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New wesbite review: Balfour House Apartment, Edinburgh
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Jenny7



Joined: 01 Jul 2017
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:15 am    Post subject: New wesbite review: Balfour House Apartment, Edinburgh Reply with quote

Hi everyone

I am new to the venture of holiday letting/vacation rentals and currently treading on water each step of my way.

Was wondering if you may kindly review our website that had jsut gone live this morning in UK. All feedback, whether they are constructive or criticism to our website, are greatly appreciated!

You can either visit

www.balfourhouseapartment.co.uk

or

www.balfourhouseapartment.com

They are both linked together Very Happy

Thanks for your time.

Jenny
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newtimber



Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 1589
Location: Brighton

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the front page, the 'S' in awards is on a different line to the award.

I haven't looked further as music started playing at a high volume which I personally don't like.

People may not be looking at your site in their own private space. They could be in the office; members of the family could be on the phone or watching TV in the same room.

If music is going to be played, I want to control when it is played, know if it's going to be played and not have it suddenly blare out...
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Jenny7



Joined: 01 Jul 2017
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

newtimber wrote:
On the front page, the 'S' in awards is on a different line to the award.

I haven't looked further as music started playing at a high volume which I personally don't like.

People may not be looking at your site in their own private space. They could be in the office; members of the family could be on the phone or watching TV in the same room.

If music is going to be played, I want to control when it is played, know if it's going to be played and not have it suddenly blare out...


Thanks for your feedback - the music is from the video of the property virtual show. I will see how to set the video not to play by default.

Smile
Jen
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e-richard



Joined: 17 Oct 2004
Posts: 4944
Location: Algarve, Portugal

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry but I too just closed the website immediately the music started so no possibility of review.

Yes, one can hit the mute button on one's computer but that is not the point. The point is that you have alienated a subset of website visitors.
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PIMS: Holiday Rental Management system
They say we learn from our mistakes. That makes me a genius !
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Jenny7



Joined: 01 Jul 2017
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

e-richard wrote:
Sorry but I too just closed the website immediately the music started so no possibility of review.

Yes, one can hit the mute button on one's computer but that is not the point. The point is that you have alienated a subset of website visitors.


Thanks, point taken - I've just set the virtual tour video not to play by default.

Jen
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e-richard



Joined: 17 Oct 2004
Posts: 4944
Location: Algarve, Portugal

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, a brief review now and I'm impressed.

I liked the home page that guides you through each of the menu points, enticing you to look closer at that which interests you.

Perhaps (and its a very minor point), the first panel on the home page could be a bit more informative (in words) about what is here. e.g. How many persons can sleep here? What part of the world is this place? Maybe just one key point about the apartment ? Nothing too significant.

Otherwise, very artistic and (now) very tastefully presented.
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** Richard
PIMS: Holiday Rental Management system
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Jenny7



Joined: 01 Jul 2017
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

e-richard wrote:
Hmm, a brief review now and I'm impressed.

I liked the home page that guides you through each of the menu points, enticing you to look closer at that which interests you.

Perhaps (and its a very minor point), the first panel on the home page could be a bit more informative (in words) about what is here. e.g. How many persons can sleep here? What part of the world is this place? Maybe just one key point about the apartment ? Nothing too significant.

Otherwise, very artistic and (now) very tastefully presented.


Thanks for your further comments E-Richard! That's an excellent point you raised, not all knows where Arthur's Seat is.

I've added Edinburgh, Scotland, UK in the home page

&

Number of people the apartment can accommodate in the Facilities page

Jen
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Nemo



Joined: 14 Aug 2008
Posts: 7030
Location: Norfolk

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm viewing on a widescreen desktop and the front photo is not looking good. I don't know if it's what you'd describe as pixellated but the photo is basically a mass of little squares. The tabs at the top are not clear either. The whole photo keeps flashing black periodically. Is that as it reloads?

Into the website and there are things flashing at me as they load, plus the tabs are not all visible depending on which background they're against such as Things to do page.

An awful lot of scrolling as everything is so big but I guess that's where viewing on a large screen is going against you. I'm sure if I was on a mobile it might be looking better. I can see a lot of hard work has gone into this but it's not a website that's easy to use with a widescreen. I'd change the gallery for a slideshow rather than something you have to scroll up and down.
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Jenny7



Joined: 01 Jul 2017
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nemo wrote:
I'm viewing on a widescreen desktop and the front photo is not looking good. I don't know if it's what you'd describe as pixellated but the photo is basically a mass of little squares. The tabs at the top are not clear either. The whole photo keeps flashing black periodically. Is that as it reloads?

Into the website and there are things flashing at me as they load, plus the tabs are not all visible depending on which background they're against such as Things to do page.

An awful lot of scrolling as everything is so big but I guess that's where viewing on a large screen is going against you. I'm sure if I was on a mobile it might be looking better. I can see a lot of hard work has gone into this but it's not a website that's easy to use with a widescreen. I'd change the gallery for a slideshow rather than something you have to scroll up and down.


Hi Nemo, thanks for your feedback.

The homepage "photo" when viewed on a desktop monitor, is a pixelated mosaic video that loops every few seconds, that's the reason it blinks a bit at the end. If its just photo, there wont be any pixelation nor blinking - like the mobile site Smile

The page is optimised for both primarily desktop/laptop viewing with widescreen or even 4K monitors as well as mobile platform viewing.

We had adopted a scrolling down style over the "tab clicking" style and must admit its quite a bold attempt of ours just to be a bit different.

We do have another page that was designed in traditional method to fall back on and will constantly measures the likes and dislikes of the current page style.

Jen
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 825
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It does look lovely, but for me, the pages and photos in particular are very slow to load.

When I went looking for your prices, the only way I could find them was to enter an enquiry. Perhaps have prices listed or at least state price bands depending upon the time of year?
Now it may be me, but when people are looking at booking a break, I think they need to quickly identify if you are in their price range or not and also want to quickly see photos (that will hook them into spending longer looking at the website more seriously).

It does look a nice place to stay though.
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Jenny7



Joined: 01 Jul 2017
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zebedee wrote:
It does look lovely, but for me, the pages and photos in particular are very slow to load.

When I went looking for your prices, the only way I could find them was to enter an enquiry. Perhaps have prices listed or at least state price bands depending upon the time of year?
Now it may be me, but when people are looking at booking a break, I think they need to quickly identify if you are in their price range or not and also want to quickly see photos (that will hook them into spending longer looking at the website more seriously).

It does look a nice place to stay though.


Hi zebedee, thanks for your comment! Will look at your suggestions on pricing and see how best to show them on the website Smile

The website only went live this morning, maybe the provider servers is still churning thru but I will definitely be following up on it with them.

Jen
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russellt



Joined: 09 Dec 2014
Posts: 345
Location: Ivybridge, Devon, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jenny7 wrote:
is a pixelated mosaic video that loops every few seconds,


Viewed on a large desktop monitor, my 4GB graphics card went into overdrive to display the home page. I thought the office was preparing for lift-off!! Shocked Am guessing many standard desktop machines will not handle this well first time, until the file has been cached.

I use background video on one of my sites, so understand some of the challenges. Perhaps compress to reduce the filesize. Also, you can smooth the loop transition to make the loop effect appear less abrasive.

And why not simply blur the video rather than use the pixellation effect? I have found that pixellation displays very differently on different monitor/screen technologies. A touch of soft blur can be used to draw the viewer's eye towards the text whilst still 'seeing' the video. The lens flare and bubbles effects seem to draw my eye towards the bottom left corner.

Nice site though. Keep refining it.
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Web: http://www.esmescottage.co.uk
Twitter/Facebook/Instagram: @esmescottage

An owner community-led, direct booking alternative to the OTA: https://www.holidayviewsdirect.com , Sign-up and get involved!
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Jenny7



Joined: 01 Jul 2017
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

russellt wrote:
Jenny7 wrote:
is a pixelated mosaic video that loops every few seconds,


Viewed on a large desktop monitor, my 4GB graphics card went into overdrive to display the home page. I thought the office was preparing for lift-off!! Shocked Am guessing many standard desktop machines will not handle this well first time, until the file has been cached.

I use background video on one of my sites, so understand some of the challenges. Perhaps compress to reduce the filesize. Also, you can smooth the loop transition to make the loop effect appear less abrasive.

And why not simply blur the video rather than use the pixellation effect? I have found that pixellation displays very differently on different monitor/screen technologies. A touch of soft blur can be used to draw the viewer's eye towards the text whilst still 'seeing' the video. The lens flare and bubbles effects seem to draw my eye towards the bottom left corner.

Nice site though. Keep refining it.


Thanks russelt - that's a good idea! I will try pre-compose and blur the video so that I do not need to use pixelation, which is another layer of algorithm for desktop to run, which might have explained why it send your video card into hyper mode!

Will see how to change the lens flare position too.
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VillaAntonioLanzarote



Joined: 03 May 2016
Posts: 71
Location: Nazaret, Lanzarote

PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:41 am    Post subject: Nice place Reply with quote

Hi
Looks a really nice place
It took a long time to load on my Mac
I done a Speed test , results in link below
https://www.webpagetest.org/result/170706_TF_Q3K/1/details/
It took 47 seconds to fully load
If you go down the page of the speed test details , you can see your two videos are causing the problem, maybe you can compress them ?
Do like the parallax scrolling !
Larry
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Villa Antonio Lanzarote
a place to relax & unwind
www.villaantonio.co.uk
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Jenny7



Joined: 01 Jul 2017
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:58 am    Post subject: Re: Nice place Reply with quote

VillaAntonioLanzarote wrote:
Hi
Looks a really nice place
It took a long time to load on my Mac
I done a Speed test , results in link below
https://www.webpagetest.org/result/170706_TF_Q3K/1/details/
It took 47 seconds to fully load
If you go down the page of the speed test details , you can see your two videos are causing the problem, maybe you can compress them ?
Do like the parallax scrolling !
Larry


Hi Larry

Thanks for the suggestion, so it seems the web server had not compressed our video any further as they claimed they would after uploading! hahaha.

Am trying another method of pre-composing the video with less abrupt transition and see how best to lower video size, currently it is only 47MB
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