Animation is too herky-jerky and gets in the way of understanding. Not enough supplementary text for the animations. Does it only work on Amazon? It looks that way but I can't tell. It's OK if that's all it does right now and you expect to expand later, but you should address this up front.
Also, looking at the example belt, you are firmly pitching this at guys (men's clothes, stereotypically male interest items like construction tools). I have heard that women are also quite interested in shopping.
I do like the basic concept, a lot. I'm all in favor of things that let the user optimize/customize things instead of being stuck with the website publishers frequently-awful UI. I found this immediately more visually attractive and intuitive than amazon's own offering.
Also, I hate to say it, but you should consider filing a patent on 'the belt', or else expect to see that idea copied left and right.
OK, you aim to work with a whole lot of sites. You should sell that, even though it's a 'work in progress'.
No privacy statement/policy. This deterred me somewhat from crating an account, especially since the extension already required pretty generous permissions. Again, you could use an extra stage on the landing page to tell me how up front that stuff works - IMHO it's worth the extra time in these days of mass retail data breaches. If I know you're going to ask to account link via G+, FB, or Twitter then it doesn't come as a surprise. Surprises are bad where PID is concerned.
Good manual. You should have had that accessible from the landing page, don't hide the menu under the logo. I do love the UI.
After installing (but before signing up), I sent a comment from the Agora page. This came back to a blank page. Now clicking on the Agora button does nothing, right clicking on it and selecting 'Agora' takes me back to the Chrome web store.
Version 35.0.1916.114 m. The belt works fine after I created an account, but I have to navigate back to Agora.sh by hand, and can't find a way to access the tutorial again.
Feel free to email, you have my address in your comment inbox. I like this product and want to help you improve it.
You can access the tutorial here: http://agora.sh/tutorial/
We plan to let users sign up via email instead of social networks, we just decided not to do that for our beta launch. We're a small team of 4 people, so we have to be very picky about what we spend out time on.
I'm glad you liked our manual! Honestly, we didn't think anyone would take the time to read it. If you hover over the A logo on the top left you can access the manual, supported sites page, and contact page. You're probably right that we shouldn't hide them.
Our target market is definitely predominantly women. I don't know why we decided to use shoes for our tutorial...
Keep in mind this is our beta. There will certainly be lots of bugs and the service is very far from where we envision it even in just the next 6 months.
Ugh. We're not filing a patent. I appreciate the suggestion, but I've already wasted too much time and money researching it. We almost gave away equity to a patent attorney to do it for us, but the deal fell through.
Here is a roughly sorted wishlist for a shopping app:
- Track prices on arbitrary sites with something akin to Web Slices where I select the price (this is pretty much a prerequisite for me using it since most items I want are on relatively niche sites)
- Can identify the same item across multiple sites
- Has some crowd-sourced component for sales. (It souldn't be hard to manually monitor the sales thread on styleforum.net and build a system that can incorporate prices changes from coupon codes).
- Can track historical sales trends for sites and tell me whether a sale is coming up
- Can show me similar online/offline stores to ones I already know (unrelated, but having user tastes and connecting that to stores in an area would be interesting for people who travel)
Mrs Browl asks: Do you have any women on your team?
Choices of items to include in bar and in video are the result of me juggling a need to resonate with an audience and a possibly over romantic desire to attempt to let some personality of we who have made the service to peek through.
I definitely agree that you should consider A/B testing a landing page + example page tailored to women.
I'd definitely consider a mobile strategy really fast. [Removed this section, plan to check out your app soon]
The tutorial wasn't completely clear for me. It might help if your example store shown the inspect button at all times instead of only on mouse over for example. I think the tutorial skipped step 2 for me and there's no way of going back. I'd have preferred no sound by default but that's not a big deal. Also when you do support more stores I'd definitely use that in the tutorial.
The extension is broken for me, can I email somebody? Nothing happens when I visit a page (Amazon) (not sure if it should, it'd be nice if dragging opened the belt), clicking extension at the top of Chrome shows the belt. Dragging something there just causes an error.
Decisions could be more useful - some combination of their inspect pages would be really neat. Speaking of which, can I view an inspect page for an item in the belt? If not that'd be really helpful. (Just spotted it, the image that pops up when you hover over an item in the belt has the inspect button (again on mouseover), I'll leave this comment as feedback on discoverability there)
I'm thinking about when this would have been most useful recently, and I guess it might be helpful to let you know. I used Airbnb to rent a place for a few days, and was constantly just bookmarking listings. I'd definitely like to use something like this for that. Similarly I hired a villa from a different website (OwnersDirect, part of HomeAway) and used Springpad's visual notebooks to track a few places there. Again this is much better (and Springpad's closing..) I think the real strength is overcoming choice paralysis when I really have to make 1 choice. It'd be neat if you considered adding sites like Airbnb, I noticed they're not on your supported sites as WIP or otherwise.
Expanding on that above use case, the perfect scenario would be that your service gives me a really useful decision overview that is shareable (with eg other holidayers), including the info your inspect has + my comment when I added it.
Thanks! We're honestly really unsure of the best way to approach the marketing of this service. That's part of what we're doing right now is for.
Mobile is an inevitability, but focusing on nonmobile has been a more comfortable starting place for us to explore ideas. We're also working off the at least partially education assumption that a lot of the more thoughtful, comparative shopping still happens on desktops. That likeliness is likely decreasing every day though.
Accidentally skipping step two definitely decreases the smoothness of the tutorial. We'll need to get around to making it less skippable. Our quickest fix was to add a button that need to be clicked and have it away from the product so that people's cursors would not interact with the product prematurely. Development priorities are the only thing keeping us from implementing a more thorough fix. But if more people report that issue, we'll likely bump it up. So thanks for mentioning that detail.
We plan to have continued (non narrated) tutorial messages that will explain individual features at opportune moments. This continued tutorial would illuminate things like accessing the inspect button from the belt, or hovering over a decision to access it's associated workspace.
YES! Planes, trains and automobiles (and real estate) are all excited prospects for Agora. We just started with commerce cause it seemed like a more financially lucrative focus and affiliate commission systems are already in place for us to monetize from immediately.
Thanks again for your thoughts and feedback.
We've decided to delay our mobile app for the moment. If we had the resources we would already be working on it, but we have to prioritize things with a 4-person team.
If you're experiencing a problem with the extension go ahead and email us contact at agora.sh and we'll try to get it fixed. There's also a little contact form in the extension itself you can use.
We will definitely be supporting sites like Airbnb, Autotrader, etc. in the future.
Decisions will also be shareable soon. You'll be able to set specific permissions like in Google drive. This is something we're going to be focusing on very soon.
On the other hand: These are arguments, why it would be a good idea to focus on tooling and CTV instead of reach through SEO. Interesting to see how it works out, best wishes!
You might want to look into Two Tap, we'd be happy to get in touch. twotap.com
twotap looks awesome! How have I never heard of it? Please shoot me an email so we can chat. Contact info is in my profile.
The result is disappointing (for extensions). The installation ratio of chrome extension is never more than 0.2%, while chrome app is constantly above 0.5%.
Google did downplay extensions. Around Nov last year, Google put Apps above the extensions in the search result list. Google also default to expand categories under "Apps", resulting extensions down to the 2nd to last of the list in the left side bar, just above themes.
On the packaged app front, maybe you can use good-old-drag-n-drop.