Posted by zubinsum on 3/22/2012 2:45:00 AM (view original):
I am sure your team worked hard on this and I appreciate the effort, but I don't see any added functionality in this aside from the live draft (I assume, since I never live drafted).
Also, overall the page is more cluttered and more confusing. There are 4 different headers before we get to the table that I care about the most. The side grass and infield dirt graphic is distracting and overall the new "look" is much busier than the old look. I honestly understand and appreciate the need for a site facelift, but I do not think this new design will attract new users and it just might annoy a few older users.
If you really wanted to make an improvement, I'd suggest adding an option for a more detailed view where we could see the (pitching and team) match-up for our next game. You could also have a matrix of buttons to link directly to a league, manager's office or GM's office for any given team.
Echoing zubinsum, I'm sure your team worked hard, and I also understand if you are trying to create a product that is attractive to new customers. I just think there is probably a better way.
As I posted under the Manager's Office thread, the people who are attracted to this game are those who are interested in the statistics, the match ups, etc. This is more of a game for the stat heads than people who are looking to be wowed by graphics. This site is never, never going to compete with other graphics-based games. And the key here is, it shouldn't try to.
I suggest you look for ways to make this the best game available for the price based on functionality, not visuals. Yes, graphics have their place, but in this case the focus should be on substance over style.
One suggestion would be to put together a fantastic demo function. I have personally introduced this site to more than a dozen new users in the past, guys that I know love the game, the history, the stats, etc. The hardest part of hooking them was just explaining how to use the site effectively. Having a great demo that emphasizes the strengths of the game, not it's looks, would make a huge difference. Add testimonials from current users to make it even more compelling. Such a demo could be a click away off of any number of web pages, vastly improving "the sell" to prospective customers.
Another suggestion would be to create a means to welcome new users in, show them the ropes at a personal level, answer all of their questions quickly and personally, thereby completing the sell once they are here. I would imagine you have stats on how many customers try out the site but don't stay. Figure out what the difference would be if you could get a percentage of those to stay. Also factor in the first idea above that would create more traffic, and I think you'll see this could be worth the expense.
Finally, I'll come back to the common theme amongst virtually all the feedback you've received to date. Concentrate on functionality and make this the best game available for the type of customers who like this site. This site is good in many ways, but there are many functional shortcomings that even the graphics-based games are better at. Take the feedback you are seeing to heart. These are your loyal customers telling you what is important. If it is important to your loyal customers, it will be important to the potential customers that might have an interest in this game over the game console and PC graphics-based games, as well as your closer competitors such as SOM, Mogul, etc.