Great concept! I love it! This is the kind of thing that makes the web
really fun. It reminds me of the PostSecret blog, an odd site with a darker
and sometimes sexual tone. Your site is so positive and uplifting!
But I wish the experience itself was as easy to get right into as PostSecret.
I find the layout of your site is a little confusing. The concept is so simple
that I want to be able to "get it" almost immediately.
Here`s what I think you should do. Your homepage should be the letters.
Get people right into seeing what others write. That`s the beauty of your
site, that not only is someone writing a letter of gratitude, but that they
are doing it publicly. Make it more public and take away the "option" of
reading letters. Then you won`t need the sample letters at all. The
samples are the real deal.
Kind of like you have now, keep the "Write a Letter" button big and bold.
The core experience then is seeing other`s letters and the screaming
option to write your own.
Basically, I think your homepage offers way too much clutter and too
many links for such a simple site concept. I`d put the "writing tips" on the
Write a Letter page, and take it off the homepage. People only need that
info if they are interested in writing a letter.
I`d also get rid of the About Us box (top left) and simply have that info on
the About Us page. Reading that info is often a choice of the user. And
quite frankly, I think on a site like this people will want to read that. I`d
also think about changing the title from corporate sounding "About Us" to
something more catchy like "Who`s Miss Ditty?" Then tell your story. :)
Since your homepage will be the Letters page, you still want to tell people
what they are looking at. Currently you have several paragraphs on the
center of the page telling about the site. Great! I think it`s too wordy and
repetitive though. You can pare it down to the essence of giving
gratitude. Anyway, you`ll want to keep this info on the homepage but
instead put it in the sidebar since the letters will be in the middle.
I like that you have categories of letters too. Keep that!
One last thing. You absolutely must get rid of the amateur drawings on
the Write and Read buttons! It gives users a poor impression of your site.
I like the idea of drawings to enhance a text based site but find yourself
an artist. And when you have them redrawn (or just one since I don`t
think you need the Read a Letter button), have the character writing on a
computer. This is not a paper, pen and envelope experience. It is a web
experience. And why is the other guy reading a book? That`s even more
off. You don`t want people thinking they write a letter online and you
actually print, post and snailmail an envelope.
(Hey, that might be an idea for future expansion with possible revenue.
One reason people don`t actually write thank you notes like they should is
the hassle of actually mailing something in this email world. You can
even offer a selection of cards or stationary to choose from. I`m just
Like I said, it is a great idea and I would love to see something like this
become a sensation on the web. The concept has the potential but I think
you really need to nurture the essence to simplify the experience. And
therefore simplifying the look and navigation of the site. It`s a good start.
Keep making it better!!!