Thank you so much to all those who took the trouble to respond to our survey. I sent it out, not knowing if anyone would respond. I thought that if I had half a dozen replies, I'd be happy. Within hours of the survey going live, I'd had six times that number! I've now had 46 responses. You're amazing!
So, what have I learnt?
Amongst those who replied, almost 50% of you are over 50. Not surprisingly, given that statistic, only 30% of you have under 18s living at home.
The vast majority of you use the internet at home. Just over 20% of you use mobiles to surf the net. We're supposed to be getting more mobile-friendly, but, as always seems to be the case with Print me Pretty's website, it's proving to be difficult.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that more than half of you read our blog. It would be lovely if you could leave a comment occasionally, so I know I'm not talking to myself! Lots of you visit our Facebook page, a few of you follow us on other social media, but some of you don't get involved at all! Come and join the PmP community!
Many of you said you were happy with our current choice of fabrics. Amongst those who expressed a preference for an alternative, there was no real consensus. About equal numbers voted for a jersey and a lighter weight fabric; one or two more requested a heavier weight. I think, for the moment, I'll leave things as they are, as I'm not sure I can cope with another fabric just at the moment. Maybe in a few months.... One person did say it would be good to be able to buy plain fabric, to make matching cushion backs. I'll have a think about that and see if I can sort something out. (I will have a few pieces for sale at the JGM Weekender on Feb. 27th and 28th. Get your tickets here!)
In many ways, the most interesting question was the last one - Are there any changes you would like to see made to our web site? It was nice to hear from those of you who are happy with things the way they are! A big thank you to those who made suggestions. Quite a few of your suggestions are already on my wish-list for the website. As soon as there's some spare cash, I shall be talking to my web designers about making tweeks to the site. It's always good to hear from users, though. You're the ones who use the site - my ideas might not be what you would like!
Quite a few of the comments were from designers and related to selling their designs. When I first started thinking about Print me Pretty, I made a list of everything I wanted on the site. This included the ability for designers to showcase their work and make it available for sale. However, when I talked to web designers, it was going to be far more expensive than I had hoped. (Unfortunately, creating a site like PmP is complex and therefore expensive. My designers reckoned 3 years ago that a certain American print-on-demand company had at least £100,000 worth of coding on their site - probably twice that now!) So we had to trim down our plans. I was very keen for the Market Place to be part of the site, so we bodged it and made it possible, but in a very simplified form. Hence the limitations. I am hoping to make improvements in that department in the not-too-distant future, so I will be looking at all your suggestions.
If anyone else has anything they would like to see added, do please get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org.) I can't make any promises, but I'll do my best to make the site work how you would like it to.
Most of the other comments related to uploading designs. I would like to make one point here - PmP is not design software. Our site has been built so that you can upload completed designs. So I'm afraid those of you wanting the site to behave like design software will have a long wait! For the same reason, we can only accept file formats which our printer will accept. If we were to accept other formats, we would have extra work and would have to put our prices up. There are blog posts which give some help with designing, starting with Would you like to design your own fabric?) At the moment, these aren't as easy to find as I would like - another item on my wish-list!
One of our competition-winning designs, Japnese Garden by Kimberley Rawe
Another wish-list item was mentioned by several of you in one way or another - the L - O - N - G Market Place page, and the speed with which it loads. At the moment, designs are listed in the chronological order in which they were uploaded (not made public). You can select designs by designer, themes and colours. These are as chosen by designers, and aren't always as accurate as you may like. If you find a particuarly innacurate description, perhaps you could let me know and I'll ask the designer to reconsider. Also if there are categories which you feel are missing; I can always add more, but didn't want to put up lots of categories when there weren't designs to go in them. If you are a designer and would like your name added to the list of designers, please get in touch.
Some of the designs recently added to our Market Place
I've spent a lot of time thinking about the best way to organise the designs, and still haven't come up with a definitive answer, so any suggestions you have will be considered. I've thought about a 'random' option, but that would probably be annoying - you find a design you like, but next time you look, it's in a different place and you can't find it again! I think I'd prefer to have the top designs being the most recently made public ones, but maybe you have other ideas? Let me know!
I was very sad to read one comment that the site doesn't perform well on some computers. PLEASE, if you have any technical problems, do get in touch. A lot of website problems seem to affect only one browser or one set of circumstances, so I may not realise that there's a problem. If you tell me about it, I'll try to sort it out, and if I can't, my web designers will do their best. Between us, we can usually solve most problems. That also applies to problems you might have with things like our search engine. Your problem is probably not universal, so get in touch and we'll try to help.
I think I've covered all the areas which you brought up when you answered the last question. I've got a list and will be referring to it again!
Once again, thanks for taking part and answering so fully. I really appreciate it.