Saturday, January 24, 2009

Contest! *Feedback on Blog*

I've changed the look of the blog to be a little more reader- friendly. I want to make this as entertaining as possible and I need your help making it better! Post below your suggestions and be entered to win a mini Phat Fiber box! There were enough samples left over to make a half box (10+ samples)
What would you like to see more of?
What things bother you about the blog?
Any new suggestions are greatly appreciated!!

This contest will be a fairly long one- drawing will be held next Friday.
Remember to leave an identifying mark!

41 comments:

jennifer said...

I liked the patterned background better. The white is a little stark for me. I like the idea of changing the colors or something from time to time though. It makes things seem fresh. Also, what about posting a product review or two from box recipients of the items you haven't had an opportunity to blog about yet. Kind of an "eye in the sky" approach and it would save you a couple of days each month of writing.

desertgarden

laila aka rawfish said...

hi i was going to do the phat fiber box for the premiere box (january) but when i joined the yahoo groups- i was super overwhelmed. maybe it was my unfamiliarity w/ yahoo groups in general. on an upside, the new ravelry group is really nice. much more user-friendly, for me at least.

i also had a really hard time thinking up samples that i could make that wouldn't just tailor exclusively to the spinning crowd. but i specialize in quirky yarns in small yardages- so the thought of making x amount of yards for free was daunting. maybe when people sign up to participate- mailing them a list of sample suggestions to kick-start them!

i like the background change- it does make the blog easier to read.
also before i was unclear that the box hotlinked on the side that said "phat fiber box" took you to the website. i don't know if it's been clarified or if i just clicked it and found out. if it doesn't already- a headline that says "go to our website!" or something else to that effect would work.

:) to close: i'm going to try to participate again in the coming months. but am still totally stumped on what to make for samples.

Ballee said...

This is much better! More clean, very clear and attractive.
Thanks for all your time and work!

jane said...

I like the white background. I love reading the blog, but the longer posts were a little hard because of the strain on the eyes (and I'm only 28... I guess I'm getting old.) I also love the giveaways! They keep me coming back once or twice a day! :)
The linking and the finding of an actual description of what this phat box actually is, was a little hard when I started looking. And I agree with Rawfish. I wanted to contribute for Jan, and I wanted my own box, but the idea of making 45 samples up and tagging/labeling them for free was a little daunting.... so I'm still trying to figure out how best to represent my shop on etsy. Suggestions would help.
I love that you have created this niche of a solution to the all-tactile, needing to pet fibers before actually purchasing group of fiber artists. I am truly impressed by how planned and well-thought out this project is!
I do like the idea of a "spinning" box and a "knitting/crochet" box. I spin, and even though I happen to knit some of what I spin, I wouldn't want a bunch of yarn... I want the fluffies that I can turn into things. :)
Sorry this is soooo long.
Btw, I'm still unclear as to whether this box happens every month, as we just voted on April's theme... did we have a theme for March? Feb? I am lost on this one.

Who? Me? said...

I like the white background. It does make things easier to read. I also think that figuring out what a phat fiber sample box actually is, is a little bit difficult. maybe an about page that gave a clear run down? I love all the giveaways tho...they keep me coming back!

karijo.09 at gmail dot com

sunnie fairy said...

I love the new look, but I think you need a picture in your banner. I definitely like how the background is white. It really lightens up everything. One thing I don't like: the etsy favorites on the side... but everything else is awesome! I love your reviews and features.

etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6445328

P.S. I really want to join in future boxes! I already have some ideas for samples...

rosncrantz said...

For the boxes, I don't spin, so I didn't get the box because I didn't know what I'd do with the roving. Perhaps having two categories of boxes, one for spinners and one for non, would be nice?

I like the blog redesign quite a bit. I will agree with the comment from Jennifer that it would be nice to read reviews from those who got the boxes. I would also like if somewhere on the blog or website you had a photo of everything that was in the box. It's hard to really understand what you get in a box.
(rsncrntz on ravelry)

jane said...

ah... now i see what this defining mark is... jacksbluejane on etsy

Bohoknitterchic said...

Could you do a solid color that isn't white? White is a little plain. Maybe use the light green from the Phat Fiber Button as the background and use the light blue for the background of the banner and post headings so that there is more contrast. I hope that made sense.

missfire said...

I like the white background, but it is a little stark. Mostly what I wish the blog had is a single spot (list) for all of the sample vendors. There are a few whose samples I didn't get in my box (cupcakes!) that I would like to buy. I can find them myself, but it would be awesome if you had a list like a blogroll so that we could have one place to go.


But really, I just love the blog and getting to see all the awesomeness!

Soap Mogul said...

I am getting the impression folks are not visiting the main www.phatfiber.com website? Almost everything suggested so far is there- a gallery of participants, an explanation of the box, a forum link. Are people not visiting the main site?

Knittymama said...

I love the look, I just started following this blog! Personally, I can never see enough pictures.

Georgia said...

I have a wide monitor, and the way you have this set up makes it stretch all the way across it. You might want to go with a fixed-width template or add a right side bar to balance things out.

I love tinkering with my blog layout- it's like an art project!

Becca said...

While I know a lot of the things that have been suggested are available on the website, in my experience people aren't willing to look terribly hard to find what they want.

The new labeling for the website link helps with this somewhat, and I think a full list of contributors on the blog would be overwhelming, but perhaps expanding the text under the link would guide more people to the link? Making the button a little more prominent could help with that, too.

The white is a little easier to read, but it has a tendency to look "cold" or "harsh" - perhaps a soft solid color instead?

Rebecca
evergreencreations.etsy.com

Claire said...

The white is nice but I would prefer a nice top image, showing samples and such. Add some color and fun to it.

I was unsure where I was supposed to leave feedback about what I got in my box and my favorite things.

I agree with Soap Mogul that folks may not be visiting the main site, but when I did, it took me a while to figure out what it was all about. I didn't find it as clear as I would have liked.

Oh, and in the profile bit up at the top, Independent is spelled wrong, which bugs me, but I'm a spelling nut. (it is spelled with an "a" as in independant, instead of independent (with an e)).

Cindy said...

Having the text on a white background is SO much easier to read. Would be nice to have some surrounding color, though.

I like the idea of having some feedback from recipients. Especially some "show me what you did with your stuff" kinds of things.

Profiles of the contributors to the boxes are always great, as are links to the various shops represented in the most recent boxes.

I'm hoping the postman delivers my box today, although I won't be home until almost midnight to get it. Can't wait to feel all the fibery goodness!

Oh, I'm maxfun on ravelry. :)

Jen aka knitstuff said...

Loving the brighter background! Maybe it's just me, but I found the dark background hard to read sometimes.

Also, I'd love to see announcements on the blog as well when the box goes on sale. Not on Rav that much, and not a member of the Yahoo group.

Maybe a page to showcase all of the contributors for that month's box, sort of like how the Sampler does theirs?

I'm knitstuff on Ravelry, btw...

carrym said...

I'm part of the "loving the white background" crowd. I'm horrible at giving advice to better a website, I'm more the type that knows what she likes when it's done. That said, I think a banner image would be lovely.

Also I think it's great that you have two different kinds of sample boxes. Now hopefully I can get one this next go 'round! :)

Melissa @ Banana Migraine said...

I'm new to your blog - and haven't gotten a box yet - but REALLY wants one.

I like the simple look, but also think maybe a little subtle touch of color might be good. Like Boho said, maybe pick up the green from your button.

What about adding a yarn photo as the background picture of your title bar - you could switch it up from time to time.

Jags said...

I liked the darker or a colored background a lot! When you shop at a jewelry store they have all the pretties on dark colors, its because it makes the colors in the jewelry pop! Or maybe something like a light blue or pastel shade would work too (anything but white lol)

I love the rewiews on the samples, they are very entertaining and I think you should keep doing them!

I love the idea of a spinning box and a knitting box too, i don't knit except on my knitting loom but I'm addicted to spinning!

If you don't have time to do all of them, definately do a shorter review of a couple different ones per post

the only other thing i can think of would be to add some pics of past boxes so it will entice people to want one even more (you may have some there already i haven't had a chance to look)

Aster said...

Color! This is easier to read and brighter, but some cool graphics would be great anywhere. I am so excited about Phat Fiber boxes.

~Aster.etsy.com

Terry said...

I like the colored background better. It makes it vibrant and exciting. I just recently started following, so I am not sure if you did this with the January box, but I would love to see more pictures of the samples. Plus, it would be great to see what people are doing with the yarn and fiber. But overall, the white is easy to read and if that is what works, go for it.

Mama Rasheika said...

i love the new look!
i am new to phat fiber, so i really did not have any problems with the old blog, i did have trouble finding the email to sign up for the phat fiber box sample box notification when the next one is available. but anyway, glad i found you, i love being "near" other knitters.
i love how you showcase beautiful yarn.
lisa

Turtle said...

the white background is easier to read and makes the photos pop more. I do think a banner on your header would be nice though, maybe some photo that you changed from time to time depending on what you are doing or have going on. As far as products, samples etc i can't help you there! i liked my boxes (1 of each) but am usually clueless when it comes to the product suggestions. maybe other "sheepy" things (magnets, keychains, etc) as well as the great items we received!

CinderLisa said...

I actually really like the clean white background. Gives the posts and the fibery goodness therein a little more prominence, which is great! I'd agree with those that have said putting a little bit of an info "What we do" box would be helpful, and I'd encourage a banner of some sort, if it could be achieved (which I'm sure it could!).

But really this is a fantastic blog! I love your check boxes after the posts now. Ever since Ravelry I want little (love) buttons everywhere, so it's great to see them here!

CinderLisa @ Ravelry

Morrighan said...

I actually don't like the white all that much. I have one of those really bright computer screens and it's just almost blinding. I really liked the darker color, but perhaps a solid color rather than the polka dots.

Let me know if you need help with the blog; I just finished beating both of mine into submission with new shiny layouts.

~Morrighan
blacktiefiberarts.blogspot.com

ZombieCat said...

I find the all white blog to be a little "clinical". I know blogger only gives you so many choices for layouts, but I thought it would be cool to change the background to fit the colors or idea of each months theme. That way when people visit the blog they'll already get a "feel" of what to expect in the box.
Also, when you're reviewing the samples (which you do very well, and I love reading them) it's sometimes hard to get an idea of how big the samples are. It would be nice if there was some kind of information on yardage.
I know not everyone uses ravelry, but I've found the group forum there to be a great place to see what others have gotten and what they're doing with their samples. If there isn't already, maybe a link to the ravelry group page would be helpful.
Thanks for organizing this awesome box!

|chee-uh| said...

I think that the blog is much easier to read now. I think that if you carriage return between paragraphs and break the posts into smaller paragraphs that would help as well.

susan said...

love the new banner,very creative. i really enjoy your reading your blog.the white background is much easier for me to read and the pics stand out better.
thanks.

cosmiccrocheter81

jennifer said...

New banner at the top is beautiful and makes a difference. Also, the changes you made to the Phat Fiber main site button area make it much more clear and inviting.

Kitten With a Whiplash said...

I like the new look except if you have a light background you need dark or bright text and link colors. The pale grey currently used for dates, etc. and the blue for linkd fade into the background and are difficult to read.

Lona said...

This is my first time to the blog, so I can't really say what's better or worse. But I do like the lovely photos!

Lona at shadysidefarm.etsy.com

cnuland said...

I think the new look is "cleaner" and simpler than before.

idyll hands said...

I like the new look of the blog (and am not against the creamy background - but perhaps bringing in another muted color that is in the banner - just to make it more unique.

As far as features and such in the blog go, I really like how it's being run now. Featuring some of the contributors with an occassional contest keep people coming back to see what is new each day.

I really don't have a suggestion beyond what I already said - nothing earth shattering.

Thanks for keeping this up!

Heather said...

I think the lighter background is so much easier to read. The old one was a bit distracting -- this one is not.

I see you already have your name in rubber stamps! That's great! Did you carve them yourself?

Martha said...

I like the new look (though I almost thought that I went to the wrong site for a moment). Love the interviews with the contributors, and the sneak peeks of the boxes, as well.

Aunt Kathy said...

Well I love the blog... the background I see is beige not white and the banner with the drawn on pics is cute too.

By the way I got the cupcake scents today in the mail, LOVE them

Brittany said...

I like the background - makes it nice and easy to read. But the anal-retentive part of me doesn't like how the header doesn't fill the whole space. Perhaps the header needs to be re-jigged?

One Sheep said...

Sorry, but I find the new background bland. I think some sort of picture is nicer, but it could be in pastels that are easy on the eyes.

cksknitter said...

I think your blog is fun and it really makes me want to try a Phat Fiber box! I would like to see some of the samples knit into swatches with a critique of them. I'd like to know how many boxes are available each month. It would also be interesting to find out from the vendors how many purchases were made as a result of the sampler box. It might convince more vendors to contribute.

Chrissy at knittodayAThotmailDOTcom

CarrieM said...

I like it as it is! It seems....crisp? Clean? I know, it sounds weird! But there you have it! The background works for me pretty well. If you do change it up, please consider not having a dark background with light type. If you do shift background colors as you go, perhaps consider cream or tan?