I would love to have a website critique
Paula M Horlick President/CEO Bella Vista, Arkansas 72714 http://ww.thevintagescarf.com
1) Ditch the loud music player -- it scared the socks off me. I was in my office training a new telemarketer and while she was going over some of our training materials, I took a peak at your site and I didn't realize the speakers were up to the highest setting... I think it scared her even. I immediately shut your site down and said I'd come back later and take a look. Imagine if someone was taking a look at your site from their job -- they'd quickly shut it down...
Keep it simple -- if it doesn't help in closing the sale --- then ditch it. At a minimum, at least allow the visitor the option to turn it on. Don't assume they want to listen to the audio -- don't assume they want to watch the video either. Another thing -- each time I navigate back to your homepage after looking at your other pages, that annoying music starts back up and I have to waste my time turning it off.
2) I'd play around with the order of your navigation... Put the links in the order that makes sense -- if someone lands on your page to see your scarfs, I don't think the first thing they'd want to see if an 'overview' of your company -- followed by your 'biography'...
I'd probably start here: Homepage - Designer Scarves, Solid Scarves, Red, White & Blue Scarves, Floral Print Scarves, etc...(when you start getting traffic to the site, take a look at your statistics software and see the path visitors take when they first land on your site -- based on those stats, arrange the order in which your navigation goes).
The biography and company overview would likely go near the bottom... It's not to say that the biography and company overview isn't important -- it's likely NOT the first thing a person would navigate too. People only care about what's in it for them in the beginning. They want to first make sure they're at the right place and they want to know if you have what they're looking for. Once their bearings are straight and they've scanned your site and looked around and think they might purchase -- then they'll start to look at the other stuff like the 'company overview'.
3) Get real models to wear your scarves... It'll make the presentation soooo much better. After all, people buy with their eyes. I think the mannequins really cheapens your great looking product. Yes, it'll cost more money, but it'll also make you TONS more -- and u could probably charge a little more because of it and still make the sells. (We have a professional photography studio -- if u send us your scarves, we can definitely grab a few models and have them wear your scarves and get some beautiful and breathtaking shots).
I know this could be expensive, but if u can't afford it, at least replace that image you have on the top left with the mannequin and swap it with a photograph of a real person wearing the scarf.
4) Take the time to get a nice header graphic made to go up top...
5) I'd probably change the background pattern of the site. I see where you're going with it... But I think it's too distracting and it's taking the focus away from your scarves. I imagine u could find something less distracting, but just as nice.
6) I'd find another player for that video on the front -- it screams 'amateur'. Those buttons underneath the video literally takes people AWAY from your site if they get distracted and decide they want to make their own video too.
Overall... I think u have a great product and I think you're off to a good start.
I wish you well!
I have to agree with everything that webstudio said, in fact, the music scared me as i was reading his comment about being scared by your website's loud music.
You also have to think about copyright licenses. You can get in trouble for using that music, so maybe have someone or a band to play an original song/bg music for you.
1) As already stated - the music player - not good. If you want to share music, I suggest you add a player that your visitors can click on to hear it, instead of forcing your guests to tolerate noise.
2) Font is important. I'm not sure if it's just on my browser, or if everyone is seeing it the way I am, but that "Courier New" font is the very kind that's used in many low-grade article submission sites. It screams "spam". It should also be a little smaller.
3) Where's the "submit" button under "Sign Up For Exclusive Email Offers And Tips"
4) You can probably get away with merging the "Overview of Company", with the founders biography - it shortens your sidebar link list, as, it's already very long.
5) The blog page is very long. If there's one thing that irks me, it's having to scroll down a mile of content to reach the bottom of a page. You might do better with summary links that you can click to "read more".
That's just my two cents ... otherwise, it's attractive.