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Test site launch

Server

Yay! Finally, after months of delay (due to the change in CTO), we’re ready with a new site improvement!

Today we release the test server for public viewing and testing. We’ll keep the test server open, so if you want to follow the next upgrades and changes you can use the same link later on! (check it out on dtest.yaymicro.com)

In the future we’ll have small, but frequent changes to the site – and we have planned many improvements in 2009.

 

Views

Views

First of all – the most requested feature from our photographers have been views. And yes, this upgrade includes views! We have placed the views in your portfolios, and you can check it out now if you visit our test server. As customers in general are not interested in views, and it creates an imbalance in image exposure, we have not included views on the search result page.

We noticed that some photographers have a much more exposed portfolio than others, and we’ll try to make it easier for photographers to promote their portfolios. We’ll also work on our search algorithm, as we’re not satisfied with the relevance ranking and lack of shuffle when many images got the same properties.

 

Usability

UsabilityThe main focus in this release has been on customer usability and search engine optimization.

We have removed noise from the front, price and preview page and we’ve also improved the cart page. In the next release we’ll continue with improving the payment page and the flow of activities from arriving on the site till check-out.

In addition to removing noise we’ve made Call-to-Action buttons on many of the pages. This will help customer understand what the next step is on the site. (You shouldn’t have to look for the Buy-button.) We want the customers to search & buy images. The blog, forum and other pages are useful resources for returning customers, subscribers, photographers etc., but when in focus as it was on the old version of our site it became to distracting.  Also, it’s no longer possible to perform empty searches, as this generated confusion for the customers.

Our experience the last couple of months is that it’s difficult to communicate the difference in price for creative and editorial images, and the sale for editorial images has been much lower than the sale of creative images. The price for editorial images is therefore reduced, and is now the same as for creative images. This makes it’s easy to communicate our prices, and the customer won’t get confused or annoyed when one image costs more than another.

 

Language

Language

The site is fully translated to Norwegian. Soon we’ll release a Chinese version as well. Other languages are planned – and if you have any suggestions on what countries/languages could be a potential good market for YAY we’ll appreciate the feedback! It’s fairly easy to translate the site to other languages as most of the programming is in place now after the initial translation.

We have included several search languages, namely Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, English, Chinese, Japanese, French, Spanish and German. These are automatically translated with the help of the Google Translate API, so if you get any strange results – or no results – e-mail us and we’ll adjust the search.

 

Other improvements

New pages for price, FAQ (coming soon), photographers and prices. You’ll find the links at the bottom of the pages.

New links / new structure at the top of the site.

Improved preview site with a C2A-button, easier to search with image keywords, show/hide information related to the image.

Improved cart with a C2A-button, less noise, new lay out, easier to check out.

Improved Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for the whole site.

Customers get high-res images on subscription.

Some of the changes might take some time getting used to, but the overall experience of surfing the YAY-site has in our opinion improved a great deal!

 

FeedbackFeedback

As mentioned the test site will be kept open for the public. If you want to see what’s coming next, and join the discussion about changes, use it as much as you like. I’ll start a thread in the forum where we can discuss what’s going on. I would love feedback, and I’ll try to listen as much as possible to all our users. Of course, sometimes we’ll have to make some decisions that might not fly with everyone, but at least we’ll do our very best to explain our reasons.

 

Thats all for now, have a great weekend :)

Linda & Bjorn

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New site update

Finally, after months of planning and developing, we are very close to launch the next site update (hopefully next week!). This time we have focused a lot on simplicity and usability. We learned from the research we did before making the upcoming changes that customers aren’t really as tech-savvy as we believed. They want a site that is easy. Really easy. And that is exactly what we are going to give them. There will be less links, easier navigation and actually buying an image requires fewer clicks.

We will also add a set of new features, including a new subscription model where customers can buy a yearly subscription. This will be the best offer available for customers that use images sporadically. This is a segment, believe it or not, that hasn’t been served properly by microstock agencies. The size of subscription downloads will also be increased to large.  We have also added the long-awaited views-counter.

Our new CTO, Bjorn, has been quite busy the last few weeks organizing the update, and we are quite happy with the progress we are seeing. A lot of new ideas have also been added to our list of upcoming features.

But the good news doesn’t stop there. We have also worked hard on raising more funds to do a more extensive marketing campaign. This has finally paid off, and during the next few months you will see a steady increase in marketing.

We will post a link to out test-server here within the next few days where you can get a sneak preview of the update.

Jan

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