value of modelpacks down a lot in the last 2 years. I lowered my prices a little and find them okay for now.

About the videos: Yes, I don't like making them and yes they really boost the attractiveness of a product. My latest 2 packs have videos now Its just very timeconsuming to make.

Quote: "Keeping track of this... perhaps you can post new additions to this thread to keep the forum updated?"


I'm thankful for the interest! There is a new, large pack that will be available very soon and I'll keep you folks up to date!

For now, I thank all of you for your input, it made me change quite a few things on the store for the better.



-Wolf

&quot;When I contradict myself, I am telling the truth&quot;
&quot;absurdity has become necessity&quot;
Dark Java Dude 64
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Posted: 15th Feb 2015 00:53 Edited at: 15th Feb 2015 03:39
Quote: "Here I must disagree...I like the more colorful look."
Colorfulness is great, but the background is probably not the place for it. Backgrounds look best when they are solid colors or lightly textured, but high saturation images don't look so great. If you want color, put that in other places such as text or images. That's tricky, of course, because you don't want the text to be too colorful.

All said, I do think your site looks nice in general.

Clonkex
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Posted: 15th Feb 2015 02:18 Edited at: 15th Feb 2015 03:46
Quote: "That's tricky"


Everything about web design is tricky. Wolf is doing well just getting as far as he has already!

Dark Java Dude 64
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Posted: 15th Feb 2015 03:41
Quote: "Everything about web design is tricky."
It is! I just had plenty of experience with that, designing an entire website over the past couple months. My biggest troubles were getting the colors right, as it's sooo easy to be either too colorful (even with just one color or hue), which makes the site overwhelming, or too bland, which makes the site appear cold and boring.

MrValentine
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Posted: 16th Feb 2015 01:30
Quote: "@MrHandy: "


!? What?

Clonkex
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Posted: 16th Feb 2015 05:46
MrValentine
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Posted: 16th Feb 2015 14:01
My Name and Avatar are longer and unique...

Quik
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Posted: 16th Feb 2015 15:36
Dunno about unique, but longer for sure



Whose eyes are those eyes?
Wolf
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Posted: 16th Feb 2015 20:40
Quote: "Colorfulness is great, but the background is probably not the place for it. Backgrounds look best when they are solid colors or lightly textured, but high saturation images don't look so great"


I desaturate the image a little on my next do over of the site and see if it really looks better.

Quote: "Everything about web design is tricky. Wolf is doing well just getting as far as he has already!"


Thank you! I find it mostly joyless and time consuming. However, having a certain aesthetic is necessary for a shop like this. Can't just cook up a basic html page in libre-office

Quote: "!? What?"


Sorry! Now how did that happen... o.O



-Wolf

&quot;When I contradict myself, I am telling the truth&quot;
&quot;absurdity has become necessity&quot;
Clonkex
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Posted: 17th Feb 2015 00:38
Quote: "My Name and Avatar are longer and unique..."


Don't think much of it, it's just how human brains work. Even with the most greatest of differences we can still get totally mixed up

MrValentine
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Posted: 17th Feb 2015 01:37 Edited at: 17th Feb 2015 02:06
A bit like T---e w-s o--e a p----e t--t h-d n--e p-----s ?

Clonkex
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Posted: 17th Feb 2015 01:44
MrValentine
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Posted: 17th Feb 2015 02:06
Corrected

Indicium
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Posted: 17th Feb 2015 02:37
I can't read that.
MrValentine
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Posted: 17th Feb 2015 02:41
Last word is Puppies, should be a big enough clue... If not then never mind

Clonkex
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MrValentine
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Posted: 17th Feb 2015 04:13
We studied this stuff as part of English in high school, but then again I went to an ex Grammar school that had stigmas >.<

Don't worry if you cannot read it it is nothing special...

Hangman is a fun game too...

Cannot sleep, makes me cryptic in speech and that dinner tomorrow with a live band should be enjoyable

MrValentine
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Posted: 17th Feb 2015 04:16
Any way back on topic and apologies for double posting, Wolf PM me I might be able to give you some presentation code that can help spruce things up a bit...

Wolf
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Posted: 18th Feb 2015 17:36
Quote: "Cannot sleep, makes me cryptic in speech and that dinner tomorrow with a live band should be enjoyable"


Its certainly a lot less questionable than having dinner with a dead band. Anyone? ... no??

Quote: "Any way back on topic and apologies for double posting, Wolf PM me I might be able to give you some presentation code that can help spruce things up a bit..."


Alright! I admit that with the changes already done to the site I'm happy with it but I'm intrigued to see what you've got!



-Wolf

&quot;When I contradict myself, I am telling the truth&quot;
&quot;absurdity has become necessity&quot;
MrValentine
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Posted: 19th Feb 2015 01:14
[PRIVATE MESSAGE ALERT NOTIFICATION]
Wolf, you have 1 new message
[/PRIVATE MESSAGE ALERT NOTIFICATION]

Chris Tate
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Posted: 20th Feb 2015 09:07 Edited at: 20th Feb 2015 09:17
Here's my two cents...

I think overall the design is interesting. Keep up the great work, and I hope you find lots of customers. I might need some models for a FPS project of mine quite soon and have bookmarked your site.

If I had to think of two things I would get rid of are the inharmonious colours and the application of serif fonts on the blog (Calisto MT","Bookman Old Style",Bookman,"Goudy Old Style",Garamond,"Hoefler Text","Bitstream Charter",Georgia,serif ) should be for the headings, not the body; that will look ******-up on a high resolution monitor. Consider the Skyrim website's usage of serif fonts for headings, and sans serif for the body.

I think the harmonious, non-discordant precense of a good colour composition sends the appropriate message across, the precense of which on a website which offers nice content featuring harmounous colours would do much good.

I would not need to explain what I mean to someone like you Wolf, but for those who do not understand what I am talking about; Adobe Color is a free online tool to use to find which colours should and should not go together; like the Capulets and Montagues.

It was mentioned that the cloudy backdrop should be desaturated or made solid; I would agree. I know you are considering it, but consider also playing around with a slightly more challenging solution which might work if you really like your background image: Make the logo same tonal range as the backdrop, (make the shadows in the logo a similar tone to the shadows in the backdrop). Also try sticking to your average color [RGB 140, 100, 90] in your font; which at the moment is [RGB 215, 195, 116], a tad bit too green/yellow for a beige composition.

Although the colours from the gallery add to the colours on the website which in the end becomes a composition of many many colours which may compete (IE: warm colours advance, cool colours recede, important images should advance; perception of colors are relative; so on and so forth); a good reason why sites like Apple.com feature no colour on their UI is to prevent clashing and make the design easy peasy to work with. But so aslong as the composition as a whole is well managed, you can get away with.

BatVink
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Posted: 20th Feb 2015 09:56
Quote: " Adobe Color is a free online tool to use to find which colours should and should not go together; like the Capulets and Montagues."


As an alternative I like to use Paletton. It's down to personal preference, but I find it easier to viualise and there's an "Examples" button to show it in situe. There's about 5 ways to preview, and you can export CSS, XML, HTML etc.

Quote: "the application of serif fonts on the blog"

I agree, this is considered non-accessible. People with sight problems need non-serif fonts for clarity.

It's starting to take shape nicely!

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur
Chris Tate
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Posted: 20th Feb 2015 18:58 Edited at: 20th Feb 2015 18:58
Quote: "As an alternative I like to use Paletton."


this looks cool; it appears to get you want you are after more quickly. Thanks.

Ortu
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Posted: 20th Feb 2015 19:33
I use paletton as well, it's a nice tool that i definitely recommend

Wolf
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Posted: 23rd Feb 2015 12:45 Edited at: 1st Mar 2015 01:13
This is great advise! The paletton software is also extremely useful when designing videogame menues and texture patterns for packs.

Edit: I now gave the header the same color as the background and desaturated the background.



-Wolf

"If the mods didn’t see it, I didn’t do it!" - Rick Bamber

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