We’ve just released a major new upgrade of SynthaSite’s Site Builder, which we believe is a substantial improvement over the previous version. At SynthaSite, usability is a key focus, and we recently hired a Director of User Experience and a User Interaction Designer – most startups will not focus this much on usability – which I personally do not agree with. When building web applications, one of the most important things to remember is that average Internet user does not have the patience to go through the learning curve of your product – you need to make it as easy as possible, with as few steps as possible to achieve what your solution offers.
We spent many months this past year trying to figure out how to improve our offering to the average Internet user. We conducted live, in-person usability tests, to outsourced ones with usertesting.com. We a team of guys from MIT conduct usability testing with the man on the street. We also contracted in the guys over at Momentum Design Labs in San Francisco, including Brad Damphousse who did some excellent work for us, much of which is being released today.
I urge you to try out our latest version – all feedback is greatly appreciated. Our official press release follows:
SynthaSite Launches New User Interface Making it Easier for Everyday Internet Users to Create Free Professional Quality Web Sites
More than 70 Percent of Small Businesses Donâ€™t Have a Presence Online; SynthaSite Breaks Barrier Offering Web Site Builder for All
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF., â€” July 10, 2008 â€” In todayâ€™s Internet age, having a presence online is standard, if not critical. SynthaSite, the leading do-it-yourself free Web site builder, today released a newly enhanced user interface that makes it easier for everyday Internet users and small businesses to leverage the reach of the Internet and create a professional quality Web site quickly, easily and for free.
SynthaSiteâ€™s Web site builder is an intuitive tool that allows anyone, regardless of technical know-how, to create and publish a Web site with ease. Using the What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) system, SynthaSiteâ€™s offering facilitates the design process by displaying a userâ€™s content during the creation and editing process similarly to how it will appear when published. With SynthaSiteâ€™s drag and drop technology, users can easily incorporate a variety of widgets including Flickr streams, YouTube videos, Google Gadgets, Genbook online appointment booking and many more. Users also get free sub-domains and hosting for their sites. Web sites created on SynthaSite are universally compatible across operating systems, as well as browsers such as Internet Explorer and Mozilla.
The new user interface announced today is designed to make it even quicker, easier and more intuitive for anyone wanting to build a Web site. Highlights of the new user interface include:
* One Click to Begin: By streamlining the process for signing up, Web site creators can now start building and editing their Web site with just one click
* Increased Creation Space: The newly enhanced Site Builder incorporates more horizontal space, offering Web site builders more room for their creations to take shape
* Simplified Key Functions: Key functions such as the saving and publishing process, as well as the site manager page, have been simplified making the experience of creating a Web site more streamlined
* Friendly Look and Feel: The new user interface is friendly and intuitive, making Web site creation easy and fun
â€œThe Internet is a powerful tool that, unfortunately, most people are not utilizing to its fullest potential. More than 70 percent of small business alone donâ€™t have a presence online,â€ said Vinny Lingham, CEO and founder of SynthaSite. â€œAt SynthaSite, we see ourselves as the onramp to the Internet for the everyday user; now, anyone who can access the Internet can have a professional-looking, personalized Web site.â€
What Everyday Users Are Saying
“I created a site for my 88-year old mother with a guestbook where anyone can post their picture and write to her,” said Shirley Hodges from Rosebud, Texas, http://www.rosebudmercantile.com/grammyscorner/. “When she logs on to check on her site and read all the guestbook entries, she gets a grin on her face as big as Texas! I’m encouraging everyone I meet to check out the site and write to her; it’s something she looks forward to daily.”
“I am a retiree and teach an introduction to website building class at a private school that serves many senior retirement communities,” explained Ralph Thomas, a SynthaSite user from Summerfield, Fla. “During my four-hour class, I help my students develop and leave with a published website they can continue to improve on their own.SynthaSite offers the tool and opportunity to publish at no cost which is very beneficial to our students.”
“I just found SynthaSite and I love it! I’ve already created two photography websites and I’m impressed with how they’ve turned out,” said Brandon Baumgarten from South Lake Tahoe, Calif., http://www.flowskigallery.com and http://www.flowskipix.com/. “It was so easy to make; I was able to plug in the URL of any individual photo gallery at either of my SmugMug accounts and it made a wonderful slide show on the SynthaSite page featuring my photos.”