Thoughts on the new Ffordes site?

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David
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#41
I didn't find it as easy and as quick to browse through areas as the old site.

One error I did get yesterday was after browsing for a while when I tried to go to another section the sub menu disappeared when trying to select a category. I would hover over lenses and the sub menu appeared but as soon as I went to try to select a lens category it disappeared. Using Chrome ver 72 on an iMac.
 
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StephenM

StephenM

I know a Blithering Idiot
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Stephen
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#42
In my defence: I don't have a phone that that access the internet, and pre-tablet my mobile devices were limited to laptop computers. My expectations have always been text based, possibly because I was using the internet before web sites existed. I also always struggle with hieroglyphs, and find much of the Windows interface opaque. I suppose a schematic hamburger, as food, can suggest a menu; but a small sketch of an electric razor doesn't suggest "safely remove a USB device" to me (Untidy Straggly Beard?:)). I only tried the hamburger because a similar device serves a similar purpose on the WYC site - but in their case it is on the same line as their main menu and only appears when the screen width is insufficient for all the items. Had I first become familiar with the ffords site on my desktop, I might have looked for somthing similar when the menu failed to appear; but my first experience was "no menu", and the prominent drop down list (not too dissimilar to the old site in principle) lead me to assume that that was all there was.

Years ago, I formulated three laws of computing (great laws always come in threes, like buses). The second law applies here, whch makes better sense if read after the first. The first law states that there are no program bugs, only unexpected features; and the second that unexpected features only require user education.
 
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Alister
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#43
@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.
Alister From Ffordes: Thank you for your comments and I will look into the Samsung Galaxy issues, we have had other tablet issues already so this is great feedback, thank you for your support .
 
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#44
Hi Alister, great to see you on here - impressively responsive!

My comments earlier relate to the limited number of items per page. I think this could be resolved by reducing white space - specifically top and bottom (the areas marked in green on the image below), and by making the thumbnail image half the size it is, so that on larger items it is no taller than the two condition descriptions next to it. You can mouseover for a large image, or click on the item. I doubt many buying decisions are made purely from the thumbnail.

Screenshot 2019-02-14 at 09.34.37.png
 
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Des
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#45
Alister from Ffordes here, Sorry to here you only like some of it but please let me know what you are struggling with and I can see if I can help or change things to make it easier for you,
Thanks for taking the time to reply. I guess the new site is better in some ways (especially the kit pics) but I miss the quick access of the old site. Perhaps it's just familiarity. I have been a long time customer both buying and selling. I confess, I probably visit the Ffordes site almost everyday! Hope to sell some more kit with you soon.

As an example, I was looking to see if you had any of the Fujifilm X to Leica M adapters in stock used. On the old site I would have gone to Digital Cameras/Fuji X/Accessories and ticked Used. If not there I would have tried the Fuji lenses section, just in case. I t would have been just a few clicks.

On the new site it was a different approach but I did find it in the end by using the filter option. I guess it is a question of familiarity.

Edit - one 'issue' I did find was when there where multiple 'pages' in a search, often the last page had no items yet the count of items at the top indictaed there should be more?
 
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Minh
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#46
I like the new site, fewer than 3 clicks to get to almost anything. Also the big photos mean you know what the items are instead of clicking on every single one. The page is significantly more mobile-friendly as well. If anything it reminds me of Firstcall's website, and never had any problem with it.
 
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Alister
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#47
Hi Alister, great to see you on here - impressively responsive!

My comments earlier relate to the limited number of items per page. I think this could be resolved by reducing white space - specifically top and bottom (the areas marked in green on the image below), and by making the thumbnail image half the size it is, so that on larger items it is no taller than the two condition descriptions next to it. You can mouseover for a large image, or click on the item. I doubt many buying decisions are made purely from the thumbnail.

View attachment 237407
I will certainly look into this, as I agree there seems to be a lot of white space, I'm sure this could be reduced
 
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Alister
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#48
Thanks for taking the time to reply. I guess the new site is better in some ways (especially the kit pics) but I miss the quick access of the old site. Perhaps it's just familiarity. I have been a long time customer both buying and selling. I confess, I probably visit the Ffordes site almost everyday! Hope to sell some more kit with you soon.

As an example, I was looking to see if you had any of the Fujifilm X to Leica M adapters in stock used. On the old site I would have gone to Digital Cameras/Fuji X/Accessories and ticked Used. If not there I would have tried the Fuji lenses section, just in case. I t would have been just a few clicks.

On the new site it was a different approach but I did find it in the end by using the filter option. I guess it is a question of familiarity.

Edit - one 'issue' I did find was when there where multiple 'pages' in a search, often the last page had no items yet the count of items at the top indictaed there should be more?
As much as this has been a 2 year project, the site as it is today is very much different than the one we started with, it has come a massive way since then, as as much as all the staffed love the last one, it was easy as we were so use to how it work, so it will take us time as well to familiurise ourselves not only with the website but an even more detailed back office EPOS system as well, every day we are using it gets easier and easier, its just a different way of working.

I will certainly have a look into the multiple search issue, could you send me some screen prints, just so its easier for me to explain to the web designers , thank you again for your feedback, really helps
 
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Alister
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#49
Thank you for all your really helpful feed back, I'm already seeing the web developer changing and retesting issues that you have all brought up, if any of you are on any other forums and see people are struggling, please send me a link, I'm passionate not only about photography but also making sure customers get the right knowledge and product for what they are using it for, rather than just the most expensive item because they think that's what they need (Scottish view, mixed with a little Yorkie :)) but to make sure customers are able to use our site easily and find everything they are looking for quickly, the condition that they want and at a affordable and realistic price, I don't want to see anyone struggle with the new site, some customers just need a little helping hand, thank you again .

Also, A Big mega Thank you to everyone that Voted for us or wished us well, Ffordes picked up a Gold Award for Customer service at last weeks AP Awards in London, we believe in old fashion service but with todays Knowledge and advise, cheers .
 
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Alister
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#50
Hi Alister, great to see you on here - impressively responsive!

My comments earlier relate to the limited number of items per page. I think this could be resolved by reducing white space - specifically top and bottom (the areas marked in green on the image below), and by making the thumbnail image half the size it is, so that on larger items it is no taller than the two condition descriptions next to it. You can mouseover for a large image, or click on the item. I doubt many buying decisions are made purely from the thumbnail.

View attachment 237407
Hi there , we have managed reduce the white space, to help us do this we have reduce the images size but as you move across it still pops up to a good size, we have also reduced some of the type and taken out some unneeded wording, giving more space for the listings on the page, we will keep looking to see if this can be improved on but that you for your feedback, it really helps everyone using the New site . all the best
 
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10,233
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Suz
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#51
I used the menu to get to lenses-> mamiya 7 and it's not showing anything. Under the old site there were quite a few listed.

I tried it a few more times and then it listed canon digital not the mamiya I was looking for. If I go to another lens make a list on an iPad it doesn't seem to work the second time. I have done it a few times.

I also noticed that in the film section one of the Ilford films was listed as Harrison something by mistake.

It seems to work better on the desktop.

It was long over due for a facelift (y)
 
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RJ
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#52
I used the menu to get to lenses-> mamiya 7 and it's not showing anything. Under the old site there were quite a few listed.
What are you viewing the site on? I've just checked my MacBook and my iPhone and I can see 17 lenses showing for Mamiya 7.
 
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Suz
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#53
iPad mini. I'm sure it was better yesterday. It seems to become more and more strange the more you browse it one go.
 
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Chris
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#54
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.
I'm just beginning to remember to look for that one, after fruitless hours (minutes, really) staring at uselessly blank screens that don't offer me options (not Ffordes, haven't looked at that yet!)
 
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David
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#56
I used to like the menu of the old site that allowed me to go for instance Lenses>Nikon>Manual & then filter by price to see what was within my pocket money range.

So far have found a way to find Nikon lenses but they all seem lunped together, unless i have missed something?
 

RaglanSurf

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Nick
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#57
If you use the filter options you can narrow it down to manual focus Nikon lenses and then sort by price.
 

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20,235
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Alan
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#58
It's a big No from me and sorry but I think it's horrible and much worse than the old site and to be honest it just made me want to give up and go to LCE.
 
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#59
Hi there , we have managed reduce the white space, to help us do this we have reduce the images size but as you move across it still pops up to a good size, we have also reduced some of the type and taken out some unneeded wording, giving more space for the listings on the page, we will keep looking to see if this can be improved on but that you for your feedback, it really helps everyone using the New site . all the best
Less white space is an improvement. Looks like the site is developing nicely!

I'd quite like to see an easy way of viewing a product image larger than the single zoom level of the magnifier, and without scrolling around - e.g., a button that takes you to a full size image that can then be saved or zoomed using the standard browser tools. Right now, this only works with something like right click-> view background image in Firefox.

The one thing I really don't like is the low contrast grey text that is used in some places, especially where (as in the front page drop down menus) it's mid grey text on a light grey background. Black, or at least much darker grey, is more readable. Show this to your designers!:

https://www.wired.com/2016/10/how-the-web-became-unreadable/
 
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Alister
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#60
It's a big No from me and sorry but I think it's horrible and much worse than the old site and to be honest it just made me want to give up and go to LCE.
Hi there, I'm Alister from Ffordes, I'm really Sorry to hear that you dislike the site but can you help me, make it better . let me know ALL the things that you don't like about it and if we are able to change it and it would be better to do it a different way then we will look at changing it. We can only do this with the likes of your help and any other user on the forum, At Ffordes we all love photography and things should be simple as you say, we want to work with customers to make things easier. I hope you will help , my email for anyonce comments alister.bowie@ffordes.com
 
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#61
Was looking for a 70-300 lens for my Nikon 1 V2 and had no trouble finding one on the Ffordes site.
Made the purchase and look forward to receiving the lens tomorrow. :)
 
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