- you don't state on the page what your product is. Ok, it's "Deeply carved and finished by hand", "a custom work of art" and "A personal gift that leaves a lasting impression", but what is it? You need a big statement upfront that says "Pinegram lets you design and send a beautiful engraved wood postcard" or something (I'm not a copywriter). It was easier for me because your HN post is actually very descriptive.
- I was about to dismiss the product because I didn't like the shape of the board on the homepage (http://i.imgur.com/JSX4TG8.jpg), and it's only when scrolling back up and seeing the heart shaped one that I understood that you had different shapes available. You might want to do something about that, maybe use 2/3 different shapes in that options list.
You've had one piece of feedback that confirms what you believe. That doesn't make it right. This is exactly why we do split testing (A/B tests). At the very least, if you do change it, make sure you note when you changed it, what you did and why you did it, so you can see how it impacts sales.
I've been working on this as a side project for the last few months. I had ran a similar business in university, but most of my time was taken up by validating design files and doing CAM. This time around the backend generates g-code directly, allowing for the production process to be almost entirely automated.
That's arguably the best kind of HN post.
Granted the tiny scrollbar on my gigantic monitor was a clue, but one I easily overlooked. So I was left wondering what this was, only to see someone comment here about info on the homepage that I did not see.
I think my problem is that there is so much empty space at the bottom of the ATF homepage, that there was no visual cue that more info was below (again, other than the scrollbar).
Having said that, your product does look interesting and unique. I just wanted to provide some feedback regarding my experience with the main page. Maybe it's just me though.
I would have one suggestion too, take off the Disqus comments from the page. I go to your Info section and the left panel has links and then the right one is blank and just a Disqus widget. It isn't really a section that would need user input, so I feel like it just doesn't fit.
I did want a section for user feedback though. Maybe I could put that at the end of the home page.
The sentence that starts "Deeply carved and finished by hand, [...]" might be perceived as misleading. The fact that the carving happens by machine is quite obvious from the behind-the-scenes movie for instance, but I can still imagine someone feeling fooled by it.
Also, CNC machinery is cool and I want some. If only I had a garage. :|
Also, this is a great guide to options and actually making stuff.
Just one thought as I was playing with your site, I wish there was a way to center the text on my pinegram. I wonder if this would be less of an issue if the anchor point of the text was in the center and not the left corner.
Does your CNC support any unicode characters? Hearts, PI, Fractions, Copyright...
At a lower level this type of v-bit carving is much more difficult compared to 2d operations like pcb trace milling. There are various tricks (http://s485.photobucket.com/user/defaultname000/media/butter...) you can use for computing vector offsets of arbitrary paths, but for v-carving you need to get the medial axis as well.
There is an another limitation - any individual stroke wider than about .09" requires 2 passes to cover, which is not ideal since I'm basically selling machine time. Adding arbitrary symbols would likely increase my cost.
edit: I've gotten the center comment from a few people, I'll see about changing that
> Are Pinegrams really made from pine?
They're actually made from domestic Maple plywood, but the MapleGram domain name was already taken so I had to settle for PineGram