Especially as your using red! light red / pink is a very wishy washy colour and the darker reds draw the eye much more easily.
And your site is full of features - like "Browse baby names..." and "We have amazing maps..." those thing are features - what you need to do is list the benefits. You should tell the users what value they get. Example: Our coats have double lining = feature: Our coats keep you warmer = value.
And from a users experience point of view: The site isn't very instructive and its hard to navigate.
For me I want to use the site to find the least "popular" name - I guess a user can figure it out by your maps and boxes - But wouldn't it be great to just type in a name and get a page back with a "name popularity" map? Or if I need suggestion for names maybe you could do that too via popularity - by entering a state?
Like I said just my two cents.
When we picked out baby names, the first letter was really important (to name the kid after an older family member) for browsing names, but I guess some people want to search for a specific name.
I used to have the tables sortable, so we could re-sort the names based on least popular. The idea behind the clusters is that if you like a popular name, but it is too popular, then you can immediately look at its "cluster" and see all of the related names, then pick the least popular variant.
I thought I could make something better, and here it is.
At first, my unique angle were these scalable "clusters" of names (based on word similarity). And, I also had links to wikipedia grouped by name. I also had very detailed popularity charts over time.
Just recently, I made these US maps which are shaded by popularity for each state. That is a totally unique feature which is not available at any other baby name website. They are actually really interesting to explore.
Anyway, what do I do now? I want more visitors and better search ranking. I have some other ideas for the site itself - like to simplify the multiple page types ("cluster" page vs. "single name" page) into one page for name details. And I have a few other ideas with respect to the maps.
I think I am going to re-brand/rename my site to: BabyNamesAcrossAmerica.com since my main feedback from friends is that my URL is kinds of geeky and hard to remember. But, there are so many domains with "babyname" already taken.
Thanks for any suggestions.
But not only that, the search results page is too complex. What is "rank (modified)"? What is the "cluster popularity"?
The entire concept of the cluster chart is probably something most parents aren't interested in.
I heard about it probably 2 years ago when it first started getting some major press. Since then I haven't bothered looking for other baby name info sites (and I actually named a baby 5 months ago, so I speak from experience).
But, I think those charts are really confusing... I don't know why everyone likes them so much.
Good concept - needs tweaks in the execution :D
- Needs plain english (no jargon)
- Explain what everything means(I still dont quite get what the clusters are and how they work).
This page is probably your best! http://www.babynameclusters.com/map/ nice and clear and intuitive.
The clusters page really needs a map. The graph can be a little confusing? no?