Author Topic: Suggestions for new festool website  (Read 3206 times)

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Offline graphex

  • Posts: 136
Suggestions for new festool website
« on: February 27, 2008, 09:57 PM »
In a previous post, I had mentioned that I will be working on a complete re-design of the Festool USA website.  I encourage the forum members to start a thread, if warranted, with ideas and comments about the existing website.  Although, I will say that I have already compiled a rather extensive critique of the existing website and have grand plans for the re-design. 

I agree that the Festool USA website should be the resource on the web for Festool product information and that is my vision for the new and improved site.  I think you will see a glimpse of that depth of content with the micro sites developed for the three new tools which will be announced on March 1st.  The site re-design is my top priority.

Trust that I agree with your assessment and as demonstrated by other employees, we are listening (and acting) on your feedback as a group.

Shane Holland
Festool USA

I've started this thread in an effort to give some feedback for Festool on the direction for their website.

Since I build these types of sites as my primary business activity, I wanted to give some highly technical pointers, but I suspect that this thread will be better if I start it out with some more user-centric suggestions, so here we go.

Initial landing
If possible, make the transition between the site and site a bit easier by remembering the country selection with a cookie. Then on the USA site, you can have a small "region" drop down if someone wants to jump over to the UK site, for example, to see all the stuff that is NAINA.  :P

The taxonomy is pretty good, the categories make sense, and the general structure of things seems reasonable. I do like that you don't have the e-commerce totally separated from the product information - you can add something to your cart pretty much anywhere you see it. There is some risk with your 'product specific mini-sites' for the new products, you might tend towards a separate 'content' part and a separate 'store' part.... I'd recommend against that. Make it so the product has only one "home base", and not its "information home base" and its "store home base".

I don't mind drop-down menus on websites, but they can be done much better. I'd recommend either Telerik or Component Art menu systems where you can easily make the menus look better and better fine-tune how long they stay open and things like that.

Finding something
The search function works pretty well, but when your search doesn't return results, a guide could be displayed to help the user get down the right path.

Not a big deal, but an error nonetheless - if you search from the sys notes pages (whats_new_details.aspx?docid=xxx) you get an error
(invalid postback or callback argument.  Event validation is enabled using <pages enableEventValidation="true"/> in configuration or <%@ Page EnableEventValidation="true" %> in a page.  For security purposes, this feature verifies that arguments to postback or callback events originate from the server control that originally rendered them.  If the data is valid and expected, use the ClientScriptManager.RegisterForEventValidation method in order to register the postback or callback data for validation.)
(should be easy to fix)

It would be nice to have some sort of "advanced" search. Doesn't have to be too fancy, but if I want to look up 'OF' to find router stuff, it would be nice to have a 'model name' search, so I don't just find everything with the word 'of' in it.

Product associations
These could be much easier to use. Of particular concern for me is if you're looking at a router, your accessories tab has 23 pages. There needs to be a way to better categorize the types of accessories available rather than just one list. I would recommend a grouped grid view using AJAX in the vein of this example
(you can keep the same simple many-to-many product relationship, but could group on a "product type" field)

I also like the idea of being able to let the user select the page size - when I use a site like I always try to get everything on one page. I hate having to go page by page. If you set this up with an AJAX tool like the telerik example above does, you can load on demand and be ok with thousands of rows.

Product information
yep. Bigger pictures, more videos, etc. I'm sure this one is being focused on already and I don't need to say much. Did I mention bigger pictures?

I like that you've made Windows Media and QuickTime compressed versions available when you have a video.

On the Login/Account creation page (checkoutlogin.aspx) the account creation portion needs a default button. Let's say I just filled out my name and made a password, and I press the "Enter" button on my keyboard. On your site, it defaults to pressing the search button, so I end up with a list of all the products (after a bit of a wait), when I really wanted to make an account. The login section and the 'I forgot my password' section properly default to their respective "Go" buttons, but the account creation section doesn't default to its "Submit" button when you press Return or Enter on your keyboard. This is easily done with the default button property of the asp:panel tag, but
can also be done with JavaScript.

Ok, I'm starting to get too technical, and I'll break for a bit before I use the word "enterprise"...
« Last Edit: February 27, 2008, 10:08 PM by graphex »
Sean McKibben
Westminster, Colorado

we need more tools in north america

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Offline Dave Ronyak

  • Posts: 2234
  • Flyin' from NE Ohio
Re: Suggestions for new festool website
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2008, 04:07 PM »
1) I would like to see the tabs filled in for each product.  That would greatly help to understand what a product is for and therefore help a customer decided whether or not to buy that product.  This is especially true of accessories.  I have purchased several accessories for my 1400 router and my CT-22 E only to later realize they were not the correct ones for the problems/uses that had in mind.

Recent example:  I have a CT-22 E, the Boom Arm and an Oneida Dust Deputy.  To better route the 55mm hose from the CT-22 E to the Dust Deputy, I wanted to install a 90 degree adapter in the vacuum machine inlet.  I mistakenly ordered Angle Adapter Item #456806 which apparently only directly connects with a D27mm hose.  (Thanks to Bob Marino going above the call of duty to catch this, calling me in the evening, and modifying my order!)

2) I thumbnail photo for each accessory showing how that accessory fits on a product, e.g. edge guide on router and how it was intended to be used would be helpful.  Links to such photos would be OK, too.

3) Improve the on-line Parts Catalogue links and descriptions.  Below is an example of why this would be of help to customers.

 Recently I was trying to find the part numbers to enable me to upgrade the Side Stops on my Hole Drilling Set Item #583290.  I want to replace the twist knobs used to tighten the stops on the guide rail with the lever action screws like those that are used in the Limit Stop Item #485827 for the guide rails.  I have confirmed the plastic bodies of the stops for the Hole Drilling Set and the Limit Stop are the same.  But it was not a quick and easy search for me to locate what I think are the correct parts because a search on the "parts diagrams" section of FestoolUSA's site returned no entries for "limit stop" or by Item #485827 (and permutations thereof).   I think (and hope) that I eventually located the correct parts I wanted to order after I realized that the Adjustable Stop MFT-AR Item #490555 appears to have the save spring-loaded adjustable angular position lever and screw that I wanted to install into the Side Stops of my Hole Drilling Jig.  But I won't know if they are the correct parts until I have received and tried them.

Modified March 6, 2008:  I got the parts that I ordered.  They are not the correct parts.  The spring-loaded levers I received are equipped with screws that are too long.  The lever is also longer than those provided with the Limit Stop Item #485827.  It could cut the screws to make them fit, but why when Festool obviously has the right parts somewhere?   Maybe my dealer can help me get the right ones.  Gggrrrhhh!!

Dave R.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2008, 02:00 PM by Dave Ronyak »
Friends, family and Festools make for a good retirement.  PCs...I'm not so sure.

Offline graphex

  • Posts: 136
Re: Suggestions for new festool website
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2008, 10:42 PM »
So the new SysNotes says Festool is no longer directly selling stuff, which makes my points about the tool "home base" being the place where you add it to your cart invalid. The new SysNotes also says they'll be investigating how to link e-commerce to dealers, and I'm not sure what they're thinking for that one, but I'm guessing it would be partially successful at best.

I do like the new micro sites, and I think the decision to use Flash (or Flex) in a RIA (Rich Internet Application, for the uninitiated) scenario for those sites is good. It is hard to continue that to a full site redesign, but possible. I think it is important to keep things searchable by the search engines (and by customers, of course) which is challenging in a Flash/Flex environment, but not impossible. It will be interesting to see if the flash-based interactivity model can push through to the whole site, or if there will be a mix, or if everything will return to HTML/CSS. I've always wanted to see a really well done and very deep site like FestoolUSA made with a Flash front end (possibly with an XSLT->XHTML option to keep search engines and non-flash browsers working as well). In all likelihood, I think we'll see a combo site, with some flash elements inside a largely HTML framework.

At any rate, I like the improved production value of the video - nice match moves and really great 3D text elements.
Sean McKibben
Westminster, Colorado

we need more tools in north america