[thelist] beta site check please

Tom Dell'Aringa pixelmech at yahoo.com
Fri Feb 14 14:51:01 CST 2003

--- Kimberly Carroll <kimberly.carroll at art.com> wrote:
> Feedback: http://www.sparklesparties.com/
> ------------------------------------------------------
> Tom - I think this is a fun idea and it reminded me of a store I
> saw in Chicago called LubbyLu.
> http://www.clublibbylu.com/index.asp?template=party&content=3
> I watched a party going on in the store and it was a madhouse!

Yes, in fact my wife's cousin used to work there. My wife came up
with the idea partly because my daughters love to dress up, and then
when we heard about LibbyLu and that they didn't come to your house
(and people always asked) the idea was born.

> ------------------------------------------------------
> Felt like I wanted more; had the impression that this was a
> personal hobby site as opposed to a professional business site.
> ------------------------------------------------------

Yes, indeed this is a beta. I've got work to do!

> Testimonials would help - how did other kids/parents feel about
> their experience?
> ------------------------------------------------------

Great idea! The first party is actually tomorrow so I will ask Stef
to interview the Mom and birthday girl (my wife is a journalist as
well) while she is there.

> Pictures? Shots of the T-Shirts, crowns, costumes?
> ------------------------------------------------------

Note my other comment on the dresses to another email, but pix of
much of that stuff *will* be there.

> It wasn't really, really clear to me that the parties come to you;
> a distinct competitive advantage.
> ------------------------------------------------------

Gah! Killer comment. You are very right about that. I will address
that immediately.

> From a scheduling perspective, I thought I would get to see a
> schedule
> of available times. (maybe just an issue of expectation
> management?) The
> first filter for location followed by a fill out this form was
> unsatisfying and I'd be frustrated.
> Perhaps putting a 'how it works' upfront would do it.
> ------------------------------------------------------

Ah, more good comments. I *do* plan on putting a schedule of
available times up though. How was the first filter unsatisfying?
Agreed some how it works text would help.

> From a trust and confidence factor, I'd want an address and
> telephone
> number along with an email address rather than a simple form which
> in my
> experience as a seasoned web shopper yields poor to nonexistent
> return
> communication.
> ------------------------------------------------------

Yes, agreed as per the email before yours and will do.

> Why have a state by state drop down if every state is going to be
> "none
> available yet"?
> Why not tell folks upfront that we are currently taking parties in
> the
> Chicago Metro Area and then say "Tell us if you're interested in
> seeing
> our services in your area"?
> ------------------------------------------------------

Yes yes yes...doh. I got carried away there I think...

> From a branding angle, I'm not sure I understand the pricesses
> relationship to the Sparkles parties. I believe there is something
> here to work with, just not coming through very clearly.
> ------------------------------------------------------

This is an issue we are working on. The idea is that each Princess
has a persona (thus the stories) and the three styles of dresses
apply to one of the three princesses. They each have their own
hairstyle as well. The girls can choose "make me up as Dara" and they
can get her hairstyle and dress.

We are not sure about how it will all work. It could be the faces end
up just being a design element of the brand.. when we get some
feedback we'll know more.

> Would move the great for moms info higher on the page... The
> princess stuff could be better integrated.
> ------------------------------------------------------

Can you elaborate on what you mean by the princess stuff?

> The invitations were disappointing. The invite is an important part
> of the party, especially for little girls.
> Also wasn't clear that these would not be e-invites nor was it
> clear that "child's name" meant child having the party rather
> than child being invited.

Yes, good points. The invite was a 'quickie' to get it there. I need
to find a way to make a good looking invite - but the challenge is so
that anyone can print it and it will fit on the page. I don't want to
use flash for this either. I'll clarify the info you mentioned too.

Thank you very much!
[feel free to take any further comments offlist if you think this is
too much on my site for the list]


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