10 errors prohibited this user from being saved
There were problems with the following fields:
Password can't be blank
Password is too short (minimum is 6 characters)
Password is too short (minimum is 6 characters)
Password confirmation can't be blank
Login can't be blank
Login is too short (minimum is 3 characters)
Login use only letters, numbers, and .-_@ please.
Email can't be blank
Email is too short (minimum is 6 characters)
Email should look like an email address.
These 10 arbitrary barriers just cost us a potential customer.
And so is a hefty fraction of your potential userbase.
Not only a demo but the actual product. Let me jump right in and start on my free 3 designs. Only ask for my info when I want to export to HTML/CSS.
Perhaps this is what you meant but I think this is really important.
Appreciate the feedback as it helps me prioritize what to work on next.
If you absolutely need to have user accounts behind the scenes, you can just point your "Try It Now" button to a page that creates a dummy user record "guest6772343/dummypassword" and logs in as that user. Forward to the application, and you're done.
You can have this up and working 5 minutes from now.
EDIT: For an idea of why this is important to do, and how important it is to do it (in terms of how many more users you'll unbounce), here's a writeup of the day we accidentally launched Twiddla, and the consequences of going through the quick 5-minute login-bypass exercise I describe above:
From my experience, you could spend the next couple weeks building a perfect sandbox for people who will NEVER buy your service, or you can leave the login restrictions in place, and the people who may actually become customers will certainly take a few minutes to get in there.
If they don't have the time to create a simple login, they may become real support nightmares anyway.
- They won't take the time to read instructions.
- They will think they can do things they can't and the service doesn't even provide.
- They are the people who expect EVERYTHING for free including your help.
Don't just jump on this. Remember, you are in charge. You know the service you are providing. This person already complained about something FREE, how much more of that do you really want to deal with?
> You know the service you are providing.
But someone landing on his site might not. Letting them in without any barrier but a click will let them see for themselves. At that point, a sign up form is no barrier because they have seen the utility.
This should not take weeks or days. If built this way from the start, it should add almost no extra time. You gain nothing by asking for this info upfront but gain plenty by not.
I also run a service that gets 100% of its business as a result of people converting from free trials to paid users, and the biggest lesson I've learned from that site is that the more people you can put into the top of the funnel, the more come out the bottom. It's not a matter of getting more trial signups at the expense of a worse conversion rate. It's a matter of the conversion rate staying constant and income going up in direct proportion to how much friction you can remove from the signup process.
My company needs a tool like what he's providing, and I had absolutely no trouble with his sign-up process.
Agreed. I think I'll make this a rule for my future projects.
I think you need to address the line that says "Requires an HTML5 compliant browser." For one, it's not clear enough whether you mean the builder needs HTML5 or the output requires it. In any event, I think you should frame it by telling the user which browsers will work -- those are terms they'll better be able to understand, especially considering you're aiming for the market of people who don't know what they're doing online.
Anyway, there's my two cents. Good luck.
In my opinion, instead of $19.95 per month, I would rather buy design "packs".
- $19 for 10 designs
- $49 for 100 designs
- $99 for 300 designs
- $499 for 100,000 designs (you're good to go plan)
One idea that someone mentioned was to buy usage time.
You pay $19 and get access to the tool for a month.
Or you pay $99 and get access for a year.
That way if you only use it periodically you're not locked into a recurring plan. It's ghetto SaaS, but a few folks said they'd prefer it.
The reason I keep commenting is because I want to be your customer. This tool is exactly something I would need throughout the year.
For example. Today. Our company just received approval back on a graphic design for a new site that has a homepage and an inner page format which are different.
Now, we have to turn it into a CSS/HTML layout that we can plug into a WordPress theme.
I want to use this tool right now, but I don't want to commit to $20 per month AND I don't think I want to pay $20 just for the 1 design AND I was frustrated with the fact that I couldn't get those blocks to line-up side by side which will be required for this particular design.
You see, when a design is created and approved, this tool MUST be able to work with that design. I don't see many instances where I will use a layout editor then try to squeeze a design into it and hope the client approves.
I removed the "Requires an HTML5 compliant browser" -- It sounded fancy at the time, but agree that it's confusing.
Appreciate it --
You may want to allow the ability to create unlimited designs for free, but you only get to hit the export button 3 times :)
But again, what's the pricing model? $19/month for unlimited exports?
If it's an independent designer / web developer, then they may create 2 websites a month for $2k - $4k per month per customer, and that's only 2 designs.
Then there are people who just slap up websites for $300 a piece, and may do 5 or 6.
But who's the customer?
Sure, you might say that if I'm making $2k to $4k per website, and do about 2 a month, then I should be able to "afford" $20 per month, but that's really not the way a developer thinks.
Everyone wants $20 per month from us. It seems like everything is becoming a service.
I also don't know if I'll do a single website for ANYONE next month. BUT, I can sure tell you that I'll do 10 before the year is up, so if I could just buy a 10 pack, that would make sense to me.
Lastly, I ran into some frustrating bugs while using the demo. I couldn't subscribe at this point because I couldn't do something as simple as line up 2 blocks side by side. I try to drag them so they touch each other, but it keeps bouncing back and leaving a space.
Something as simple as this becomes a deal breaker at the moment. The tool itself is still broken.
But, as imply, that's useful in a lot of cases, so it might be something to look at.
You're comments are great, btw. Thank you.
Some of you might be familiar with jMockups , a high fidelity mockup tool that was the precursor to Lean Designs. The overwhelming feedback that I received was that people wanted the ability to export their mockups to HTML/CSS. Lean Designs is the result. For additional details, check out the Lean Designs blog .
Thank you all for your feedback along the way; the app wouldn't be what it is without your direction.
Wow, one of the few "Review my startup" posts for something I'd actually use, and I hit a roadblock on the first click.
I understand that you want to use the latest and greatest technology, and do you part to drag the rest of us kicking and screaming into the 21st century, but does mounting a roadblock in front of legitimate prospects really serve your best interests? Is HTML5 a "must have" or a "would be nice"?
I on a work desktop right now, so I'll have to wait until I'm on my own later to try this out...if I remember. Sigh.
I would love to get your thoughts though. If you don't remember, you can expect an email from me later today :)
Cross browser stuff is really really easy now that you don't have to worry about IE6 anymore. Give it a shot.
Lean Designs makes heavy use of the canvas element and it would be impossible to implement on a browser like IE8 that doesn't support it. There are libraries like excanvas which help, but they're very limited (no toDataURL() and the like).
In order to support IE8 I'd have to severely limit what the app can do. Since this isn't an issue for 95%+ of the people visiting the site, it doesn't make sense to support it.
Re: view the source -- got it. It's a shame that Safari doesn't support it; I removed it for now and will look at alternatives later. Thanks again.
Compelling offering otherwise.
Monthly pricing - I don't know how often I go through periods where I need to design sites, so paying $240/year for the few times I'd need this is a little on the steep side, but I understand others might want/need more.
The core system looks nice - congrats.
EDIT: couple of thoughts:
change "examples" to "templates", then have an 'examples' link later with examples that people have built using the tool.
lastly, I'm slightly confused by the diff between a 'layout' and a 'mockup' (and then I also have 'designs' that I did). This is still confusing to me.
Examples to templates. Great idea -- done.
Layout vs mockup vs designs: probably not as clear as it should be; agreed. Layouts are high level (regions and text only) and you can export them; mockups are detailed and you can't export them. Designs are mockups and layouts. I'll work on the copy :)
You've obviously put a lot of work into this, but what's the advantage of using your lean designs web site builder over Boks (a free Adobe Air App grid builder) for Blueprint CSS?
Also I like that you've left your jMockups code in as the high-fidelity mock-up builder, but it might confuse new users who aren't familiar with the history behind jMockups.
Hope this helps!
I haven't tried out Boks, but it may be a viable alternative to this. Long term you'll be able to design an entire site with Lean Designs, which I don't think any other tool does well right now. On that note, are there any features that Boks doesn't support that you'd like to see with Lean Designs?
What if you integrated with Adobe Kuler or a similar color-picking tool to generate a CSS file?
It is especially useful for people like me who aren't very well versed in CSS. I guess you should market it as WYSIWYG CSS template builder.
The tool as it exists now is a template/layout builder, but long term the goal is to export complete and styled websites. A kind of automated PSD2HTML service that doesn't suck. Marketing it now as a website builder vs a WYSIWYG CSS template builder serves that end.
If anything, I think you might be able to charge more. I think 3 free designs/month is very generous.
PS: It's a three design limit period (not per month).
How about pay as you go pricing? I'm not going to pay monthly if I only need it every now and then, but I'd happily pay $15 per design on a non-recurring basis.