Sunday, July 06, 2008

Beta



Our website is ready for public consumption - LostRiverModern. Hopefully we can begin circulating it pretty soon, so I'd love to hear thoughts from our loyal readers: how's it look, how's it feel, suggestions, etc.

HUGE thanks (and beer on its way) to Marc and Mine and Gabe.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

How about a map showing where it is? Also, it would be nice to have some photos that just weren't fluff, but actually showed the whole house and amenities. Also, the slide show is REALLY slow. Maybe just a photo page that brings up a lightbox when you select a photo? I would also expect to have more description of amenities, check in/out policies and procedures, etc.

Anonymous said...

Here is a nice site to get some ideas from:
http://eco-shed.ca/

Preston said...

I'm thinking anonymous #1 should probably just stick with the Hilton. But congrats on your opening and new website. I'm super impressed.

Chris said...

Thanks Preston. And I guess I did solicit suggestions...

Anon - we're trying to keep the site pretty minimalist. We made a conscious decision to keep the focus on the house, not the pragmatic stuff (not that it's without amenities, of course!). But I do see the need to sketch some outlines along the lines you suggest (how many people it sleeps, for example, and how far it is from major cities).

And the lightbox idea for the photo gallery (like we have in other places) is one we toyed with, but then I have to fiddle with code to change pics. We'll see where we end up...

Anonymous said...

Wow, the guy asks for suggestions and you give some and just end up being bashed by Preston. I was just trying to be helpful. Personally I don't stay at hiltons, usually more unique places, and would consider myself to be in the target market for this place. I provided a few suggestions that I thought were reasonable. Things I would like to know are: does it have a grill, do I need to bring my own linens, etc. That is a long way for asking for a Hilton. I also provided the second comment with a link to an example site that I think would be useful to look at for the owners. I understand the goal of keeping a minimalist site, but there are a few pieces of info missing or difficult to find that I believe are a turn off for potential guests. With just a bit more work I think it would be great and I was just trying to help. I guess I will keep my mouth shut now and go to the Hilton ;)

preston said...

Wups, let me take back my original against anonymous. I kind of, uh, skipped the text of this article just to say congrats and ended up reading the first comment out of context. I'll take the comment lashing fair enough for that one.

Although, I will say, I kind of figured Lost River was small enough that a map wouldn't be needed and that directions would be provided to renters upon reservation. I also thought the flickr photos moved well for me ... no real slowness -- maybe it's the connection here. out.

Tammy said...

As far as slideshow speed, on my screen it shows that you can adjust the speed (default speed on my browser showed 5 seconds, I lowered it to about 3 when I viewed the photos).

A few things,
*I think a map w/b nice. Lost River may be small, but I barely know, precisely, where W. Virginia is. Also, maybe include dots identifying where some of the places listed on your 'to do' page are located w/b helpful.
*I enjoyed the photos, but I think I see what anonymous was getting at - I didn't think the photos were fluff, because I DID enjoy them, but there were times when I wanted to lean over and look around the corner or see an additional visual that would better explain the room or house layout. BUT, if you're going more for providing the viewer an ambience or a general feel of the place, then the photos do serve that purpose.
*Including the floorplan on the site provided great information. Gave me a feel for the setup, where some of the photos were taken, size. I hadn't realized the cabin was two story until I saw the floorplans.
*Including the list of things to do was inspired. I actually called my husband over after I'd clicked on a couple of the links, to show him the cabin and what we could do or see while there. A couple questions we had while browsing through - do you rent in winter (I assume you do, but . . .maybe include a couple shots of cabin in snow or different seasons?) is there skiing nearby? winter sports/recreation (sledding, ice skating. . . )? What a great vacation - amazing, modern, aesthetically awesome accommodations and the great outdoors. Definitely piqued our interest as a very possible vacation destination.

I think you've got a v. good start on your public site. I think including some other info, as mentioned- how many the cabin sleeps, checkin/out policies, that kind of thing would help future guests (and lead to fewer questions for you).

Good luck & congratulations!

Chris said...

Thanks Tammy. Those are all things we're working through right now. All a balancing act, you know?

As for your questions, we are planning on renting in the winter. We'll see how things go with snow, but it really is nice up there when it gets cold and you can get that fire going. Canaan Valley, which is actually pretty awesome skiing, is about 90 miles from the house. So not right around the corner, but certainly doable - I should get that on the activities page.

Betsy said...

So helpful! Hey Chris, just to let you know, it's been a thrill to read your blog and share your concerns, ideas, challenges, and scores (go eBay!) with our clients. Alchemy does the 'weeHouse' and since there aren't too many wees-to-see (yet!) any and all process info. helps. You've done do much work on your own ... WOW! ... but the budget, the process, the real-life scenarios of building a house ... well, it's just all good. Thanks a million for your work on this. And congrats on a lovely home.

Sarah said...

Thanks Betsy. Geoff was probably the very first architect I talked to when we started this project - I had no idea who he was when he answered the phone, and I asked him what he did there, and he laughed and told me "well they call me the principal architect, whatever that means." Couldn't have been nicer. And we love the weeHouse - Sarah has already picked out a spot for one up the hill - gonna turn this little town in wv into a prefab destination - once we work our way out of all this debt!

And glad the info helps - its really why we started the blog in the first place. Weren't too many prefab build blogs out there where you could get much info on the process besides Jennifer and Barry's. We'll try to get final numbers up for our budget page soon...

Sarah said...

Oops, that was me...