At the start of 2001 we changed the entrance of our site and added several navigation options. To see if we succeeded in our quest for improvement we held a small poll last week, hoping for a lot of input and possible ideas for the future.
The input is a little disappointing. Only 66 people took the time to fill out the poll. The positive side is that most of them really took the time to think about the subject and gave some very useful input. But still, keeping the amount of visitors in mind (this month we will break 50,000), the number of 66 respondents is very meagre. At least it turns out that these people are loyal, more than 50% visits us for over a year (ElvisNews.com started in August 1999). Probably the group is too small to represent "our visitors", but we'll consider them so anyway, others had their chance.
Sixty-two percent of the visitors return at least daily, of them almost 40% several times a day. A quarter of our visitors return several times a week. The remaining 12% think once a week is enough. This shows that our choice to switch from a weekly edition to a (near) daily update was a good one.
The reason for visiting our site is divided in equally sized groups. Half of our visitors visit because of the news, the other half for the complete picture. It is great to know we do not add other articles in vain, since 92% do care about them.
Not surprisingly the news is the most favourite part of our magazine. Two third mentioned the news as favourite, while the interviews and picture of the week where mentioned several times too. Most of the remaining 20% couldn't make up their mind.
Now we get to the main reason for the poll, the most visible result of our redesign, the portal. Again it looks like we made a good choice, since more than 50% thinks it is perfect this way. Still a considerable amount of 35% prefer the old way, in which people were lead to the news immediately. For them we can reveal that bookmarking http://www.elvisnews.com/weekindex.html might be a good alternative.
The suggestions and remarks on the portal are quite opposite sometimes. While some people thinks it is great to have a quick overview if anything has changed, other people wants to see those changes in the news immediately. One suggestion we thought about already before adding the portal the way we did is to add a couple of keywords or lines extra to the "news header". We decided not to, because in a busy week the portal will get too big, destroying the advantage of a quickly loading portal. For the same reason we don't use a "flash screen" with only a picture (which would also get annoying when you visit us several times a day).
Our visitors are a smart group of people, not less than 97% knew what we were talking about when mentioning "navigation". Nine out of ten can find their way easily. We promise to update our help-page soon for the others, probably adding a site map too.
Of course we like to have a visible rating too, and we got it. As stated before, most of the people really thought about it and were really helpful with both their remarks and ratings. But getting a "2" for design without any contributing remark or even name-calling doesn't make sense to us. Just in case you'd like to know the scores, we were rated with a 7.7 for design and an incredible 9.2 for content. Thank you for that, we will try to improve them both!
Some general suggestions we got are very useful, and we certainly will think about adding some of them in the future.
Someone was even using the form to express his disappointment with the results of our "Facelift poll" and threatened to move to the moon when "eurodisco versions of Elvis' songs are made" (we left out some adjectives). Please don't move, we can't help it, we only described the results!
Several people asked for more reviews, not only of the new releases but also of older work. This idea is on our shelves for a while now, but lack of time makes it a little dusty. So if there's any volunteer, we gladly give you the room. This will also solve the problem for those that wish they were able to contribute to our magazine.
One suggestion in particular caught our eye, because we wish we were able to fulfil it. More fanclub information is something that we'd like to give too, but we can't do much more than offering the space and time to review the magazines. It is impossible for us to subscribe to every single fanclub in the world and we don't want to have "just" a list of fanclubs. There is already another website offering that service and you can get that info from EPE too. So tell your fanclub we are available, they can contact us for an address to send their magazine to.
Anyway, the suggestions will be thought over, and if you think you can work one out yourself, please let us know. Our team already put a lot of effort in our magazine and welcome any additional input.
ElvisNews.com likes to thank each and everyone for their input. It was really helpful to us and hopefully the results gave you a nice reading. Kim, Bert and Jose were the lucky ones that our magician conjured out of his hat. The CD's are on their way.