Thoughts on the new Ffordes site?

StephenM

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#1
It seems I have to scroll a long list to pick a maker, then enter keywords. I tried Bronica as maker, and "cameras" as keyword. No matches. Try again with Mamiya. No matches. Swap "lens" for "cameras" and get a slide cutter thrown in.

Possibly better if you're looking for something specific from a maker near the beginning of the alphabet, but a real turn off if, like me, you browse different makers and prefer to separate cameras, lenses and accessories.
 
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Asha

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#3
Just taken a look and done a few searches for different makes / items and tbh I don't find it any more difficult / frustrating than most other sites.

The Shen Hao XPO45 Field Camera caught my eye… GAS alert GAS alert lol

If I was to pay that price for a shen hao, I'd go for the Chamonix 45H-1 tbh
 
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#4
I can see an advantage with the new site, in that it only shows in the menu structure, items for which there are items in stock; whereas the old site had a fixed menu structure but some categories would be empty if there was no stock.
 
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#5
Did you use the oldsite? The sidebars let you get to the main equipment groupings, and could be expanded as required. A few clicks could get me to the right section, and I could see everything on one page if I wanted.

As to the Shen Hao, you can never have too many LF cameras. Spare body for colour, we used to say. OK, that was 35mm but the principle is the same.
 
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#6
My first searches threw up "no items" messages. Leaving me wondering if they really had no Mamiya camera of any type,or my search terms were't correct.
 
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#9
Unless you're after Zeiss....

I've historically used the site to find things like LF lenses or cameras, where brand is relatively unimportant. To see what e.g. 10x8 cameras they have, I now need to look at all the possible brands. I doubt (but haven't checked) that some of the historic brands are in the list. And this presupposes that I actually know all the names. The old site only assumed that I knew a 10x8 camera was large format.

I don't mind being outvoted on this one, and clearly Ffordes think the new site is better. I just won't be browsing it anymore.
 
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#10
It seems I have to scroll a long list to pick a maker, then enter keywords. I tried Bronica as maker, and "cameras" as keyword. No matches. Try again with Mamiya. No matches. Swap "lens" for "cameras" and get a slide cutter thrown in.

Possibly better if you're looking for something specific from a maker near the beginning of the alphabet, but a real turn off if, like me, you browse different makers and prefer to separate cameras, lenses and accessories.
Just checked it out Stephen, and it's certainly a bit of a culture shock. I was at a Ffordes (Olympus sponsored) night on Friday with Tesni Ward, wildlife photographer, and there was no mention of a website change. The Shen Hao issue seems central to it, since there is no obvious attempt to either keep them all together, or else separate them into their different sizes. Not a lot of feedback about the new site on their Facebook page yet, so perhaps feel free to comment?
https://www.facebook.com/ffordespho...387412237647/2264891326887240/?type=3&theater
 

Asha

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#11
To see what e.g. 10x8 cameras they have, I now need to look at all the possible brands
Without selecting a brand, I just typed in 10x8 in the keywords and got results; similarly with typing 5x4

Try doing a search wihout selecting any brand and see if that works better for you
 
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#12
I really like it, much improved over the old site which was very dated and the menus not the easiest to navigate. I like the pictures being included without having to click on the item too.
 
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#13
I've tried to browse using the drop down menu on my tablet (Google chrome) and the links don't work. Instead I have to click and hold the link to bring up the pop up menu (i.e. as if I was to right click with a mouse) which allows me to select 'open in new tab'.

It doesn't seem to work as well for me as the previous site. I guess we shall see how it develops.
 
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#14
Without selecting a brand, I just typed in 10x8 in the keywords and got results; similarly with typing 5x4

Try doing a search wihout selecting any brand and see if that works better for you
I just tried "Bronica film back". When I was last on the old site (no more than a couple of days ago) they had a 35mm film back for an ETRS that had been there for some time.

On a different tack, "nikon f2" and "nikon f3" throws up lots of lenses and no cameras; "nikon f" returns very few items. "nikon f2 camera" gives me a single F2, a leather case, a Nikkormat and a Nikonos. I assume that they only have one F2.

Further than that I won't go. If I really, really need something, I might persevere, as I do with Mr Cad; but browse on the off chance of finding something that I have wanted for some time but not found (and have given up actively looking) - no chance of that. Too much like hard work. Even searching - Google can do that more effectively than I can. So I'll just remove the bookmark.

Someone can let me know if things improve, but I'm out of that site now. Sorry Ffordes - and I bought a couple of things from them only last week. They wouldn't have made the sale this week :confused:
 
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#15
@Peter B Thanks for the idea, but I don't have a Facebook account. I might send them an email.
 
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#16
I've tried to browse using the drop down menu on my tablet (Google chrome) and the links don't work. Instead I have to click and hold the link to bring up the pop up menu (i.e. as if I was to right click with a mouse) which allows me to select 'open in new tab'.

It doesn't seem to work as well for me as the previous site. I guess we shall see how it develops.
Yep same here on the iPad actually. I was browsing it on the computer earlier which worked perfectly. Having some teething problems it seems.
 

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#17
Just had a look, admittedly on my phone, and I’m not that keen. It’s difficult to browse like you could on the old site and the ‘sort by’ option doesn’t seem to work. I’m sure they’ll iron out the bugs but at the moment I’m not impressed.
 
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#18
I liked the old way of just having a line for each product. On the iPad now I only get a maximum of five items because of the product photos and padding.

Also, that brand list! It needs to be made easier to navigate.
 
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#19
Yes, in my opinion the new site does not flow as well as the old did. This could be due to me using my iPad but I had no problems with old site.
 
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#20
It's poor. The old one was better.
Designed by an IT bod, not a photographer.
Fortunately the last of my lenses I had with them sold last week. Couldn't sell them on here for a sensible price.
 

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#22
Yeh, I think the decimal point is in the wrong place, it should be £15,555.90 :)
 

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#23
Actually I didn't like on my tablet but it works fine on the desktop.
 
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#27
I just tried "Bronica film back". When I was last on the old site (no more than a couple of days ago) they had a 35mm film back for an ETRS that had been there for some time.

On a different tack, "nikon f2" and "nikon f3" throws up lots of lenses and no cameras; "nikon f" returns very few items. "nikon f2 camera" gives me a single F2, a leather case, a Nikkormat and a Nikonos. I assume that they only have one F2.

Further than that I won't go. If I really, really need something, I might persevere, as I do with Mr Cad; but browse on the off chance of finding something that I have wanted for some time but not found (and have given up actively looking) - no chance of that. Too much like hard work. Even searching - Google can do that more effectively than I can. So I'll just remove the bookmark.

Someone can let me know if things improve, but I'm out of that site now. Sorry Ffordes - and I bought a couple of things from them only last week. They wouldn't have made the sale this week :confused:
Alister from Ffordes here, Really Sorry to hear that so many of you don't like the new site, We have gone live a little earlier than expect, so there is still some development within the site to come. The site has mostly been developed by customer feedback over the years, as well as staff and consultants with the industry, The site before which was 15 years old, just didn't allow us to develop with some of the extra features that we have already gone live with, which from feed back was important to our customers : *Higher quality images on Pre-owned with *Zoom magnification facility on both New & Used. *Second Delivery address application, *Email Receipt, *Email conformation of order , *Better listings on Mobile access, *Postal Track link up and more things to come.

We looking for your feedback, so its great to see your feeds and constructive criticisms, which will help us develop the new site, hopefully we can get you all to like it as much as we all liked the previous model. I agree that change is not always for the better but sometimes we have too, there are also new guidelines as a online retailer that we have to adhere to,

I'm very happy to hear your comments please email me direct if you wish, with any screens shots to explain more, I will try and address as many as possible, Ffordes customer are very important to us and we don't want you to go else were because you don't like our site, I'm sure you don't either. There is not many toys shops left, so please lets work together.

StephenM:, I hope you don't mind me replying like this but I would hate for you not to be one of Ffordes customers,

just checking out your comments, are you using mobile phone, Ipad or Computer?,

* Bronica 35 Mag - there is one still listed but that only came in late last year - https://www.ffordes.com/p/SOR-18-013328/accs-bronica-etrsi/135n-mag-e
* Nikon Bodies - (Main Menu) - Film Cameras - (drop down Menu) -35mm- SLR Nikon Manual - Full List comes up :- https://www.ffordes.com/c/303/35mm-slr-nikon-manual
* SHEN HAO - either type in to the search bar or (Main Menu) - Film Cameras - (drop down Menu) -Large format/ Panoramic - (Filter Products) - (brand Filter extended) - Tick Shen Hao Boxes and https://www.ffordes.com/c/486/large-formatpanoramic?p=1&q=486&me=_br&f=br:86&x=br:1

I hope that the help the above helps, please take another look at the site and give it a chance, with your help it will get better.
 
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#29
Actually I didn't like on my tablet but it works fine on the desktop.
Alister From Ffordes here, I hope you don't mind me replying to you but I want to try and get as much feed back as possible Good or bad, as we are developing this new suit for the future, please let me know what was the problems you were having on your tablet, really interested to hear so we can make it easier for everyone what ever media they use , thank you
 

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#31
Alister From Ffordes here, I hope you don't mind me replying to you but I want to try and get as much feed back as possible Good or bad, as we are developing this new suit for the future, please let me know what was the problems you were having on your tablet, really interested to hear so we can make it easier for everyone what ever media they use , thank you
TBH the only problem was opening the main list (the red background with white lettering) it had to be opened in a new window but I've just tried again and it worked fine this time.
I like the new site and even if I didn't I would still use your store as in my opinion your prices are fair, you carry a lot of good quality stock and your customer service is always excellent.
 
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#32
Just taken a look and done a few searches for different makes / items and tbh I don't find it any more difficult / frustrating than most other sites.

The Shen Hao XPO45 Field Camera caught my eye… GAS alert GAS alert lol

If I was to pay that price for a shen hao, I'd go for the Chamonix 45H-1 tbh
Hi Alister from Ffordes, It would be great to get your feedback in reasons why it was frustrating for you to use the menu, maybe I can help or we can make changes together for it to become easier.

I hope this helps you with Shen Hoa - * SHEN HAO - either type in to the search bar or (Main Menu) - Film Cameras - (drop down Menu) -Large format/ Panoramic - (Filter Products) - (brand Filter extended) - Tick Shen Hao Boxes and https://www.ffordes.com/c/486/large-formatpanoramic?p=1&q=486&me=_br&f=br:86&x=br:1
 
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#33
just goes to show the insurance must have paid out for there break in claim
i remember saying that at the time when it was posted
so no damage done no jobs lost no one died everything back to normal
and some nice camera going cheap on the black market
not that i would buy one !:angelic:
 
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#34
Alister From Ffordes - Great to have your Feedback and I hope that we can work with you all to make thinks easier, we have gone live earlier than expect, this is why I never said anything, it was good to get out the shop full of temptation and enjoy someone else photography, sorry never got time to catch up .

I hope that this helps with the Shen Hao location: * SHEN HAO - either type in to the search bar or (Main Menu) - Film Cameras - (drop down Menu) -Large format/ Panoramic - (Filter Products) - (brand Filter extended) - Tick Shen Hao Boxes and https://www.ffordes.com/c/486/large-formatpanoramic?p=1&q=486&me=_br&f=br:86&x=br:1
 
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#35
Alister from Ffordes, this is great feedback just what I'm looking for, It bad that it doesn't work but now you have told me, we will look at getting this sorted, cheers
 
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#36
Alister From Ffordes Here, can you tell me what phone you are using ?, this would really help, thank you again for your feedback
 
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#37
just goes to show the insurance must have paid out for there break in claim
i remember saying that at the time when it was posted
so no damage done no jobs lost no one died everything back to normal
and some nice camera going cheap on the black market
not that i would buy one !:angelic:
Hi Alister from Ffordes., Yes, you are totally right, the most important thing was no one got hurt. The site has been under development for over two years, so the break in was a separate matter, just to update everyone we are still promoting the stolen equipment lists in regions of the world were they may not of heard the news, ultimately when equipment of any manufacture gets stolen the people that end up getting hurt by it over and above the dealer and the staff that have to deal with the clean up, is the end user . Maybe they try selling through a dealer or maybe get it serviced after a few years, the serial number will pick it up and the equipment will be taken off them, I don't want this to happen under my watch, if I can try and stop this I will .

As for Ffordes, we survive another attack and keep promoting photography as the great art form that it is, the great social aspects that it can bring and the over all enjoyment and memories you can produce, with New and Pre-owned high quality equipment, to answer your question we got paid out just after Christmas for less than cost price of the equipment's , this didn't take into consideration the 45K worth of New security measures the insurance company wants us to put in or any lose of business or profit, hopefully we will get something .

The New site is about fresh beginnings and helping us all move forward to the future, we thank everyone for there help and support that will wipe those horrible memories away and get us all back to enjoying and help people in reach there potential in photography, with best advice .
 
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#38
@Littlereddot Thanks for the responses.

In answer to your first question - which may make what follows easier to understand - I originally viewed the site using Firefox on my Samsung Galaxy Tab, which is Android. I have no idea how significant any of that is. However... all I saw under the ffordes name was the search box. The red secondary menu bar didn't appear at all. In reading your comments on navigation, and your references to other menus, I turned the tablet to landscape orientation (which makes a difference with the West Yorkshire Cameras site). Still no other menus - only the search box and the big "Brands" drop down list. I then thought I'd try the three parallel bars that appear top right, and that generated a hitherto unseen menu. If you hadn't said anything about a menu, I probably wouldn't have found it. This look more as I would expect a site to be. It's also present - without any extra intervention - on my Win10/Firefox desktop, although I don't recall seeing it before this evening. So site navigation is easier than I thought, and I'll check the site over. I do think that perhaps there should be some clue that there is an actual menu available though. I have absolutely no idea how to get a screen shot from my tablet, other than by photographing it.

My searches were more in the way of trials - as you should know from my purchase history, I wouldn't be looking for any more ETRS film backs, at least for a while as you've just sold me two. I was more interested in seeing if I could find the 35mm back that I thought would be there. Clearly, I needed to know the designation rather than just saying "film back" in the search engine, but possibly you might consider adding extra generic keywords to aid searches. The Nikon search was mainly because I felt it reasonably certain that something should turn up. If the menu works as well as the old site's, then I don't see a need to use the search function again. Especially if it's necessary to know manufacturers' designations. Some of the Leitz ones are rather obscure, to say the least!

From what you've said, I can appreciate why change was needed; and also from what you've said, it seems that the new site could be better than the old. I've lived with the old one for a long time now, so it's rather familiar. All I have to do now is to discover something that I really really need and look on your site for it. Your comments about few toy shops being left is true; happily I have one local one but there aren't many. In practice, there are only three I look at on line if I want something, and ffordes is one.

If I have any further thoughts after a good look round the site, I'll let you know, either here or via email.
 
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#39
I then thought I'd try the three parallel bars that appear top right, and that generated a hitherto unseen menu.
The three bars is effectively an internet standard for mobile sites for indicating a website’s menu. In fact, I’m on TP forum right now on my phone and it has the three bars at the top left to direct users to the TP menu.

54445759-2DD8-48DF-A2BE-AEEEA32D5EA0.png
 
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#40
The three bars is effectively an internet standard for mobile sites for indicating a website’s menu.
Yeah. They're known as "hamburger menus" because they look a little bit like a burger in a bun. That said, unles you're familiar with them, then their purpose might not always be obvious.
 
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