Cowart's Common Room
Beta Testers needed

HS and I have a big Trade Fair in Aviemore at the end of April. We have spent the last few weeks and especially the last week working on our image galleries and web site for selling our prints. The web site will be our main selling tool at the show with everything else based around it.

So what we are now asking - pretty pink please - is if a few of you will go and have a rummage around in it and see how you find it . . . and give us constructive feed back - thank you.

But just thank you is not good enough . . . we will give 20 people who beta test our site a free 10x8 unmounted print on art paper. All you have to do is choose the image and let us know what you thought of the site and your choice of print.

click here to be nosey . . . .

Or you can go to the right hand side of the page and click on the Purpleberry link under sponsors.

Uploaded Image

Posted at 11th Mar 2009 - 10:23AM   Posted by Westerwitch   Beta Testers needed Comments: 37

Blossomcottage's Avatar I have already been to have a look and I love it, I love the softness of the set up, the glass/acrylic are my favorite
I would however like to see a slightly stronger text its quite soft and some might find it a little difficult to read bearing in mind people these days often use small screens on iphones etc.
I wish you all the very best of luck and I love the snow scene.

Posted by: Blossomcottage on 11th Mar 2009 at 10:44AM

Toady's Avatar Just a few points
The snowy pictures do not show up very well against the white background of the site.
Could you get a click on the home page straight in to the slide shows.
Would it be useful to give some idea of prices.
The flowers on the home page are pretty but don't really convey what you do. Perhaps a very large snowy picture or one of the block prints would be better.

Slopes off to sit in the Naughty corner.

Posted by: Toady on 11th Mar 2009 at 10:45AM

Toady's Avatar Feel horribly mean now.Crying or Very sadCrying or Very sadCrying or Very sad

Posted by: Toady on 11th Mar 2009 at 10:46AM

Old hand at this, so happy to do some destruction testing Twisted Evil

Posted by: Zoe on 11th Mar 2009 at 10:50AM

Westerwitch's Avatar Easy now Zoe . . .

Toady this is exactly the sort of thing we are looking for - stop hiding in the naughty corner - look my chainsaw is turned off for today.

There are prices on the site - but clearly not visible enough.

Will have a look at the wording - interesting point and easy to change. Will think again about the home page picture *sulks* although I love it - even if it is one of HIS *sulks* even more.

Will look at a link from the home page for the galleries.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 11th Mar 2009 at 10:55AM

Crystal Jigsaw's Avatar Have had a good wander. You know me and the Highlands! Beautiful scenery and I have the Glencoe Sunshine hanging in my dining room. I think an idea of prices might be a good thing too or did I miss that?

But on the whole, you know I love your work so that's all the feedback I can offer.

CJ xx

Posted by: Crystal Jigsaw on 11th Mar 2009 at 10:55AM

Elizabethd's Avatar It is a lovely site, but the first thing I looked for was prices, and couldnt find them.
I agree with Blossom that a difference in the print would make it slightly easier to read.
There is, otherwise, lots of information on sizes etc, which is really helpful.
I ahve fallen in love with raindrops 3/21 on the grass, absolutely lovely. Congratulations!

Posted by: Elizabethd on 11th Mar 2009 at 10:56AM

Westerwitch's Avatar Thank you Crystal and thank you Elizabethd . . . 3/21 from which collection Elizabeth . . .

And please could you all let me know which prints you would like - assuming you would like a print.

Guess what we seemed to have missed the pricing off Embarassed we made the page, but the link got removed - so have another look and see if you can find it.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 11th Mar 2009 at 11:04AM

Just spent a good 3/4 hour giving it a good look. Amazed at the beauty, but also thankful for the simplicity of the site! For a complete Techno Dullard such as me it was such an easy site to look at. I loved the soft focus appearance, making it easy to look at, but could I be so bold as to suggest some facility for a clearer print option for the visually impaired? It also shows that you are diverse in your work, from macro to landscape, and I particularly liked the Summer Raindrops collection and the nudes that were posed in natural surroundings, rather than the studio ones. My overall favourite has to be the Scots Pine though.

I did prefer sequences that had images presented as thumbnails rather than just the numbers, as this made locating earlier images I had looked at easier to find again.

I am truly taken with the images on glass and acrylic! What a 'wow factor' gift that would make! Love, Love, Love it! And your prices are so reasonable too! I could be back with my credit card!

Posted by: Celtic Heart on 11th Mar 2009 at 11:16AM

Tattie Weasle's Avatar IN gerneal I think I was a bit overawed by teh talent. I love your work - both of you!
I thught the slide shows great but had to keep double clicking and didn't realise that you had to keep going to get to the end of them so missed a few.
Also the way the collections go you have two different ways of showing them which seems discordant to me - does that make sense??? The way the raindrops on grasses and then of course for example the Dancers. One is shown with small icons and the other with numbers.
I really ,like the etchings and the glass - quite beautiful... very tempted...

Posted by: Tattie Weasle on 11th Mar 2009 at 11:23AM

Jayem's Avatar Some absolutely stunning images, thankyou for inviting us to look! I found the loading a little slow, especially with the coloured images, but that might just be the time of night here as everyone will be online and so slow things down. Very easy site to navigate, though I too preferred the options with thumbnails. Incredible talent. [and if I'm in your 20, then snow tree 06 please - it's such a lonely tree, just waiting to be noticed!]

Posted by: Jayem on 11th Mar 2009 at 11:32AM

Withy Brook's Avatar Haven't time to have a proper look just now, so just paid a brief visit. Will return later.
I did have to look for the links from the Home page. I know they are at the bottom, but maybe a side bar? But I loved the simplicity (unfussiness) of it, so would not like to see that lost. When I went to look at 'more about you', I had to press the back button to get back to the 'busuness' end of it - or was I being blind? Rolling Eyes
Despite the need for a little tweeking, I think it is a lovely site, with a calmness that corresponds to the atmosphere of so much of your (both of you) work.
I look forward to a proper browse later on.

Posted by: Withy Brook on 11th Mar 2009 at 11:33AM

Preseli Mags's Avatar Utterly gorgeous pictures. Although I do agree with Toady about the tulips on the home page - one of my favourite pictures, but it doesn't really convey exactly what it is you do.

I found the prices without any difficulty, moved from picture to picture with no problems (except I couldn't see the second collection of Beach Dancers - the link wasn't highlighted).

One thing I did appreciate was that the site was fast. No boring hanging around waiting for things to load. And it isn't cluttered, which makes it really easy to understand.

Being picky - I wondered if an apostrophe was needed in "Back to Block's Index" (I might be wrong on that one. As a former sub, I'd be inclined to remove it). The Blocks Index page and the Clear Prints page could both do with a clickable link to the home page. (I got a bit lost for a few moments and went round in circles on the Blocks Index!) Also there's only one l in lily.

They're all gorgeous, but my favourite today is Summer Grasses Large 5/21.

Congratulations to all concerned with the website - fabulous work!

Posted by: Preseli Mags on 11th Mar 2009 at 11:34AM

Milla's Avatar right, have been to have a look. and, you asked for criticism so it makes sense to say what I think.
First, some really fantastic prints available but ... I don't think the home page does them justice. I don't think the tulips sets the tone for the contemporary and simple nature of the photos themselves, slightly too soft, almost watercoloury, dare I say insipid?? And I'm afraid I don't like the font. It's my one quibble with dear old purplecoo, too. It's too small, too square, too dull really. I'd like a fresher, bigger, rounder font, easier to read, modern but classic. I'll say here that I have good eyesight, no need for glasses... yet! I agree with the importance of seeing the photos in the same format, and with prices / codes - just make it simpler to click and buy. If anything's too complicated, people give up. Also, one or two of the links didn't work, there was click to view on tehe frames, and getting to one of Dave's bits of the sites worked on one link, but not another which would be easier enough (?) to put right. Of the photos, personally I prefer the non-people ones purely because I, again personally, wouldn't partic want an intimatey photo of a stranger but that's not to say the photos themselves aren't great, grovel, grovel. I'm sure it won't take long to turn a good site into a spectacular site as the raw product (the important bit) is so very good!

Posted by: Milla on 11th Mar 2009 at 11:35AM

Westerwitch's Avatar All this feed back it brilliant - will have to rush around making the changes now . . sigh . .

Posted by: Westerwitch on 11th Mar 2009 at 11:50AM

Westerwitch's Avatar NB - will change the picture on the front page - have an idea - but will need to go and set it up and shoot it.

Print we can easily make bolder and will look at making a fraction bigger.

PM will rush straight away and change the ''s n stuff - any other spellers . . . I did spell check it all, but things slip through very easily and we are now way to close to it all.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 11th Mar 2009 at 11:54AM

Elizabethd's Avatar The one I would love to own, and would buy it!! is the first one in the Raindrops on grasses collection. It isnt very obvious what the title is.

Posted by: Elizabethd on 11th Mar 2009 at 12:01PM

Puffin's Avatar I had trouble geting there,not your fault,but once I got e-mail it was great.
The Rain drops looked like jewels-The Nudes-very well done,comparing to work of friends at the cape.
I don't think the florals are that great,but over all your
site was very well done and should sell a great deal.
I would say of the over all look of 1 to 10 it was a 9.
The changes suggested by MILLA will make it a TEN.

Posted by: Puffin on 11th Mar 2009 at 12:04PM

Yes the grasses one is lovely.. I found myself reading to much and not looking at the art maybe make them bigger or something.

Posted by: Bodran on 11th Mar 2009 at 12:08PM

Boudicca23's Avatar The home page is very pretty but I think lacks a bit of 'wow' factor.

The links at the bottom of the home page are unevenly spaced, they seem cramped over on the right hand side.

Found the prices but you seem to have double letter 'o's instead of double zeros 00 for the prices. i.e., 45.oo instead of 45.00.

When you click on the image of the picture in the frame, the new image needs to be larger.

Please tell me that "atmoshpheric inland Lochs" is deliberate - you can only read it in the voice of Sean Connery!

]That poor girl outside in the snow - must've been frozen. Why aren't there any male nudes?

Spelling mistake - should be 'acrylic' - Some of our images work well printed onto glass, or acrilyc blocks presented in heavy wooden stand alone frames.

Overall, very nice, professional looking website. I particularly like snow tree 03 (the looking up into the trees one)

Hope this has helped!

Posted by: Boudicca23 on 11th Mar 2009 at 12:14PM

CalicoKate's Avatar What absolutely stunning pictures both of you. Truly breathtaking.
My main bug bear was not having a 'back' button.
Like Tattie felt there was a little inconsistency with thumb nails/numbers
Agree with Toady re home page pic, it feels weak compared to the amazing pics inside. what about a rotating selection of pics from both of you?
On HS's Wild flower pics & something else though I can't now find it again, the title comes up from the bottom where as everything else seems to come down from the top. Title gets obscured by the little thumbnail pop up.
Also the initial images - to take you to collections I felt were a bit small and din't give a good idea of the drama of images in the collection.
Feel awfully picky here but I do understand how important it is to get right so I hope that these comments are taken in the spirit meant and asked for!Embarassed Hope it makes sense too.
Stunning photos all.

Posted by: CalicoKate on 11th Mar 2009 at 12:17PM

Wizzard's Avatar I have been browsing on an off in between paid work all morning.
I would agree with the tulips - maybe not totally representative of what you have to offer.
the link to Acrylic Prints goes to glass prints.
On the links page, the BIPP and westerlix links are the only ones that open in a new window - the others open in the same window so that the user loses focus of purpleberry!
In general I liked the site. It felt clean and uncluttered.
I don't like the o's used on the prices instead of zeros for the decimal places - looks odd!
Maybe you should have the price lists available from each page? this would make it easier for someone to find the print they liked and then easily see what the cost would be without having to do a bit of navigation. Could be as a popup window.
You could make the purpleberry logo as a link back to the home page - but that is personal preference as you lose the bottom of the page links from view when on a longer page.

I love the pix and want all of them!


Posted by: Wizzard on 11th Mar 2009 at 12:19PM

Westerwitch's Avatar Keep it coming all this feedback is BRILLIANT

Posted by: Westerwitch on 11th Mar 2009 at 12:21PM

Milla's Avatar just to say maybe it's a browser thing, the links on my machine are all spread out nicely along the bottom!

Posted by: Milla on 11th Mar 2009 at 12:31PM

Milla's Avatar one of the links I mentioned which I think is important to fix, is the view sample of frames, I see that I wasn't specific and should have been. Sorry, all this is not meant to be mean, but you know that because you asked for it!! Laughing

Posted by: Milla on 11th Mar 2009 at 12:32PM

CalicoKate's Avatar Was about to write more but have just noticed dog has eaten a block of butter so need to take out before I have to clear up. She is a four legged Dustbin! BUt clears up things I didn't want her to!

Posted by: CalicoKate on 11th Mar 2009 at 12:40PM

Cait's Avatar I am stuck for time now and I want to have a really good look at all the images. Have had a quick look and the site is great. I will report back as soon as I can do my tour justice.

Posted by: Cait on 11th Mar 2009 at 01:31PM

'fraid all I have is praise, saving money to come visit and really, really love the 'Glencoe Sunshine' Very Happy

Posted by: Seashell Cosmos on 11th Mar 2009 at 02:37PM

Mandahill's Avatar That's a lovely, clean design and very easy to navigate. I notice that the 'View sample' links don't do anything yet, but guess that you knew that!

Very lovely images. I'm obsessed with rain and dew-drops, too!

Posted by: Mandahill on 11th Mar 2009 at 02:47PM

Woozle1967's Avatar It's all been said by the others - totally agree (and yes, Milla - I didn't have uneven links either!) but wanted to add my voice to the "how flippin' marvellous are these?" comments. Truly stunning and have sheepishly made a list of favourites for J to have a look at and (dare I say it?) there are 22!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Woozle1967 on 11th Mar 2009 at 03:00PM

Exmoorjane's Avatar Images are fabulous but have said that before..... I totally agree about the tulips and actually didn't like the home page - just didn't grab me and I also thought it was a little bit too chatty and informal. I want the pictures to grab me by the throat and haul me in.... let them do the talking on that first page (this is where you win or lose people and so it's got to be right). What is your strength? Why will people want to buy one of your prints, rather than someone else's?
What is your USP? The tulip is lovely but agree it's not representative of the collection. My personal view would be to stress your sense of place, which is very strong (but not coming across in that initial page). I like CK's idea of the rotating pics - that crossed my mind too.

Agree with Milla - I don't like the font either (but that's just for feedback) - and yes, there is some uneveness on the spacing.

I would keep all the personal quirky stuff on one page - and not the home page. It's fine to be quirky and lovely to know a photographer's inspiration and where they live etc but I think the first thing people want (after an image they love) is to know that they're dealing with consummate professionals.

I found the prices OK - would prefer to have prices for mounted and unmounted/framed and unframed all on the same page - and make it very clear that the framed prices include the print. I like Wizzards idea of a pop-up box with prices if that were possible. otherwise would suggest you have a 'price from X/framed and x/unframed' on each print - just so people get an idea....with a clickable link to all price options. There is a lot of choice so it can easily become confusing.

I wouldn't include the frames on the first page of images - the one that leads into the rest - would just have the images. Think the frames distract at this point.

On framing page would like to see a print in each frame - ie longshot as well as close-up of the frame itself. What would be really clever (but maybe for later) would be a facility by which you could 'frame' each print in a choice of frame to see how each one looks....

Everyone else has noted the spelling/links not working so won't duplicate that. Did see that the links page was a bit wobbly - some of the www's didn't line up and there was a line through one address.

This sounds horribly negative - but wanted to get down all the bits that didn't work for me. What DOES work for me - hugely - is the artwork. The pics are stunning and I think you need to let them really speak out. I also like that it loads fast and that you can enlarge the images easily - though maybe the initial images could be a little larger to begin with (though aware that would involve a lot more work).

Agree with Puffin - the raindrops ARE like jewels - like fairy necklaces in some cases....

Ah, sigh......Like Woozle, I too have a shortlist that is more like a very longlist!

Posted by: Exmoorjane on 11th Mar 2009 at 03:38PM

Exmoorjane's Avatar Yikes....that was long.... sorry...Embarassed

Posted by: Exmoorjane on 11th Mar 2009 at 03:38PM

Yes, EJ (aka Asbo's Mum) and Puffin, the raindrops just screamed 'Swarovski Crystals' to me. Can I add that from a textile artist viewpoint, this is all very inspiring, and while I was browsing a second time I kept thinking, hmmm, that would interpret very well into various embellished textile work.

Are you considering top end market stationery, diaries, calendars etc?

Posted by: Celtic Heart on 11th Mar 2009 at 03:58PM

Exmoorjane's Avatar What a great idea, CH......would be a lovely idea, especially for people who love the images but maybe can't afford the prints (know I have often bought postcards in lieu of artworks).

Posted by: Exmoorjane on 11th Mar 2009 at 05:16PM

Fennie's Avatar Just back from driving up and down to Wrexham today so only glanced at this very quickly. But the pics are magnificent. Just glancing very quickly (which may be all the casual browser has time to do) I found that I didn't come quickly enough to the photos (apart from the ones on the home page) I'd have like more home page by the way! or rather the home and about us pages to be linked and then maybe a third or fourth page.

Glencoe sunshine has to be the most magnificent picture of its type that I have seen. Certainly worthy of home page treatment.

On the rain drops on grass I'm wondering whether you could offer them as a framed block of four? That way the small scale could be preserved in a bigger picture.

Will try and have another look later.

Posted by: Fennie on 11th Mar 2009 at 06:44PM

Westerwitch's Avatar Wow what an amazing response - than you all so much - we have already made alot of the changes you have suggested and fixed a lot of the bugs and spellers etc. Still working on the home page as clearly this is very important and we did not hit the mark at all . . We have made the print bigger - but you can also do this in your own browser with Option and +.

21 of you have responded and all earned yourself a print - five of you have said which one - the rest as yet haven't. If you don't actually want a print not a problem - but for those of you that do please let me know which one you want and I will need to know where to send it to!

Posted by: Westerwitch on 11th Mar 2009 at 09:07PM

Patsy's Avatar The artistic fairy passed me by so I am in total awe of these wonderful images. I particularly like the raindrops on the webs and grasses. I love the colours..just green and grey and white!
As a philistine who knows nothing about the difficulties of the creative process to make and frame these prints, I would preferto see the different images as large as possible with links afterwards to the various sizes/frames/mediums etc. I would choose the image first then the frame afterwards. On the website I am a little distracted by all the measurements of the frames which seem to come first on the page. Would that be a fair criticism?
But otherwise delightful and good luck at Aviemore.

Posted by: Patsy on 11th Mar 2009 at 10:00PM

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