Jump to content

Suggestion for web page: rewrite unclear "community" pages

Guest Dave Baker

Recommended Posts

The problem: it's not clear how to find out what the company's software products are.

They turn out to be at the bottom of a page one gets to by clicking on "community" at the top of the home page.

I didn't know what "community" was about. I assumed it was a link to a bulletin board for IPS customers. Then, when I found that it was in fact a page about the company's software, I found inconsistent and undefined terms until I found some links at the bottom of the page.

Also, the left-hand navigation bar on the target page ( http://community.ipslink.com/ ) didn't make much sense to me.

Here's what I mean by inconsistent and undefined terms.

The target page starts out by talking about a particular software bundle: "IPS Community," then "Complete community package." Singular. I guess the name of the company's software is "IPS Community."

Uh-oh; the first graphic says "Our Solutions" (plural) and below it there's another graphic that says "IPS Communities" (plural). I'm not sure what happened to my friend the "IPS Community."

I scroll down the page and eventually see a heading that says "Community Suite", so maybe there's just a single "package" after all, but I guess it's actually called Community Suite rather than IPS Community.

Hmmm. I'm interested. But the Community Suite heading isn't a hypertext link, and the only links I see down here at the bottom of the page say they go to three "components" called IP.Board, IP.Gallery and IP.Blog. Is a Community Suite the same as "IPS Communities"? Does that mean each component is one of the communities? And what's a "component"? Some sort of Java .jar file that fits into a framework software application called "Community Suite"?

I might now click over to the component links, which most new readers probably would do, but let's look at what happens if the reader uses the left-hand nav bar at this point instead. Or perhaps our reader never even got to the bottom of this page because when it opened he saw that it's apparently just talking about why one would want an online community. Because the reader is looking for information about the software itself, he skipped the page and used the nav bar to click on the second item, called "Community Solutions."

Community Solutions
* Online Communities
* Community Solutions
* Enterprise Options
* Purchase Community Suite




On the resulting page, "IPS Community Solutions" (plural) appears up top, but then the page starts talking about a single application called "Community Suite." Still, we might be getting some meat here: "Our Community Suite is flexible enough to meet the needs of any group wanting to develop and foster their own community. Here, we've provided a few examples of the types of applications that benefit from the power, scalability and user experience that our Community Suite affords." Dang! It doesn't tell me what the Community Suite is.

Down at the bottom I find links to Community Hosting Packages and Enterprises Options, so I try clicking on each of these. Neither tells me what the Community Suite is.

The next menu item on the right-hand nav bar is just Enterprise Options again; I've been there already.

Maybe the final item will tell me what the Community Suite is-- "Purchase Community Suite." Well, at least the resulting page doesn't have the plural "Community Solutions" heading up top; we might have found the Real Deal. The text reads, "Our IPS Community Suite is available to those who are seeking an all-inclusive community solution. Complete with IP.Board, IP.Gallery and IP.Blog, our suite offering is the most economical way of creating a turnkey community."

Hmmm. I still don't know what the Community Suite is. A framework application of some sort?


Here's how I would clear up the ambiguities and make it easier for a prospective customer to zero in on the products as quickly as possible.

Change the "community" link at the top of the home page to say "build a community" -- That way the reader has a clue as to where the software is described, and the reader won't think it's a link to a community (a bulletin board) about Invision Power Services, Inc.

On the resulting page ( http://community.ipslink.com/ ), replace the ambiguous, plural "Community Solutions" heading with "Build a Community"

Then start that page -- right up there on the reader's first screen -- with this text:

An online community is a vital communication tool for any business or organization that wants to make the most of its online presence. Your customers or members will get to know you and each other.

Build your online community easily by installing our three software products:

* a sophisticated bulletin board, called IP.Board;
* an easy-to-use image gallery, called IP.Gallery; and
* a powerful blog generator, called IP.Blog.

Each product is an application (written in the PHP language) that can be installed separately on your web server (or hosted with us), but we recommend you install all three because they work together so well and will maximize the value of your online community.

The simultaneous use of all three applications is what we call a Community Suite. Special pricing applies if you purchase a Community Suite.

In that text, "IP.Board" would be a link to http://community.ipslink.com/board/; IP.Gallery would be a link to http://community.ipslink.com/gallery/; and IP.Blog would be a link to http://community.ipslink.com/blog/. And "Special pricing applies" would be a link to http://community.ipslink.com/purchase.html.

THEN insert the "Why have a community?" stuff already on that page ( http://community.ipslink.com/ ).

BUT take the stuff that's hiding at the bottom -- the "Community Suite" paragraph and the "Suite Components" paragraph -- and move them to a new page of their own, which the reader will get by clicking on a new left-hand nav bar item called "Our Software." The idea here is to get a straightforward, visible link to the Community Suite of software included in the left-hand nav bar.

Indeed, the left-hand nav bar could be rearranged to provide a more efficient, clear experience. Here's the current menu:

Community Solutions
* Online Communities
* Community Solutions
* Enterprise Options
* Purchase Community Suite




Here's how it could be rewritten:

Build a Community (formerly "Online Communities")

Uses for Communities (formerly "Community Solutions")

Our Software
* IP.Board
* IP.Gallery
* IP.Blog

Purchase Community Suite

Enterprise Options

Why go with the rewritten nav bar?

1. "Online Communities" doesn't really tell me anything.

2. "Community Solutions" turns out to be something other than solutions; when I hear "solutions" on a software company's site, I'm thinking they're talking about the software products.

3. The new "Our Software" item links to a new page that directly discusses the Community Suite and the three components. It lets the prospective customer jump right a page about the software products, which is presumably what the prospective customer needs to be able to find quickly.

4. "Enterprise Options" doesn't have to do with the Community Suite in particular; the options could apply to a company that used only one or two of the products. And the pricing scheme is certainly very different from the Community Suite. So it shouldn't be part of a group of subtopics that ends with "Purchase Community Suite," as it is now. It ought to follow the "Purchase Community Suite" item in order to set it apart.

I hope the company finds these comments helpful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...