Thanks for taking the time to comment.  Ultimately, if e-gold decides to
redesign their site, I think they should get a group of 5-10 newbies and
videotape them trying to use it.   In the meantime, I've created an informal
survey--if you want to express your preference for either's current
site design or the mockup (, please go to
the following site and answer the survey question:

(Obviously, the survey isn't scientific, and has a number of actual/potential
flaws--self selection bias, potential spoofing, possibly improper wording,
etc--so take the results with a big grain of salt.)

> Does your server have the same user load that the e-gold server does?

Good point--I don't know the server load of my hosting company, nor e-gold's,
but I doubt my hosting company has comparable volume.  As I said, my test was
_not_ scientific.  However, 28 seconds is almost 3 times what usability
research suggests is an optimal maximum.  The relative comparison may not be
fair, but the absolute number is valid I think.

> Wwireless & cellular PDA users access different versions of the internet.
> There isn't a PDA that I know of that can display a site optimized for
> desktop computers. The largest resolution I have seen is 320*240, while
> most desktops have a resolution of 800*600 with some at 640*480 and some
> at 1024*768 and higher.

You may be correct--maybe PDA users wouldn't try to access e-gold's current
site.  Perhaps it would be useful for e-gold to to set up a survey to ask

1. How fast is your internet access?
2.  Which browser are you using?
3.  What OS/hardware are you using to access e-gold?

Has this been done before?


Thanks!  I didn't know these links existed.  Perhaps this information could go
into the FAQ.

> > e-gold could also improve navigation by making more of the website's
> > functionality and information available from the main page.  I've done
> > this in the mockup by including links of interest to each of e-gold's
> > constituencies--everyone, beginners, merchants, developers.
> IMO, that end's up cluttering the page.

Well, one man's clutter is another man's invaluable navigational aid...:>
While increasing the number of links in the navbars may increase the visual
clutter,  I think they reduce the complexity of using the website by making it
possible to get to the most used parts of the websites in one or two clicks,
without having to drill down into the website.

As for the additional content (news, pricing info),  e-gold is far from
saturating the potential market, and a large fraction of the visitors to e-gold
will be newbies.  They're going to most want to know  a) what e-gold is b) how
much it costs c) how to get it.  If it doesn't significantly increase download
speed, nor decrease experienced users usability, why not reduce the effort new
users must expend by putting this information on the front page?

Experienced e-gold users probably aren't going to look at the rest of the
page--they're just going to look at the navbar links at the top of the page,
and ignore the rest.  (Or use

> So do I. However, e-gold actually figured out how to do it properly. I
> have never had a problem with lagging frames on the e-gold site.

I swear I found a page that framed an outside link.  But I can't find it now,
so I apologize for suggesting that e-gold's site exhibited this behavior.

> > I would also include a discussion of market maker fees, and wire transfer
> and
> > money order fees because the user will have to pay these fees to use
> > e-gold, even if the fees aren't charged by e-gold itself.
> All the market maker's are completely indepedent of e-gold and able to
> change their fee structures at any time. Money orders have differing costs
> depending on where they are bought.

Wire transfer/money order fees, and MM markup significantly raise the cost of
using e-gold for small transactions.   For example, to buy $20 of e-gold from, it costs $7.50 in MM markup, plus another $3.00 for the money
order.  (Plus a lot of hassle relative to credit cards.) That's a 53% charge,
which isn't included in e-gold's comparison of the costs of using e-gold vs.
credit cards.    (Though maybe I'm missing something again.  Also, I don't mean
to pick on just happen to be the company I bought gold
from--it's probably a comparable experience buying from most of the other
market makers.)

Of course, you could reduce the transaction cost by buying a lot of e-gold.
But e-gold's still quite new, and people are going to be wary of it.  Most
people are going to want to test the system with a small amount of money before
trusting it with a large amount of money.  It would be nice if e-gold  provided
more information upfront about the total costs of using e-gold (not just
e-gold's fees)  before users try to fund their  account.

It's true that MM fees, and money order/wire transfer fees vary and change.  I
wouldn't expect pricing information on these subjects to be precise.  But it
seems possible to me to give a ballpark example (I did it on the mockup site),
or give a range of prices.  To me,  at least, such information would've been
quite helpful.

Chris Rasch

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