Let's Redesign Roam4Free and Win Free Things

January 24, 2007 - Get free updates of new posts here

Another Grouporation = Group + Collaboration

Company: Roam4Free helps you to eliminate high roaming costs in hundred of destinations.

Problem: Pat doesn’t like the way his website looks. I am hoping he can comment on specific objectives that he wants to improve on.

Question for us: What features do you like or not like on Roam4free and how would you make it better?

Bonus: The first 4 people to comment here will receive a Free Roam4Free Sim card. As well, Pat is giving away a Pocket PC to the best suggestion.

Please leave a comment and help if you want your site, product or service to be reviewed in the future.

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16 responses to “Let's Redesign Roam4Free and Win Free Things

  1. kareem Reply

    couple suggestions:

    – underline links:

    In our listening labs, increasingly, we observe customers hunting for links that are right there in front of them on the Web page. These are not “newbie” respondents – they’re regular Web users, like you and me, and they simply can’t find the key link on the page.

    Why not? Because the links are hidden – they’re not underlined. As always (see the Page Paradigm), when users can’t find the link they seek, they either hit the Back button or leave the site altogether. All because a designer thought it would be so beneath him, so declasse, to actually show underlined links (!) on a Web page.

    I even see this problem on the company websites of practitioners who purport to be experts in user experience. Just sit a few minutes in a listening lab with a customer using one of these sites, and there’s no question about the “worst practice” nature here. Designers: Underline your freaking links.

    from GoodExperience.com.

    – bullet the benefits of R4F–currently an un-skimmable paragraph of text. ppl like to skim on the web–make it easy for them to understand why R4F is teh r0x0r.

    – the animation doesn’t really tell me anything and distracts me from finding out the benefits of using R4F. get rid of it, or make it useful! 🙂

    – the site’s css is messed up on Firefox (check the header–looks like “Login” and “Username” overlap)

    – rewrite your copy as if it’s a bunch of traffic signs. or read Copyblogger for good tips. it’s tough to understand 1) why i should use R4F, 2) what the downsides are, and 3) what it costs. initially that’s waht i want to know.

    sounds like it’s a useful service but i’m not sure, and right now it’s too hard to figure that out 🙂

  2. Brian Balfour Reply

    Where do we start 🙂

    1. The flash graphic/demo has to go. It looks awful and useless

    2. Black test on blue background is a no no

    3. Too much text that doesn’t stand out. The main message is that you can get rid of roaming charges. But the heading gets lost…my eye was immediately drawn to the moving graphic in the flash player, but unfortunately the graphic doesn’t say anything.

    4. The header colors don’t really fit with the colors in the logo or main part of the site. Lighten up the site as a whole.

    5. The parachuting graphic is corny

    6. I would put one heading and maybe a simple diagram that shows pictures and says (your phone + roam4free sim card = you saving mad money)

    7. There is no call to action on the main page to buy the product. You have to click on the tiny link in the header navigation to get to the store.

    Thats all I have for now

  3. Ben Reply

    Login boxes are too big and taking up too much real estate. Make them one on top of the other and make sure they’re still as obvious but not taking up so much space.

    Fewer images for text will help with SEO.

    Flash is distracting and unnecessary.

    The paragaraph of benefits is bad. List the primary benefits in 3-5 word phrases with “1. No hidden costs. 2. 115 countries.” etc. type format.

    Make your services more prominent and get icons that are unique and tie in your logo somehow. They will then associate “unlocking phones” with the Roam4free brand.

  4. Brian Breslin Reply

    ok quick list of free consulting 😉

    1. Affiliates link is hard to read, not enough contrast
    2. links should be underline or at least have a hover state
    3. flash has to go. replace it with 2-3 static images with good alt tags saying what the process is like.
    3b i would actually make a diagram of the process flow.
    4. text is hard to read when the blue behind the black fades to white.
    5. What is with the RSS stuff?
    6. tone down the drop shadows on the lock and shopping bag icons (subtlety works best)
    7. stretch it a bit more
    8. the where section – the dropdown does nothing.

    if you want any more tips, feel free to ask.

  5. Noah Mittman Reply

    There’s a lot to say, but the main point I’d make is that you need to make your mission clear: You should have 1 sentence that top-lines the product and its main benefit. It should not be technical, it should be easily digestible, and it should be uncluttered by utility links and other visual distractions so new users know where to start reading on the page. People are fickle with their time on unfamiliar sites and need to understand why they should spend anymore time on yours. Too much info is perceived as too complicated a subject or product… but a little information, with links that pique users’ curiosity will get them in. Don’t worry that there will be too little information up front — that little information will set their expectation that further pages are just as succinct and easy to understand. *Follow through on that promise* when rewriting and redesigning and you’ll be set.

  6. Paul McEnany Reply

    Simple. Quit trying to look like a Web 2.0 site. Those sites are running out of money left and right, why would you want to look like them?

    By the way, I like to say simple before I say things that are really complex and abstract. Just an FYI.

  7. Thomas Holmes Reply

    Hi Pat,

    You really need to decide what this page is about. At the moment you have around eighteen links on the homepage and none of them are really visually more important than any other.

    I imagine the goal of this page for new visitors is to draw them deeper into your purchase process whether it be via a ‘learn more’ or direct to the shop. If so, then everything on the page should support that click through to the next page in the process.

    As someone mentioned already, that flash animation is just annoying. I expect it to explain something but it doesn’t. This would be an excellent place to put in some visuals that explain your service.

    Your message needs to be clearer. There is way too much text in the big chunk in the middle – very few people will read it. The list of five bullets with the different roam4free in it seems completely pointless. This whole section of the page (3/4 of it) has only one single tiny link.

    Think visually – check this out for example.

    Don’t hide your call to actions from your visitors – it makes it harder for them to use your site. Make them obvious and keep it to one or two – learn more and purchase. Experts suggest that you should be able to see them from six feet!

    When you get into the shop, you have virtually no more information. Think reassurance. How does the visitor need to be reassured in order to be able to confidently make a purchase.

    And in fact when i get to the shop, I can see it’s really simple – there is just one card for sale. The homepage makes it feel a whole lot more complicated than this.

    I hope that helps! Feel free to contact me to talk more – thomas -at- logicintuition dot com

    Good to see a dot ie domain here! 🙂

  8. Wendyness Reply

    Quick thoughts:

    – initial thought upon viewing website: it looks cheap. Makes me think it’s a gimmick or some sort of scheme to steal my money, so I’m already turned off.
    – the only thing I learned in ten seconds is that I can “abolish sky high roaming charges today” (what the hell does that mean?) and then I got distracted by the hideous roam4free Flash. And what the hell am I learning from that image? Absolutely nothing.
    – too much text, too small. Not reading.
    – instead of that roam4free Flash, you should have a call to action image that says something like, “FREE ROAMING > GET IT NOW! >” Something that makes me want to click on it and get to the purchase point of your website. Otherwise visitors are stuck on the home page and have to click on those tiny text links (that they’re not reading) to get places.
    – after I just typed that, I clicked on the roam4free Flash and found out it took me to the store page. Still needs a call to action, i.e. “click here now.”
    – so I got to the store page.. I still have no idea about your product. Will it work with my phone? Why is the price in pounds? So does that mean it only works in the UK? Huh?
    – again: too much text. Even the marketing images on the side (“If your phone is locked blah blah blah..”) are too verbose. That could be simplified into something as simple as, “UNLOCK YOUR PHONE NOW >>>” and the image could be punchier. Make me want to click on it.

    Hope this helps!

  9. Daniel Elmore Reply

    The important things have already been addressed, but here a few usability quirks.

    The Contact Us Page…
    1. You have the text “Please fill in the form below to contact us”. That’s what we call happy text. It’s only purpose is to fill up space. No one needs to read it. Other examples: “Welcome to our website” and “Please press the submit button to begin processing your order.”

    2. Query? A database query? O you meant “Message” or “Comments”.

    3. Do you really need my address? Why is the address box as big as the “query” box.

    4. Nuke that reset button. No one and I mean no one will ever click on that button.

    No one.

    On the FAQ page…
    1. Those “top” links are so bright and blue. I keep wanting to look at them even though I’m never going to click on them.

    2. “What is Roam4free.it?” should be the first question in the list, not the second to last. 😉

    The Online Store page…
    1. I have no idea what this page is trying to present. Am I about to start playing a flash game?

    The Call Rate page…
    1. Do you have to make the screen flash (at least in FF) when I change the country. You’re going to give me a seizure.

    The Where page…
    1. With a little thought you could combine this with the Call Rate page.

  10. Daniel Elmore Reply

    Hey thanks Thomas. I can’t remember where I first heard ‘happy text’ but I know I didn’t coin it myself.

    I appreciate the heads up on my site! Fortunately it was just me monkeying around with the apache.conf.

    Sweet domain name. They sure make you jump through some hoops to register those Italian domains huh. I guess the Italians figured that english speakers would be buying up all their namespace, what with their TLD spelling out one of our most ubiquitous words.

  11. Thomas Holmes Reply

    They sure do – on the .it domains – took about five faxes for us. Still it’s a cool tld – was a bit shocked that it could be registered! (sorry noah – veering off topic… 🙂

    Quite a clever feedback / linkbait scheme Pat has going there!