Peek at the Future


So… you might remember that we told you in a previous post, that we’ve been in the process of upgrading our website for over a year now. Quite honestly, there have been times where I wondered if it was even possible for us to finish this project, because let’s face it, our website is so big it’s like “the thing that ate New York”!

But here’s the deal, most of the time I’ve found this whole process SO overwhelming that it’s been difficult to get excited about it at all. But now… I’m finally starting to feel hopeful!

Our current ‘look”

I hesitate to call it a breakthru, BUT- I do finally have ALL of my patterns and over 2/3 of my other pages migrated to the new site. As a matter of fact, I’m feeling so much better about things now, that I’m actually ready to let you have a little peek at the future of our online presence!

But first, check out the screenshot above to see how our the webpage for our the Guardian currently looks in our OLD format.

Here’s our new IMPROVED “look”!

Then….look at the screenshot at left to contrast our old tired look with how the same page will look in our new, clean, contemporary format…
well…someday soon that is!

I’ll give you more details about the new website in upcoming posts, but right now I could use your input. While I’m working on this migration, it’s a logical time to take a long hard look at our website content as well!

In other words, it’s quite possible that SOME of our current website content will not be making the move with us to the new site, and that’s where YOU come in!

I don’t want to eliminate content that folks enjoy or find useful, but on the other hand, I don’t want to waste my time migrating obsolete stuff that nobody cares about anymore either.

So… listed below are the webpages that are “on the bubble”. 
Handbag Games- Handbag Tic Tac Toe
                               Sewing Hangman
                               Concentration
                               The Same Game 
                               The Box-In Game 
                               The StudioKat Squares Game 
Kitty Central- Jeter’s Home Page
Photo Galleries-  StudioKat Classics
                              Hall of Fame                          
                              Bridal Boutique
                              Handbag of the Month WINNERS gallery
Links- Pattern Design Links 
            Sewing Site Links
            Quilt Site Links
            Sewing Supply Site Links
            Handbag Sites
So…do you see one of your favorite pages in the list above?
If so, please let us know in the comments section below, speak now or…
well… you know what might happen, don’t you…..

AND…by the way, 
what do YOU think 
about our new website design?

 We actually LOVE comments,
 so please feel free to leave any comments you might have in the space provided below
 and stay tuned for our next post in this series as we get closer and closer to our finished website! 
********************* 
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14 Comments So Far, You're Next!

  1. I would like the link to the new Guardian page, even if you have to tell us that menu links do not work at this time. That screenshot was truly a “little peek.” Comparing screenshots does not give enough information for comparison. The new Guardian page looks like I could page down three or four times to see more.

    Not all the pictures on the (current) Guardian page are coming up for me in Chrome (I’m still looking for a picture of the Guardian with an iPad or kindle in it).

    I hope you will continue to sell relevant supplies below the pattern. I think each purse page should show all the needed supplies that you carry. The current Guardian page does not show buckles, nylon webbing, velcro, and D-rings, so I hope you are selling them, too.

    Regarding Handbag Games and Kitty Central, that would depend on the traffic to those pages.

    It’s good to see in the screenshot that you have several web browsers on board, and probably test all your pages on all the browsers.

    I think the handbag of the month page and contest should continue. I think all the other pictures should “go with” the respective patterns, but also be on a gallery page (or pages) grouped by pattern.

    If you get a lot of through traffic via your Links page, keep it; otherwise, not sure. The links pages were either too condensed or too picture-filled with no apparent order (that I could tell).

    PS: your insert chart should be sorted alphabetically on the left side. I couldn’t figure out if any insert would fit into the Guardian (just curious).

    You asked!

  2. Wow! GREAT suggestions Mary!
    First off, I would love to show you a whole page from our new website (which addresses most of your concerns) but since our new website is in WordPress and our old website is not, this is not possible just yet. BUT, I appreciate your input and you know what?…..I had really thought I had uploaded a picture of the Guardian with an iPad inside already, but in going back and checking, I now realize that I have not, so I’ll try to get that done today.
    Also, thanks for letting me know that I need to update the Purse Insert pdf to include info about the Guardian. I’ll get that done today as well!
    So thanks a bunch for your input. I love hearing suggestions, especially from my regular visitors! Have a great holiday weekend! 🙂

  3. No Games necessary. I don’t need the distraction from what I truly love…sewing. I play Mahjong Titans when I need to clear my head/think things through.

    An occasional share of your kitties through your Facebook is fine as nod to your name and your love of cats. I want your patterns to get the most traffic, with least distraction.

    I have had occasion when I could not load the entire page that was full of graphics related/unrelated to the featured purse pattern.

    And as much as I love your purses, I have information overload from all the extra graphics. I agree, the extras photos and notions for each pattern should have separate simply stated links: your photos, customer photos, notions you sell, notions to another website you favor, instructions/tutorial beyond the instructions that come with the purchased pattern.

    If you hadn’t noticed, I get easily distracted and overwhelmed with too much clutter (however beautiful it is). Perhaps other creative people have that trait as well.

    Streamline and focus your pages.

    At first glance I was thinking your peek at the new page was desolate and wanting, but further thought and I realized, less can be more.

    Without overload, I think it is more likely that each pattern will get full attention with greater likelihood of purchase….including notions.

    All the best for a great launch.

  4. I agree with Ann B, too much clutter on the old page. If you keep some of it, just put it on a separate page that can be accessed if desired. Love the contests and gallery. Not much into games online, there is enough time consuming stuff already. Love the cats and the links to other sites.
    Good luck and looking forward to the new ‘look’! And the Guardian! Since I couldn’t get the cat fabric you used, I found another print and looking forward to showing you how it turns out.

  5. I love the picture galleries – Hall of Fame, Classics, HOM – they give me ideas to use on my own bags, or show several version of an older pattern I might not have considered.

  6. I love the picture galleries and the hall of fame, although I may be a little prejudiced. I often watch the whole slide show when I visit your site. Maybe have a link on each pattern page to a photo gallery of that pattern. I don’t do the games, but I do like the cat pictures scattered around the site. I like the less cluttered look of the new page and I’m looking forward to seeing you fill in those empty photo slots on the “old” Guardian page.

  7. Handbag Games and Kitty Central are pages I don’t personally frequent. Love the kitty and grandson pics in blog and FB! I love any gallery pics for ideas when I am ready to create. I don’t regularly browse the Links pages but love knowing they are someplace that may help me find the odd item I am looking for at any time.

    The latest fabric you used with the Guardian (Luxe in bloom) was so striking I already ordered it and have it here ready to sew — debating Guardian or Quatro with it — it is a beautiful combination!!

    Thanks for a great site and wonderful patterns!!

  8. I’m sorry … I don’t like the “decluttered” version — it looks like it could be anyone’s site; it’s “generic modern.” It seems to me that you’ve invested a lot of effort in having signature colors and style — such that I can recognize “StudioKat” in a glance, before I’ve read the ad, and I always get a little jolt of pleasure at seeing “you” in different places. Your website and blog are where that signature look is most visible. I regret the change.

    I never knew you had all these pages! The games do not interest me, nor do the cat pics outside of the occasional blog mention. But the Hall of Fame and Classics are important sources of information and inspiration. I do wish that each photo was clearly labeled with the bag pattern name.

    I appreciate the links to different sewing, quilting and handbag sites, but what I HATE is the winking, moving, changing buttons. I don’t even like the “sand castle/litter box” in your newsletter. They make my eyes hurt!

    As in so much of life, I am sadly out-of-step with the majority!

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment Carol. I’m sorry you’re unhappy about the change. I know that change is not always fun to contend with. Unfortunately, my old website is VERY cumbersome to deal with. It is VERY labor intensive for me to make changes of any type. The new website will be dynamic and the navigation within the site will be much more sensible.

      I think we’ve done a good job of maintaining the spirit and the flavor of our old site with all of the advantages of the new functionality. I think in the end you will be pleased.

      Thanks again!

  9. Please do not remove Jeter’s home page

  10. Please keep all the Photo Galleries! They are such excellent inspirations. I also appreciate the links, and I find them very useful. I don’t have any interest in the games, so I would not miss them at all. I always enjoy the kitty blog posts, but don’t ever visit Kitty Central/Jeter’s Page.
    I am so looking forward to seeing your new website! Best wishes on a successful launch.