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85 posts

Master Geek

ChoiceCheapies

# 154252 22-Oct-2014 12:04
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Hello GeekZone, 

I am going to start by quoting some of a post I made yesterday, and then elaborate on a few points, as I felt this was a more appropriate location to provide further details on this project, ChoiceCheapies.

ChoiceCheapies: GeekGuy and GeekZone community,

First of all, I'd like to thank you for posting a link to our website in this thread.

I will start by introducing myself, and then a bit about ChoiceCheapies and what we want to achieve.

My name is Tony (Shaw) and I am an administrator of the aforementioned website: ChoiceCheapies.

I have been a user of GeekZone myself for sometime, however not an active user, and when a fellow administrator of our website brought to my attention that a significant amount of traffic was coming from a post here, I felt obliged to acknowledge this and to provide some additional information.

ChoiceCheapies was born out of a number of Kiwi users of the sister website OzBargain requesting a website of our own. My involvement actually dates back a number of years, when I had moved back from Australia, and was myself seeking a community based bargain hunting website that was geographically relevant. Unfortunately there were none that fit the bill that had the same community engagement as OzBargain.

The name comes from the colloquialism, Choice, and the ideal, Cheapies. Which I felt merged a catchy Kiwi phrase and the idea that a lot of us want to save a few dollars, and a little alliteration for good measure. This opinion was shared throughout those in initial discussions, which were as recent as last month!

Now, to what we want to achieve.

As many of you may be aware, OzBargain is the top bargain hunting community in Australia, and the goal with ChoiceCheapies is to bring that community spirit to New Zealand. This in turns forces retailers to react, and allows for the power of numbers to have a greater say over how and what we can all save money on. Obviously for that, we need a solid user base, which is the reason for my acknowledgement of what is essentially a promotion of our website based on very little information, by GeekGuy above.

Now, I wanted to add in something that has not been made public yet, starting next month we will be offering a monthly bonus to the three users who post the most popular bargains to the community, these will be monetary bonuses to the value of 1 * $50, 1 * $25, and 1 * $10, this is a system that has worked very well on OzBargain for a long time.

However if you are visiting our website, please keep in mind that it is a beta version, and while the platform is solid, the layout and visuals are likely to change at any time, as work to get the look and feel more "Kiwi" is underway.


ChoiceCheapies is owned by Australian company Delvu Media Pty Ltd, the owners of OzBargain. It is currently hosted in Australia, but by the end of our beta period will be moved over to an New Zealand based host to improve latency. My direct involvement started in August when I was contacted by Scotty, administrator of Ozbargain, with regards to a query I had sent him a number of years ago, mentioned above, as to the chance of getting a New Zealand version setup. I was informed at the time that this was in the works, but no solid plans were in place. Fast forward to now, and we have a working beta with a number of active users outside the core moderators group.

The goal of ChoiceCheapies is to ultimately provide a voice for New Zealanders' to shape the way retailers price and sell products, much like OzBargain and the likes of Whirlpool have done in Australia.  This isn't limited to any one category of products, and the range of opportunity is endless, from soap to motherboards to onions, you get the idea. Being able to collectively gather information is a much more efficient way than having a fragmented community of bargain hunters working alone for self benefit. 

While the website is still relatively new, the Drupal backend that ChoiceCheapies, and OzBargain, are built on is fit for purpose, and no issues have arisen with thousands to tens of thousands of concurrent users at any given time. 

Due to beta status, there will be changes, currently the homepage is linking directly to the deals page, this will change once a number of popular bargains have been posted, to allow users to view the most popular deals at a glance, and also to customise the homepage view to suit ones needs. Visually there will also be changes, last night the color scheme was changed from predominantly blue to more of a black "Kiwi" look.

If there are any questions or feedback, we want to hear them, the more input that we are able to gather from the community, the more able we will be to build the site around what is required to grow and maintain a vibrant bargain hunting community in New Zealand.

Thanks for reading.

Regards,

Tony.

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119 posts

Master Geek


  # 1171377 8-Nov-2014 17:27
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Hi Tony!

Just had a look at the site, and my first impression is that the homepage is very unnecessarily busy. There is a huge amount of information presented to the user which may be overwhelming/confusing. I would recommend in future improvements to try and simplify the homepage and present a smarter looking homepage that will encourage users to further explore the content at their leisure.

Hope my two cents is helpful. Best of luck with the site! 

15269 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1171442 8-Nov-2014 19:17
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How do you make your money? Also the site doesn't seem to complete loading, not sure if something is broken.

 
 
 
 




85 posts

Master Geek

ChoiceCheapies

  # 1171467 8-Nov-2014 19:46
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adida101: Hi Tony!

Just had a look at the site, and my first impression is that the homepage is very unnecessarily busy. There is a huge amount of information presented to the user which may be overwhelming/confusing. I would recommend in future improvements to try and simplify the homepage and present a smarter looking homepage that will encourage users to further explore the content at their leisure.

Hope my two cents is helpful. Best of luck with the site! 


Thanks for the feedback.

The idea of the homepage is to look more like OzBargain, our sister site. While I can understand how it may appear too busy, the center column is the primary focus of the homepage. At this point, where we do not have alot of community engagement, there is no sensible way of separating the /deals/ page from the homepage, which has a minimum number of votes required by default and has been turned off. This results in the homepage appearing to have a lot of content that might not be so popular, where as if you view the OzBargain homepage, you can see how the system of minimum votes works, and works well. It gives the community the power to decide what appears on the homepage, and users the chance to browse over the best deals of the day/week etc and not have to delve into sub categories. It is also possible to customise the homepage to contain votes with a minimum amount of positives votes.

Moving forward, we are always happy to take feedback on board regarding how to make the site more user friendly, and what users would like to see on various pages, but at the end of the day it is not possible to please everyone, and finding a middle ground between deals shown and amount of content is the key.

Another point to keep in mind it that a large majority of our traffic is organic, and organic hits generally browse to a page relevant to their search, and the deal pages are less busy than the homepage.

Thank you again though, it's going really well so far!



85 posts

Master Geek

ChoiceCheapies

  # 1171469 8-Nov-2014 19:50
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mattwnz: How do you make your money? Also the site doesn't seem to complete loading, not sure if something is broken.


It is funded purely through ads, which registered users have the option to turn off in their settings if they find they interrupt their browsing.

At which point did it stop loading? It is working fine for me now, maybe it was a glitch at the time. Are you having any issues viewing now? We also use external G+ and Facebook modules, so if you have restricted access to these websites, it may keep trying to load them.



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  # 1171482 8-Nov-2014 20:48
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Well I am THRILLED. I just saved myself $456 on underwear using the coupon for Bendon for MacPherson Mens (Highly recommend). Bought a couple of years worth. Thanks!

119 posts

Master Geek


  # 1171512 8-Nov-2014 22:16
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ChoiceCheapies:
adida101: Hi Tony!

Just had a look at the site, and my first impression is that the homepage is very unnecessarily busy. There is a huge amount of information presented to the user which may be overwhelming/confusing. I would recommend in future improvements to try and simplify the homepage and present a smarter looking homepage that will encourage users to further explore the content at their leisure.

Hope my two cents is helpful. Best of luck with the site! 


Thanks for the feedback.

The idea of the homepage is to look more like OzBargain, our sister site. While I can understand how it may appear too busy, the center column is the primary focus of the homepage. At this point, where we do not have alot of community engagement, there is no sensible way of separating the /deals/ page from the homepage, which has a minimum number of votes required by default and has been turned off. This results in the homepage appearing to have a lot of content that might not be so popular, where as if you view the OzBargain homepage, you can see how the system of minimum votes works, and works well. It gives the community the power to decide what appears on the homepage, and users the chance to browse over the best deals of the day/week etc and not have to delve into sub categories. It is also possible to customise the homepage to contain votes with a minimum amount of positives votes.

Moving forward, we are always happy to take feedback on board regarding how to make the site more user friendly, and what users would like to see on various pages, but at the end of the day it is not possible to please everyone, and finding a middle ground between deals shown and amount of content is the key.

Another point to keep in mind it that a large majority of our traffic is organic, and organic hits generally browse to a page relevant to their search, and the deal pages are less busy than the homepage.

Thank you again though, it's going really well so far!


Ahh ok that makes sense, you're right the deal pages are less busy. I've been having a look through the site and you've got some great content on there. The only other issue I had with the site was the number of offers which have the expired label on them. Is there any reason for this? Surely if they're expired it would make sense to just remove them from the site rather than labelling them as expire, and leaving them there to take the attention away from offers which are still valid?



85 posts

Master Geek

ChoiceCheapies

  # 1171519 8-Nov-2014 22:28
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adida101:
ChoiceCheapies:
adida101: Hi Tony!

Just had a look at the site, and my first impression is that the homepage is very unnecessarily busy. There is a huge amount of information presented to the user which may be overwhelming/confusing. I would recommend in future improvements to try and simplify the homepage and present a smarter looking homepage that will encourage users to further explore the content at their leisure.

Hope my two cents is helpful. Best of luck with the site! 


Thanks for the feedback.

The idea of the homepage is to look more like OzBargain, our sister site. While I can understand how it may appear too busy, the center column is the primary focus of the homepage. At this point, where we do not have alot of community engagement, there is no sensible way of separating the /deals/ page from the homepage, which has a minimum number of votes required by default and has been turned off. This results in the homepage appearing to have a lot of content that might not be so popular, where as if you view the OzBargain homepage, you can see how the system of minimum votes works, and works well. It gives the community the power to decide what appears on the homepage, and users the chance to browse over the best deals of the day/week etc and not have to delve into sub categories. It is also possible to customise the homepage to contain votes with a minimum amount of positives votes.

Moving forward, we are always happy to take feedback on board regarding how to make the site more user friendly, and what users would like to see on various pages, but at the end of the day it is not possible to please everyone, and finding a middle ground between deals shown and amount of content is the key.

Another point to keep in mind it that a large majority of our traffic is organic, and organic hits generally browse to a page relevant to their search, and the deal pages are less busy than the homepage.

Thank you again though, it's going really well so far!


Ahh ok that makes sense, you're right the deal pages are less busy. I've been having a look through the site and you've got some great content on there. The only other issue I had with the site was the number of offers which have the expired label on them. Is there any reason for this? Surely if they're expired it would make sense to just remove them from the site rather than labelling them as expire, and leaving them there to take the attention away from offers which are still valid?


The way it works on the Australian site is that the Expired/Older deals are cleared out quite quickly. So, as we get more users and deals, we get store representatives, and content, and once that is rolling over quickly, the expired deals will get pushed down and not noticed as much. Another thing is that the Homepage does not usually contain expired deals, so that is another that will change when things get a bit busier, and it gets changed back to the proper Homepage.

Expired deals also act as a reference point, for example "This deal is for the same laptop as (URL To expired deal), you can get some good feedback there".

But as I mentioned, expired deals are only really noticed so much because there are only 3 or 4 of us posting deals, and they are not nearly as frequent as we envisage them to be in time, so it's not a long term issue.

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