Friday, December 12, 2008
I just launched a brand new version of the beedocs.com website. This is our fourth major site design in the history of the company and this one was nearly a year in the making. Thanks to Turnstyle for the graphic design. Thanks to all of the Bee Docs Timeline customers who shared their timelines.
The site has some new features for customers that I would like to point out:
A consolidated movie library with our tutorial and demo videos.
As much as possible, all of the timelines that appear on the site were created by customers. However, there is room for more. If you have a great timeline that you would like to share for this purpose, please contact me.
We now have hand-printed BEEDOCS shirts for sale.
About Us page is updated and contains more ways to contact me.
Education discounts and site licenses are now available.
Movies have all been transcribed. This should be particularly helpful for those who would like to use a translation service.
Movies are now optimized for iPhone viewing.
Pages automatically optimize themselves for printing.
This update also completes our brand transition from “Bee Documents” to “Bee Docs.”
For those of you who are interested in the business and marketing side of things, I would like to tell you about the ways that I have refined my strategy based on my experiences over the past year.
The previous website had two specific messages that is was designed to communicate. The first was “timelines created with Bee Docs Timeline are beautiful” and the second was “timelines created with Bee Docs Timeline are quick and easy to create.” I wrote these down before beginning the design and wrote a lot marketing copy along those lines.
A wise friend saw the site and advised that I show these messages instead of telling them. Based on that advice, I stripped out most of the text and came up with the design that featured six timeline charts, each with a short movie showing the timeline being created in a few minutes or less.
I believe this design successfully communicated the two messages, unfortunately these were the wrong messages. The messages that Bee Docs Timeline creates beautiful charts and is easy-to-use were a result of comparing Bee Docs Timeline to other timeline charting products. Two observations have influenced my change of strategy.
Observation #1: I have sold Bee Docs Timeline to approximately 0.03% of the active Mac OS X user base. That means that I have sold a license to about one out of every 4,000 Mac OS X users. I’m guessing this is a good number compared to the competition. However, it is obviously not huge slice of the pie.
Observation #2: When I show Bee Docs Timeline to family and friends or other people who are not necessarily shopping for timeline software the most frequent thing I hear is, “That looks like really cool software, too bad I do not have any need for timelines.” In other words, “Why the heck would I want to make a timeline?”
My conclusion from these two observations is that I should not waste any more time trying to convince people that Bee Docs Timeline is the best timeline software. Rather, I should focus my marketing efforts evangelizing the usefulness of timelines in general. I want to convert a big chunk of the other 99.97% rather than focus on the ones that are already convinced then need a timeline creation tool.
So here are the top three messages that I specified for the new site design. I kept these in front of me when I was designing the site architecture, layout, imagery, and text copy. I asked Turnstyle to focus on these when they were doing the graphic design.
Answer the question: Why are timelines relevant to me?
Diverse, interesting, and successful people use Bee Docs Timeline
Timelines made with Bee Docs Timeline are beautiful (had to keep that one in there)
Hopefully at least the first message will sink in for visitors to the website, even if they only spend a few seconds on the site!