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Preview: What to Expect from our New Website


As you all know, we’ve been working very hard behind the scenes creating a new website for you, and I’m pleased to say the launch is now very close indeed.

We wanted to offer our wonderful Community a preview of just some of the exciting new features to expect, as your ongoing feedback has been very helpful and shows how much you care about what the new website will bring!

So what can I expect from the new site?

Our objective has been to design a new site that will continue to deliver on our members’ expectations while improving your experience.

We used data and research (including plenty of your feedback!) to drive decisions of areas we can improve and smartened up the look of the site.

Here’s a couple of screen shots to give you a flavour of what to expect:

Psst: anyone spotted our Community link now appears at the top of the navigation? :star_struck: Just one of your suggestions! So I think we can expect to have lots more members finding us more easily and joining in here.

Member (and non-member) feedback informed us that our navigation could be improved, so based on feedback we rethought the main navigation and grouped the browse and buy categories under the singe Buy Wine navigation item.

(You’ll probably need to click the above image so you can zoom a little, but it gives an idea of the information that will be available on our product pages)

New features

We’ll be communicating in much more detail soon, but here’s just a taster of a few new features that will improve your experience on our site:

  • The ability to sort product lists by ‘new wines’ so you can see the most recently added products.
  • The product page will now include multiple images, including the back label, which you can zoom in to read in detail (see screenshot above)
  • Product pages will also label wines that are new, on offer or low in stock (one of the most popular suggestions here on the Community!)
  • Simpler checkout - now you can buy wine, withdraw from Reserves, buy tasting tickets and order en primeur all in one transaction
  • New members can now join and order wine all in one go.
  • Accessibility best practice, including compatibility with screen readers, and video transcripts
  • It’ll be even easier to navigate and use the site on a mobile

Lots more on this soon!

Post-launch plans

Of course, the new site development also includes some features that we’re planning on adding at a later date, so we can continue to grow and evolve the new site to keep it up-to-date.

We’ll let you know more as we go along.

What happens now?

While I can’t give you a precise launch date just yet, it’s coming very soon indeed. You’re welcome to discuss it here in the meantime, and I’ll be adding to this as we go along with new information.

The mentors and a small group of Community users had a brief Zoom session today where we ran through the above in a bit more detail - this means we’ve got a great group of familiar faces who have a good knowledge of the new site, which I believe will really help keep you all better informed and give you a chance to hear some first impressions from your fellow members.

Post-launch

Once we’re live, I’m sure there’ll be tons of feedback and comments here - we welcome them all! Please keep website chat to this topic so we’ve got it all in one place.

To help things run smoothly, I’ll be collating feedback/queries from this chat weekly and sending it over to the website team, so you’ll get a weekly update with answers/responses rather than me replying to everything as we go along. That’ll help keep the info clear and avoid duplicate queries etc.

I’ll also be keeping the Senior Leadership Team informed so rest assured, your feedback and suggestions will be heard.

Let the discussion commence!

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I’m just reminded - will/can the new website keep the price history of wines available? I find it very frustrating whenever I look at a wine that’s no longer in stock and can’t see how much it cost. Okay, maybe it will have a higher price in future, but it’s still helpful to know what it was before.

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Is putting Community above the main header any better than putting it at the bottom? Does anyone look up there?

Thanks for the update, Laura. Looking forward to seeing it in full.

Will the new website also come with different reserves capability for example entering single bottles, or withdrawing in different or smaller lots from existing reserves, compared with the current rules?

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I personally think it is a lot better than being at the bottom. It is next to other things you might regularly look at or click, like your account or basket. So you are more likely to notice it, I think.

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Less bad, I suppose, but it is only useful there for people who already know what it is and just want to go back to it. It needs more prominence to attract people who don’t know what it is.

Looks great, really like the design. Looking forward to seeing more.

Great the community link is back at the top, so much easier than scrolling through the whole page. Of course this won’t attract vast numbers of new users, that’s not the job of a button, but it will create some awareness, and keep it visible and easily accessible for newbies & the curious.

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Looking forward to this :slight_smile:

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Thank you for posting an excellent insight to the new website.
I am sure that there will always be minor points but my feeling is that it looks really good and I wish you every success with it.

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A lot of people here thought the same when it was moved to the bottom.

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@laura , it’s great to see something finally coming up. I hope this proves to be a lot more agile than in the past, and I also hope that TWS took this opportunity to upgrade the whole back-end, which feeds the front-end. This is really important because, no matter how much money you spend building a nice REACT web app with a shiny html5 front-end, if the databases and the data models powering are not suitably designed, you will still carry over the same issues you’ve had in the past.

To this point, I have just downloaded a csv for my reserves and silly things like the “Quantity stored” field having “6 bottles”, a text field when i(t should have been numeric) still points towards essential data modelling work to be done. Simple things like that need to be paid attention. There are many other examples like this.

Best of luck.

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Putting the word ‘Community’ in the main navigation won’t do that. If you don’t know what something is you probably won’t click it in any navigation position.

If people aren’t participating because they’re not sure what to expect then that’s a problem not to be solved by the placement of an item in a navigation system.

Also, don’t underestimate how many people simply don’t want to participate in a forum. One of the great truisms of any website project is that if you ask an audience if they want a forum you’ll get a huge positive response. Then, having built said forum the tumbleweed rolls over it as it lays empty.

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Or maybe there’s two fields joined together into a string for the CSV meaning the “problem” lies not with the data but the export routine?

The obvious place to put it, on the present version, would be under ‘about us’, but that seems to have disappeared from the new version. Where would I look under the new version to find out about either the community or the governance of the Society?
About us seems to be an essential part of any website.

I don’t know about you but I would start by selecting “Community” in the grey bar menu.

Under “About” in the same menu?

Seems pretty self-explanatory, no?

The menu is pretty standard and sensible IMHO. non-action-oriented stuff (about, contact) in the top, lower prominence with the action-oriented stuff (like buying wine) in the main navigation. It’s built around the most likely user goals. I bet well over 9/10 of the people who come to this site just come to find wine.

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Ah, should have logged in at 15:00 :wink:

If the only way to understand the website is to have a one hour briefing, then the website is not usable.

Others who watched the presentation may be able to help here but I thought I heard a comment that the existing back end would be retained.

You might be proved right, but why not judge for yourself when it’s launched, and come back with an opinion based on real experience rather than cynicism?

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The briefing was not to understand the website, but if you had participated, you might have seen more than these three screenshots.

If you are worried about the ‘About Us’ section, maybe wait until the release rather than speculating.

I would suggest all that general info will be at the bottom of every page, like now.

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