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Seeking Feedback
#2256346 04/03/14 12:27 PM
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Hello All,

Looking for opinions on our new website dedicated to the new Cunningham Piano:

New Matchless Cunningham Website

It is obviously a work in process, but I would appreciate feedback.

Thank you,


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila., Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Visit our Online Store
The Science Channel documents our piano restoration
Re: Seeking Feedback
Rich Galassini #2256352 04/03/14 12:39 PM
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Hi Rich,

I think it's very well done. I like the black and red theme. The pix used in the history section are cool! Wish there was more of them. You have a video link in the semi-grand tab. The echo in the music is a bit disconcerting but the piano sounds great and really cuts.

I think you have a winner here. Great job.....blob


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Re: Seeking Feedback
Rich Galassini #2256368 04/03/14 01:08 PM
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Rich,

Some quick thoughts.

First, I think the fields of text at the top of the "history" page may be a bit too dense. This is especially true for older folks or people whose eyesight is not perfect. I guess that's me, on both counts ….

As a result, I find that portion of the page a difficult slog. I was about to wonder what a web design specialist might have thought, but I realized that you probably did have such a person help with the process. Nonetheless, you have my reaction to one text-heavy chunk of an important page.

Secondly, I'm glad the Chinese DNA in the piano isn't hidden. With some folks, you seem to have to pry that information out with a crowbar, when in fact it should be, well, a simple matter of fact. There is no perfect solution to the question of how much to credit the outsourced, or "world product" side of the instrument versus the "tradition" and Philadelphia side of things. It's a difficult tradeoff, I know. I think you have done a creditable job. It leans toward the marketing side and away from detailed information about who did what. This choice is quite understandable. After all, you're trying to get people to take a look at the beast, and a website isn't a place for a treatise on modern manufacturing. But there might be a case for an additional sub-link that lays out the ties between Hailun and Cunningham in a bit more detail. And that's where you can use some dense text. grin

Lastly, I like the rotating pictures on the main page. What's the big church with the piano prominently featured? I trust that's a Cunningham in there. smile

Re: Seeking Feedback
Rich Galassini #2256371 04/03/14 01:11 PM
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The site looks nice, and works well when viewed on an Android phone in portrait mode.

However in landscape mode (or on a desktop which is typically wider than it is tall), nearly the entire screen is taken up by the slideshow on the main page. Without scrolling down, it's not immediately obvious that the topic of the website is the "Matchless Cunningham"; the most prominent branding is instead the "Cunningham Piano Company" logo.

The site navigation could use a little attention. The "Piano Partners" page does not seem to belong under the "HISTORY" tab, for example. Also, the individual piano pages (Baby Grand, Studio Grand, etc.) are filed under "HOME", whereas they might make more sense under their own "PRODUCTS" or "OUR PIANOS" tab.

I didn't find any links back to the www.cunninghampiano.com site (clicking the Cunningham Piano Company logo takes me right back to www.matchlesscunningham.com) Was this intentional?

It also looks like some page size optimization is in order. For example the Baby Grand page, there are a couple rather large images (400kB in one instance) for small thumbnails on the page.

Re: Seeking Feedback
Rich Galassini #2256374 04/03/14 01:14 PM
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I'm on an airplane (rear seat) so the sound is impossible but the visuals are super. smile


Dave Koenig
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Re: Seeking Feedback
Rich Galassini #2256393 04/03/14 02:00 PM
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Of course, this is not advertising or anything like that right?



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Re: Seeking Feedback
Roger Ransom #2256396 04/03/14 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Roger Ransom
Of course, this is not advertising or anything like that right?

Advertising? - How so?

There is a big difference between "tell me what you think" and "buy this from me." Many dealers provide links to their websites, why should this be any different? It is even a step further removed, it is a link to an American Piano Company's website, rather than a dealership. (Yes, I know what you are saying. However, is Apple an American Company?)

Good job Rich. It will be interesting to read the comments and suggestions.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Re: Seeking Feedback
Minnesota Marty #2256408 04/03/14 02:35 PM
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Rich,

I also believe the history section is too dense. The section with Mr. Emerson is filled with the text and texts are too small. Plus I think this looks like a scanned in picture file rather than html. Which makes the text look blurry and cheap looking. Same can be said for the piano partners. It will probably take more time to create a css than import a jpeg. But the site could use some clear texts, and well defined sections.

On the main page, I see that all the grand pianos were pictured without a background. This isn't the case for the upright. This is minor, but it caught my eyes immediately.

Tae

Re: Seeking Feedback
Rich Galassini #2256431 04/03/14 03:42 PM
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I'm going too add that I think to overall look is too old fashioned and the connection to the old Cunningham Piano is overplayed. Also the listing of the pianos shouldn't be under the "home" tab.

Is it true that you'll have a west coast (storefront) dealer soon?

Kurt


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Co-owner (by marriage) and part time customer service rep at an electronic musical equipment repair shop.
Re: Seeking Feedback
Rich Galassini #2256438 04/03/14 03:53 PM
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I like Kurt's idea of referencing the 19th century, but make it perfectly clear that it is a new design for the 21st.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Re: Seeking Feedback
Rich Galassini #2256442 04/03/14 04:22 PM
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Rich,

I actually like the old photo/parchment look to the site. You're trying to emphasize your pianos' historical roots, and I think the antique visual theme works well.

I agree with others who said the "History" text that starts "Cunningham Piano Company was started in 1891..." on the left is too small for people to bother reading. You want them to read it, so make it comfortable. White text on a black background can be hard on the eyes, too.

The organization of the site doesn't work for me. By that I mean two things specifically:

1. The topics in the pull-down submenus don't seem to be related to, or logical subdivisions of, the main top-level topics. For example, the pianos don't make sense to me as subdivisions of "Home". Partners aren't a logical subdivision of "History".

2. On your history page, you've got two different things going on. The weensie text on the left is the company history. The larger stuff on the right, titled "About the Cunningham Piano Company" isn't really about the Cunningham Piano Company. It's about the design concepts behind the new family of Matchless pianos. So I would turn your current "History" page content into 2 separate pages (see below).

Here's how I would organize the site. The top-level navigation buttons would be the items I've numbered, and pull-down menu items have letters here:

1. Home - This has no pull-down menu. It simply lets the user navigate back to the Home page. That's web standard (more or less) and what users expect, I think.

2. Our Pianos - This would have the following pull-down menu items, with a web page for each:

2a. Design Principles (or some such label) - This would be the content you now have labeled as "About the Cunningham Piano Company"; i.e. you'd remove it from the current "history" page and put it on its own page and label it "Design Principles". Yes, continue to emphasize that the design ideas behind the new pianos have historical roots. That reinforces your overall theme.

2b. Baby Grand

2c. Studio Grand

2d. Parlour Grand

2e. Semi-Concert Grand

2f. Concert Grand

2g. 50" Studio Upright

3. About Us - This would have the following pull-down menu items, with a web page for each:

3a. Our History - This page would have the weensie history content from your current "History" page, but in a bigger font and using the whole page. This is the company history.

3b. Our Partners - Your current partners page.

3c. Contact Us - Your current contact page.

4. Blog - Your current blog, with no submenus.

BTW, I think standard practice (more or less) is that if the user clicks on a top-level button that has a pull-down menu without pulling it down, i.e. he doesn't select from the pull-down menu, he's taken to the page of the first item in the pull-down menu. For example, if he just clicked on "Our Pianos" he'd be taken to the "Design Principles" page.

I hope these ideas are of some help.
BrainCramp

Re: Seeking Feedback
Rich Galassini #2256450 04/03/14 04:37 PM
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You're hired. smile

Re: Seeking Feedback
Rich Galassini #2256502 04/03/14 07:36 PM
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Rich,

The site looks fantastic! Do you plan to include detailed spec pages for each model?

Dave


Dave's Piano Showroom
Tampa, Clearwater, St Pete and Brandon
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Re: Seeking Feedback
Rich Galassini #2256566 04/03/14 09:45 PM
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I really like the punchiness of the idea that the pianos are 'matchless' because literally, no one has ever matched them. That is an idea worthy of attention.

However, it takes a while looking at the page before you understand that. As result, the word 'matchless' all over the page seems like just another marketing word to ignore, because the meaning behind it hasn't been communicated.

Remember that we live in a world of six second attention spans, so the site needs to get its message across ideally at the very first glance. Try to distill your message to a three word sentence if you can.

From an aesthetic perspective, it has the look of a website from 2003. The 'modern' look is light, glassy, and smooth, something like this. That matters less than you would expect. I compare it to this website The second link there is ugly by most aesthetic principles, but it's an interesting case study because the owner went through many different designs, measuring how people responded to it, and keeping the one that gave the best result. So focus on getting your message across more than making it extremely beautiful.

Sorry if that came across as too harsh.


Poetry is rhythm
Re: Seeking Feedback
Rich Galassini #2256583 04/03/14 10:33 PM
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Love the site!! And the pianos are pretty nice too.. smile


Ken

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Re: Seeking Feedback
Rich Galassini #2256602 04/03/14 11:33 PM
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I'm not a graphic designer (a software engineer), but I like the look and feel in terms of colors, pictures, etc. There's been some good advice offered above. I'd just add a couple of thoughts:
  • I'd jettison the "contact us" form. That's really a relic of the 90's. I know many sites have them, but they make a site seem amateurish. By all means, post contact information (addresses, phone numbers, email addresses), but a generic submission form gives the impression that you don't have a "bricks and mortar" place, and being a manufacturer/importer, you should have a real world presence (and you do, so emphasize it--the web is full of drop shippers). Also, people are reluctant to fill them out because as often as not they don't work, no one ever responds, or, worse, they end up in a junk mail list. If you really want a submission form, another option is to fill it up with specific questions and drop-down lists of options (sales or service/student or teacher/etc).
  • Unless you will be blogging all the time, scrap the blog too. Nothing says stale content like a neglected blog (except maybe a "news" link with nothing current).
  • Since there is a blog, I'll assume that you've got a content management system maintaining the site, and that's good because you'll be able to update the site as needed without a lot of in-house technical skill. Don't let a web designer set up a blog but leave you without the ability to update the other pages. If you're not using a CMS, there are a lot of good free ones (Wordpress, Drupal, etc).



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Re: Seeking Feedback
David Germino #2256618 04/04/14 12:26 AM
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Originally Posted by David Germino
Rich,

The site looks fantastic! Do you plan to include detailed spec pages for each model?

Dave


Presenting the specs, details of the components, your value added, etc., is very critical. My impression (albeit critical eye) based just on what is gleaned in a viewing of this site is that what is being marketed here is an Asian stencil, with an old Philadelphia name slapped on it.

Other than that, I generally like the visuals a great deal.

Best wishes-


phacke

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Re: Seeking Feedback
phacke #2256675 04/04/14 07:14 AM
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Thank you all for the advice. I knew I could count on the forum for some good constructive criticism. Watch the site over the next week or so and watch some of your suggestions go into action.

Lots of good feedback. I thank you all.

One comment that surprises me though:

Originally Posted by phacke
My impression (albeit critical eye) based just on what is gleaned in a viewing of this site is that what is being marketed here is an Asian stencil, with an old Philadelphia name slapped on it.

Other than that, I generally like the visuals a great deal.

Best wishes-


Thank you for the compliment on the visuals, but obviously the Cunningham is it's own product. I am a little distressed that it does not come across that way. We will work on it.

phacke, did you see the history page?

http://www.matchlesscunningham.com/history.html

Does this still make you think the piano is just a stencil with a name slapped on it? If so, we need to change the site because we spent waaay too much money on this project to leave someone with that impression.

Thank you for the comment phacke. (I kind of hope you didn't see that page).


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila., Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Visit our Online Store
The Science Channel documents our piano restoration
Re: Seeking Feedback
Piano*Dad #2256680 04/04/14 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
Rich,
Lastly, I like the rotating pictures on the main page. What's the big church with the piano prominently featured? I trust that's a Cunningham in there. smile


That is St. Charles Borromeo Seminary PD. It is a beautiful space and they do some beautiful music there as well. Yes that is a Cunningham.


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila., Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Visit our Online Store
The Science Channel documents our piano restoration
Re: Seeking Feedback
taeykwak #2256684 04/04/14 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by taeykwak
Rich,

I also believe the history section is too dense. The section with Mr. Emerson is filled with the text and texts are too small. Plus I think this looks like a scanned in picture file rather than html. Which makes the text look blurry and cheap looking. Same can be said for the piano partners. It will probably take more time to create a css than import a jpeg. But the site could use some clear texts, and well defined sections.
Tae


Good points and you are absolutely right. That will take a little time to "do it right" but currently there are scans there that will be replaced with html. It will have a better look then and will be more readily searchable.

Thanks Tae. I am glad you are hanging around here now. It is a good place, isn't it?


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila., Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Visit our Online Store
The Science Channel documents our piano restoration
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