Pixel wrote:I decided to wait until I had a chance to get used to the new design. For the most part I don't mind the new design. Things I like include:
- $5 shipping - would like Prime shipping even more
- the added deals...mostly (see below)
- being able to preview the items from the top bar
There are three main things I think are wrong with the New Woot:
- the product description - the thing that is uniquely Woot - is now hidden. This should be prominent on the front page. I find I rarely click through to read them anymore. I am primarily on my tablet - and clicking the link is not as simple as just clicking with a mouse. It completely disrupts the flow. When I have clicked through, I have to start reading over again to get the flow back. This has taken the fun/magic/enjoyment out of the best art of Woot.
- the new design is too busy. It is distracting and confusing. Over time I have learned where things are - but I have not adjusted to the over all busy feeling. I find myself spending less and less time on Woot...somedays forgetting to drop by at all.
- lack of diversity in products. It may not be factually true, but it feels like there is less variety these days. It also seems to have less of the quirky items that you pretty much did not know exist (Leak Frog) let alone wanted until you Wooted.
Overall, while I still like to check the deals, I find less reasons to visit daily and when I do visit less reasons to hang around.
This looks like a good post to use for a little review of what we're up to and why we made some of the decisions we made. Let me see here...
First, I do want to emphasize that we're constantly tweaking (and hopefully improving) things, and you'll keep seeing little changes and updates here and there. (For instance, Woot Plus events now have discussion threads!) It may not move as fast as some (even us) would like to see, but we're doing everything we can to improve the experience for you all.
Along with that, I want to be clear: We're moving forward, not back. There's no 'old' site for us to return to. We're here, in this new place, and we'll keep evolving and growing it, but there is no thought or possibility of moving back.
On to some thoughts on what we're doing and why:
The bulk of the reasons for a lot of the changes you and others mention (features feeling hidden, the design seeming busy, etc.) is connected to our expansion into Woot Plus events.
Here's the short and sweet of Woot Plus events: We have more than one good deal a day per product category.
We obviously are (and will continue to) expand into new categories (hi sport.woot!), and that's a good way for us to get you all new deals, but as much as that might go, it still leaves us turning back other deals - deals that are smaller quantities, or more niche items, or even just the second best deal out there in a given category. That sucks, for you all who might've wanted that stuff and for the vendors who were hoping to get their stuff out there.
So once we figured out we wanted to get more of the deals we were finding out there, we had to figure out how to best get the deals out and viewable to everyone. This is where it gets subjective. It's totally fair to say our execution is busy, or cluttered, or that in adding them at the size and place we did it hides or removes too many other things. That feedback is welcome, and listened to.
That said, we do have some pretty tough constraints - again, there's no point in us going to the effort of finding, buying, and putting together events if no one sees them. And honestly, anything new that is not in some way directly on our home page basically doesn't get seen. That led us to where we are now - basically a gateway style home page that lets people know all the stuff going on on that site, and an easy way to get to the other sites. Again, it's fair to say you'd have done it differently, or disagree with our prioritization or visual implementation. In fact, we will continue to look closely at how everything is or isn't working, trying out different sizes and placements, and thinking up new solutions.
It is definitely a compromise to not have our whole write-up on the home page. It's painful to think there are people who might've read it but now don't bother clicking through. But it's also painful to think of people missing good deals on stuff they'd like because they don't get introduced to it on the home page. Design is all about compromise, and our goal with the 'gateway' approach is to allow a little bit of everything to surface, rather than showing all of some things and completely burying others. Maybe we're too heavily weighted one way and too light another, and we'll keep an eye on that, but I still feel this was the right approach, and we'll move forward from here to make it better.
Of course, we can't satisfy everyone with any decision we've made or will be making. Some of you will say you can go elsewhere to get more deals, and that it's not Woot's role to have every good deal out there. I think that's fair, and there are some fairly easy ways to skip around to the daily deals and bypass the home pages if you'd like. (For instance, clicking the product photos in the navigation hovers will take you right to those sales, with full write-ups, etc.) Heck, you can figure out what's for sale on Woot without coming to the site at all - on Facebook, Twitter, one of many apps out there, RSS feeds, etc. If you're a developer type and don't like any of the ways to browse through what we're selling, make your own! We will keep working on building the best experience we can within the opportunities and constraints we have, and we hope that you'll come along with us, and keep telling us what you like and what you don't like about what we're trying.