If we've been a bit quiet lately, it's because behind the scenes we're working on some changes to make shopping our site easier and more fun. Don't panic - It's all good. Even so, if you're like me, change can make you nervous, so here are some sneak peeks of things we're working on, so they will feel a bit more familiar when they go live next week.
Most things will still look and feel the same - No big scary changes! We will be moving a few things around on our homepage in a way that we think will make it easier for you to find them. For example, our New Items collection will be closer to the top and the button to see all the new items will be larger:
Other awesome changes include:
- Simplifying the menu at the top of the screen to make finding everything a little easier.
- Being able to use our search bar to also find blog articles (that were really hard to find before!). Looking for restoration tips? You'll be able to type in "restoration" and find not only models that are great restoration projects, but also articles we've written about restoring models.
- Links at the bottom of every page to answer frequently asked questions.
- Mouse over an item's photo on a collection page to see a second image of the model without clicking into its page, so you can decide if you want to read more about it. My favorite new feature!
- A change to the zoom-in feature on item pages that lets you move around to look in closely on any area of the model you want to see. You'll also be able to pinch and move the image when on mobile now.
- And best of all: Faster page loading times! Woo hoo!
All of these awesome changes are far above my ability level (This country girl still can't figure out Twitter!) so I want to thank Ilana Davis for all her hard work. I was very nervous about "handing over the keys" to a site I put together myself to anyone, but she has made this a fun process and the results will speak for themselves. Ilana has been designing and fixing websites professionally for about three years and says she loves getting to help small business owners and learning about their unique businesses.
I asked her what she has enjoyed or learned about models while working on Triple Mountain, and to my surprise, she answered:
" I used to collect miniatures and dolphins when I was a kid and stopped as I got older. Perhaps out of embarrassment or the feeling that I'm too old for these toys. Eleda shared with me how some of her customers felt the same way about their hobby of collecting models and it made me feel... well, normal! Of course, I know there are plenty of adults that collect various items, it does make me feel better that I've kept some of my prized possessions over the years. Working on Triple Mountain has made me finally unpack the box with a few dolphins that have made it through various moves and display them for all to see. Not to mention, my daughter, who's 8, has watched me do some development work on the site and now she's updating her holiday wish list."
Here is some of Ilana's dolphin collection, now happily out of their storage box:
Hooray! Show off those dolphins! I'm glad we inspired you to bring them out and enjoy them. We have a saying in the collecting hobby: Eventually you outgrow being "too old" to enjoy your model animals.
You will see a few things are being tested already (like the new zoom-in). If everything goes according to plan, the rest of the design changes will take effect next Tuesday or Wednesday.
We would love to hear your feedback, good or bad, as she'll be available to make tweaks for the next month. Please feel invited to email me with your comments and let me know if you find any errors or things not working correctly.
Have a model day!