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Thread: Advice needed: new RAF webpage

  1. #1

    Default Advice needed: new RAF webpage

    Seeing how this forum may someday become read-only or even inaccessible (when the WoG Aerodrome gets upgraded to a new architecture), and that the Shapeways shop is pretty basic, I've been experimenting with some new shop software. This should make it easier to browse and filter full-color planes and to find their airplane cards. So far I've only got a handful of planes in the product list as examples.

    The prototype shop is at https://raf.poeland.com https://rafplanes.com.

    I know it's just in rough form, but if you have a short time to spare, could you take a look and let me know...
    1. Overall impressions. Is this useful in this form?
    2. What could be improved?
    3. What do you like?
    4. For one product I added top, front, and side views. Are these worth doing? https://rafplanes.com/product/thomas...sopwith-snipe/ (They aren't hard to generate, but I'd have to do >900 of them, and doing 900 of anything takes a lot of time.)
    5. If I expand the search and filtering options, what would be useful to you?
    6. Any other comments?


    I'd reflect the Shapeways pricing on this page, but they change it frequently, and it would be hard to keep this site in sync with their changes.

    Thanks!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by ReducedAirFact; 05-13-2024 at 09:25.

  2. #2

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    Side and top views are useful; front view not-so-much.
    8
    So how many books are in your personal library?

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by RJG173 View Post
    Side and top views are useful; front view not-so-much.
    8
    I would agree with that.
    The 3/4 view is best for me.
    The link to the aircraft card is handy as well. (A little easier to see than on the Shapeways site.)

  4. #4

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    Looking good, Daryl. I viewed it on mobile and the PC - on mobile there's a fair bit of scrolling but everything is clear.

    If possible, you might consider a shopping dropdown on the main page to replace the
    Central Powers
    Entente
    Post-War and non-historical

    That way your images of New Arrivals and Shop All would be more front and center, but I'm not sure if that dropdown would be mobile-friendly.

    Like others, I find 3/4 views most helpful, but also an image of an actual print would be great if possible.

    The brief historical info is great as usual.

    I was happy to find the card sized properly even when downloading directly from the widget Also delighted that the "buy from shapeways" options open in a new tab.

    Very interested to see the Tags, that would be great in grouping/sorting planes from say, 3 Naval Squadron, info that I currently track separately, although if that's a lot of work I think most buyers wouldn't miss it.

  5. #5

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    In fact I'm still working on the best ways to make searching and filtering by things like unit or pilot easier, and whether that's best done with tags or attributes (the "Additional Information" part). There's a lot to learn when it comes to WordPress and WooCommerce.

    I might add an FAQ to cover things like how to straighten a bent wing or how the different materials compare.

    Thanks for the feedback, all... I am appreciative.

  6. #6

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    Very nice Daryl.

    I agree with the 3/4 view. It shows what a front view would for any detailed cowling art.

    Cards for the plane are a fantastic option to have.

    New arrivals is a big help.

    Seperating Entente and Central Powers isn't an issue to me as long as all the planes are in alphabetic order. I know when I'm on Wings of Linen I'm back and forth between the two all the time!

    Historical info is a big plus.

    Looking good!

  7. #7

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    I really have only one thing to add to what others have said: for bombers with ventral special details or features, add a bottom plan view. "Ventral special details or features" would be things like bomb loads, the "tunnels" for aircraft like the Gotha G-V, Friedrichhafen G-IIIa, that sort of thing.
    Last edited by zenlizard; 05-15-2024 at 05:34.

  8. #8

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    I've done some more work on the site:
    1. I changed the theme (look) and cleaned up some things. The home page is simplified and sleek.
    2. I added four views for every plane: top, bottom, left, and right. (As well as the plane card.)
    3. On the product catalog page, there's a sidebar with the product tree and filters for paint scheme type, plane type, and plane unit. (Though the counts and unit lists aren't being refreshed... gotta see what's up with that. There's probably some obscure button to refresh them after I add new products.)
    4. Added "About", "Contact", "FAQs", and a direct link to the Shapeways shop. If you have any further FAQs, let me know.
    5. Added all the Albatros D.I and D.IIs just so I'd have more products to play with in this sample. I'll add more as I get time for it.


    I'm thinking of moving it to a new domain, "rafplanes.com". Is that memorable?

  9. #9

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    You're spoiling us, Daryl. Looks really sharp!

    I think that domain would be good.

    Only a typo I noticed in the FAQ: "card desks" should be decks.

  10. #10

  11. #11

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    The new website rafplanes.com is coming along pretty well. I've got maybe a quarter of the planes in the database now, including orthographic views from top, bottom, left, and right for each model. And the plane card.

    I like my "lead image" to be one that is computer-generated from the "ideal model", including a nice background to put it in perspective, like this:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The prints don't actually come out that way, though, especially with the cheaper FCN12 material. The colors just aren't as rich, and the surfaces aren't as smooth and uniform.

    By adjusting the texture maps, I could also generate a more realistic guess of the actual look of the print, like the picture below. I could add that to the gallery for each model, along with the ideal picture, orthographic views, and card. (And -- where available -- photograph of the actual print.)

    It's a bit of work to do that for each plane, though. As a customer, would you find it valuable? I keep debating whether it's worth the extra effort.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by ReducedAirFact; 05-25-2024 at 16:14.

  12. #12

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    Short answer? Yes I would find it valuable.

    That being said, if you could add them later it's not the end of the world.
    (64 RAF models in my collection so far)

  13. #13

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    It makes the colors look more like the actual models. I think it is a nice addition.

  14. #14

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    I agree with Dan ^^^^^^^^^

  15. #15

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    I find the actual photo to be of more value so personally a closer approximation wouldn't do much for me... and I realize photos of all might not be available but I'd suspect over time we'd get many of them.

  16. #16

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    I like the site Daryl. The various views of the aircraft and the plane card image are all very useful.
    Just one thing I happened to notice - Probably due to nothing yet having been designed for them, but there is no mention of any Italien aircraft - or am I missing something here?

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeemagnus View Post
    I like the site Daryl. The various views of the aircraft and the plane card image are all very useful.
    Just one thing I happened to notice - Probably due to nothing yet having been designed for them, but there is no mention of any Italian aircraft - or am I missing something here?
    Other than Strutters and a sample plane here and there, I'm working through alphabetically, and I'm only up to "Br". More Italians with "Ha", "Ni", "Sp".

  18. #18

  19. #19

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    That does remind me that I need to get around to an Italian two-seater someday, though. One of the things the new website will let me do is more effectively filter for such things and find holes in the product line, e.g. click on Italy and then filter by two-seaters.

  20. #20

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    Some Italian two-seaters would be pretty awesome!



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