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Critique This Web Savvy Non-Profit Event Website

by Crazy Egg Experts

Startup Weekend is a 501c(3) non-profit organization that is all about the doing.

These are 54-hour events that bring marketers, developers, entrepreneurs and other movers and shakers together to launch a start up.

We asked our Crazy Egg Marketing and Web Design Experts to weigh in on the design and marketing on the Startup Weekend home page.

Don’t be shy, add your critique in the comments below.

Click image to enlarge:

StartUp Weekend Lara Swanson, Dyn

I wonder if the cloud with the location/date information will change content based on where the user is located, or on their browser language. It’d be good to dynamically update the content based on what’s geographically closest to the user.

~Lara Swanson, Dyn

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Demian Farnworth, The Copybot

Want to enhance the conversion? Add “Launch a start up in 54 hours and [insert reward here].” The trick is to make that incentive sweet enough that 54 hours looks like a walk in the park.

~ Demian Farnworth, The Copybot

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Stephanie Hamilton, Hamilton Design

~ Stephanie Hamilton, Stephanie Hamilton Design

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Angela Jones, Design By Ange.la

The only disconnect I see in terms of the design is that the overall concept is very illustrative, but the register and view all buttons are not. The buttons have dimension, unlike the rest of the design, and just seem under-designed or out of place.

~ Angela Jones, Design By Ange.la

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Robin Cannon, Shiny Toy Robots

The statement of purpose/call to action is really powerful. I immediately know what this site and the event is about, and am engaged in that aim. If I were to change anything, I might switch round the “No Talk, All Action” and “Launch A Startup In 54 Hours” sentence, so the purpose is even more prominent.

~ Robin Cannon, Shiny Toy Robots

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Naomi Niles

The main issue I see is that it’s difficult to quickly figure out if there are events in your area. I see the cloud there with events, but an event in Mexico would be irrelevant to me living in Seattle.

I see the tab at the top to “upcoming events”, but if there was a way to more quickly see events in my area, that would be ideal.

~ Naomi Niles

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Babar Suleman

The blue sky connotation works really well because that’s what you want to tell aspiring entrepreneurs: The sky’s the limit! And, of course, the cloud buttons are a logical and visually pleasing touch.

I also like how Orange was used as a strong contrasting accent to the strong white/black/blue color theme. By painting the ‘Register’ button Orange, Startup Weekend has made sure that the most important element on their web page stands out and isn’t lost in the clutter.

~ Babar Suleman

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Sherice Jacob

I realize they’re trying to make a unique point with the “54 hours”, but why not something that everyone understands, like 48 hours? People tend to think positively of things that they can remember quickly, so the brain processes 48 hours a lot better than 54.

As someone who would absolutely go to this event, I’d like to see screenshots on the homepage or some other progress of past attendees that have done Startup Weekend. Inspire me! Make me look at those startups and think “wow, I could do that too!”

~ Sherice Jacob, iElectrify

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Joseph Kalinowski, Content Marketing Institute

The use of the dark clouds on the top of the page seems a bit off to me. When I see dark clouds, I think “bad/bad luck.” Their shape also seems a bit odd considering they have a hard line on the bottom of the cloud while the 2 lighter blue clouds maintain a cloud form all the way around.

~ Joseph Kalinowski, Content Marketing Institute

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The main headline on this page is great: “No Talk, All Action. Launch a Startup in 54 Hours.” Really? 54 hours? A startup? Count me in and let me know how to sign up.

The only thing I don’t like about the page are the clouds. They look “cool,” but they are also slightly confusing. I personally think standard design elements such as menus should remain consistent with conventions because this helps visitors to get oriented to the site. Even though it’s not as “creative,” using standard menu layouts makes sure that people know where to go for navigation when they’re ready for it. The closer menus are to what people are used to seeing, the quicker their brain will clue them in about where the menu is and how to navigate.

~ Joseph Putnam, BlogTweaks

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Sanj Sahayam, Unique Imprints

All the text is very nicely laid out and very easy to read. The gradation of blue for the sky works really well. Like the simple social icons up the top right.

The “Get our Book” image seems a little out of place. I’m also not sure about what’s inside the chemistry flask. The newsletter and google clouds could do with a little distance from the other clouds.

All-in-all a very nice webpage!

~ Sanj Sahayam, Unique Imprints

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We would love for you to weigh in with your comments.  What is Startup Weekend doing well or not so well with this home page?

2 Comments

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  1. Adina Zaiontz says:
    April 27, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Looks great. However, I would make the “register now” much more prominent. Also is it possible to put some pictures of “who’s launching?” with some thumbnail pics of participants, with a small name and link to bio, so visitors see that there are real people joining?

    I also agree with Sahid’s comment that “No talk, All action” headline is unnecessary.

    Adina Zaiontz
    http:www.napkinmarketing.com
    twitter: @napkin_mktg

  2. sahid fawaz says:
    March 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Agree with the positives that commenters have already mentioned.

    The area that needs the most improvement is the copy. It’s too long. The length adds nothing really.

    First, I would get rid of, or replace, “No Talk, All Action.” Those words don’t’ really help the user or the UX. Too slogan-ish.

    The copy underneath those words are unnecessarily long. Users care about themselves first. So I would focus on the “you” and remove the fluff that their eyes are going to glance over anyway. And I would say what it is that Startup Weekend “empowers,” “inspires” a person to do.

    So, I would write “Startup Weekend empowers you to . . .” remove the overused words like “global,” “teams,” “leaders,” “passionate,” and so on. Just say what Startup Weekend helps the users do.

    Then I would change the next sentence to “Learn more about how we can help you launch your startup.” Again, the focus is on the “you” and the benefit to the user. The way the sentence is worded now sounds like more work for the user to do, while not stating the benefit.

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