In our attempt to provide you more, better information on projectors, this week (Monday) we rolled out a newly designed homepage. Projector Reviews now looks very different from before, as we've gone to a panes design for the homepage.
Unfortunately, we hit some unanticipated problems, with parts of the design, that didn't become apparent until our projectors homepage went live.
The good news, is that, as of earlier today, the one really major navigation problem is no more.
Basically, we started with an auto-rotating panes system. You can see into our most recent home and business projector reviews, then about 5 seconds later it shows you the next pane (new press releases), then my Art of... blog (this one), and so on. (we will be changing the order over the next couple of days, so that the first pane will be the Projector Categories - DLP, Pico, Home Theater...).
The thing is, when we launched, if you moved the cursor off the content area of a pane (even if you had just clicked on a panes button) the auto rotate would start right up again, making navigating the center column a nightmare. We hoped to fix in 48 hours - sorry, took almost 4 days.
That's fixed now. once you stop the auto-rotate, either by clicking any panes button, or by moving the cursor into the center content area just once, pane auto-rotate now (finally) stays stopped.
That was the biggest problem. Now it's a question of simply improving the navigation experience.
We have these choices I'd like some feedback on:
1. Keep the auto-rotate as it is now (fixed) - (I like it, personally)
2. Drop the auto-rotate altogether (that works too, but I spent a small fortune getting it to this point)
3. Additional features:
I should note, that over the next few months, I expect there will be at least 3 more panes added.
a). One option is to add the usual forward and back arrows for the slideshow (panes). Tony (webmaster) thinks that's a real plus, in addition to our already pane specific buttons.
b). In addition to a)., we likely could have a pause icon between the two buttons, to stop the auto-rotate temporarily, but we can also
c). Conceivably add a Re-start to the auto rotate (ie. the pause would be a red button, when it's rotating (with the pause icon in it), and when you click on it, it changes to green, and shows a "play" arrow, instead.
d). Open to other suggestions... relating to the navigation (but any great ideas are always welcome).
What else would you like to see (website wise, rather than particular content)... Any suggestions for better reviews (other than the obvious - such as my actually finishing every section), or asking for an even greater level of measurements (no we will NOT measure contrast - not until a realistic standard method of determining the impact of dynamic irises is worked out. We will be adding at least one, and as many as 3 bloggers in the next 60-90 days, if all goes well. One should be a gamer (hopefully including 3D), one person, perhaps, who wants to write more technical stuff than I have the patience for (or skills), and so on.
BTW, think on this: I'd like to cut down on all the images I provide, mostly for your viewing pleasure. Any thoughts - a current photoshoot ends up with close to 100 photos (including a dozen product and menu shots), out of some 600+ taken (due to all the exposure bracketing). Then final selection usually ends up with about 75.
But, only about 20 are really used repeatedly to make a point - mostly a couple of sharpness ones, black level ones, and comparative side by sides. (Also when we show the relative brightness of different modes.) As you all know, color will not be accurate on the web.
The current photowork consumes pretty much a full day. If I cut things down a good bit, I can do perhaps an extra 3 or 4 home theater projector reviews a year. I see from our analytics, that all the images are viewed a good number of times, but trimming back by about 20 images would speed things up... thoughts?
USE of videos - so far, they've been paid affairs - companies pay me to make a video summary of a review. We plan to start posting videos other than those, in the next few months, including some "Advice and Info" videos.
SURVIVING and FLOURISHING: We at projectorreviews.com would love to keep on churning out reviews, and of course to do so, we need to make a living. So far, we survive on advertising (and not doing badly). Finding advertisers, and dealing with that is time consuming, but it gets the job done. Videos, however pose a problem. They don't plug well into page design, without all those many banners on every page, videos running alone impact our revenue stream signficantly. Any bright ideas how I can do a lot of videos, and not end up poorer for the effort?
BTW there is NO real income stream from posting videos on YouTube.
And anything else you can think of...
Especially, anything wonderful we can do here, to create something that you visitors actually find valuable enough to say, "Subscribe Me" to the extra features, for, say $10 a year. If I could get 10,000 of you to do so ($10 a year), that would really help here, and allow us to grow the site and content - plus, maybe a few more perks for the employees - (wife and daughter and myself, of course). Thanks - just pile your feedback into the comment area. Thanks! -art