Free Advice

Last night, I may have written my favoritest cover letter for a job posting. They asked that in lieu of writing a cover letter, I take a look at their website and tell them a few things that I would change.

First of all, this is brilliant. They get to see me in action and “at work” so to speak. They also end up getting some free consulting advice.

Secondly, this is fun. I love being able to play around on their site and explore. I love that they would invite me to do so. This speaks volumes about the culture at this company. I am wholeheartedly intrigued.

Thirdly, they are getting a preview of what it would be like to work together. They not only get to see my observations and ideas, they also get to see how I communicate them. I think this is really just an extension of point number one.  My excitement has overtaken me.

Anyways, here is a copy of the letter that I sent. I figure if I’m giving free consulting advice, I might as well post it on the internet. =)

Dear Project Manager Resume Recipient,

Your website is beautiful. It’s fun, clean and brilliant in presentation. I especially like the interactive invitation to play with. It doesn’t scream “play with me” by using excessive text, but allows the natural curiosity of the user to check it out themselves.

However, the simplicity of the site comes at a cost. The lack of information requires the user to work to figure things out. For example, what does your business do? I had to click around a little to figure that out. Why not a tagline to go along with your name up top? Paperless Posts: Exquisite Invitations in a Paperless World. It will explain what you do while maintaining a clean and beautiful site design.

In most cases, your site provides information when needed. The question mark icon gives me most of the background information I am looking for. However, the calculator for the stamps and coins leads me to a dead end. I see that I can select certain features that will require coins. But I don’t know what these features mean. Why not add additional question mark icons to explain what each feature means? Or at least show pictorial examples when I hover over each feature? A feature I am particularly curious about is the nameplate. What is it? Where does it go? How does it differ from a logo?

Creating a card is quick, easy and fun. I enjoyed scrolling through the options and was happy to see how quickly I could throw together a wedding invitation. (If only it were that easy in real life!) However, I noticed that some of the options that were available as add-ons were not easily seen (or at all) when creating the card. The aforementioned nameplate was not seen as something I could add. I think you are missing a business opportunity here by not having all of these options available. If adding them were as easy as choosing the envelope or the liner, it would be hard to resist adding on the rest of these options because your previews are so beautiful. (I was a little choked up when I saw my fake wedding invitation.)

After I made my fake wedding invitation, I wondered, “How is my Chinese grandmother going to read this? She can’t read English!” I tried entering some text in Chinese, but it didn’t work. Language support in your cards would go a long way in reaching a greater audience and retaining existing customers.

These observations were made after playing with your website for about 45 minutes. It’s possible that some of my questions could be answered with more work, but why would you want a potential customer to work that hard to understand your product? I believe these changes will enhance your customer’s experience and drive repeat sales.

Thank you for reviewing my observations. I have attached my resume for your perusal. I look forward to discussing my credentials with you and how I can help your company soon.

Sincerely,

Alban

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