Please review our website - Divorce Actually.

Discussion in 'Website Reviews & Testing' started by Drinkwater2, Feb 12, 2021.

  1. Drinkwater2

    Drinkwater2 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    56 4
    Hi All,

    I'd really appreciate some feedback on both the concept and design of our new website, Divorce Actually.

    We hope the Site will be financially beneficial to both those who’ve been through a divorce and those, regrettably, embarking on one. We hope to build a searchable database of previous divorce cases. People starting out down that route can search the database and find similar past cases where the settlement has been approved by a Judge as fair and reasonable. We hope this will keep negotiations on-track and moving forward thereby reducing legal costs.

    We started designing the Site two years ago but other commitments made it a slow process. The timing is in no way related to the current lockdown situation.

    Unfortunately both Facebook and Twitter blocked us from promoting our posts and tweets after just two weeks on the basis that "we were offering people too much money for too little work" so it must be either a pyramid scheme or a scam. It is neither. We believe it offers some people the opportunity to earn money and others the opportunity to save a fortune.

    Thanks in advance.

    https://divorceactually.co.uk/
     
    Posted: Feb 12, 2021 By: Drinkwater2 Member since: Dec 24, 2017
    #1
  2. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    34,002 10,098
    I'm already confused.

    Why even have the homepage? Put the form on the homepage and make it simpler. Too many fields for an initial search.

    Every search I make has zero results.

    And the UX on a phone is really awful. This is the device most people will be using so this should have been the priority over the desktop layout. Try it yourself. Some of the content doesn't even fit on the page.

    Why even have the basket top right? It's not a store - it's a DB of settlements. There won't ever be a need for a basket like this (or to login/register).

    And it's sloooow. Google scores you 33/100. Mainly because of the theme and all the junk it has to load to get things to work.

    And the logo is just yuk.

    No contact details - which means you ain't never gonna get my money.
     
    Posted: Feb 12, 2021 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #2
  3. Darren_Ssc

    Darren_Ssc UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,689 602
    This is potentially a site people may reference for information but I can't really see why they would stump up £200 for further details? I'm not saying there isn't a monetisation opportunity but this isn't it.

    Getting to the point where you have sufficient information for you to become a resource is going to be along process and you may lose motivation very rapidly with no income being generated.

    The copy generally needs to much clearer and the text on your blog page is far too small.
     
    Posted: Feb 12, 2021 By: Darren_Ssc Member since: Mar 1, 2019
    #3
  4. Fagin2021

    Fagin2021 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    34 10
    Take a look at your Terms and Conditions on a mobile (or even a desktop) and you'll see one reason why I don't think anyone will sign up as a buyer or seller. Sorry.
    In fairness, I must confess I also said that Garfield the Cat with stick-on suckers for car windows would never catch on.
     
    Posted: Feb 12, 2021 By: Fagin2021 Member since: Jan 27, 2021
    #4
  5. AllUpHere

    AllUpHere UKBF Ace Free Member

    3,456 1,360
    It looks like scam, and not even a clever one. The copy is written to persuade people why the idea is good in principle, not why they should use it.
     
    Posted: Feb 12, 2021 By: AllUpHere Member since: Jun 30, 2014
    #5
  6. Drinkwater2

    Drinkwater2 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    56 4
    Thanks for the feedback guys, I'll do some adjusting on the image sizes. I fully appreciate that most people look on their phones, we can see that from Google Analytics. To actually get involved they would need to use a laptop or desktop though. I'll also have to rethink some wording as clearly what we're trying to offer is lost in translation somewhere.
     
    Posted: Feb 12, 2021 By: Drinkwater2 Member since: Dec 24, 2017
    #6
  7. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    34,002 10,098
    Why? If most people are using their phones then it has to work on that device.

    Or have I understood the whole concept? I thought I paid you to get a ready made settlement where all I had to do was fill in the blanks.
     
    Posted: Feb 12, 2021 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #7
  8. japancool

    japancool UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,766 725
    Mrs. fisicx will be right pleased to hear that! :)
     
    Posted: Feb 12, 2021 By: japancool Member since: Jul 11, 2013
    #8
  9. Drinkwater2

    Drinkwater2 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    56 4
    Thanks again for the feedback. Obviously I'll have to go back to the drawing board regarding the wording on the Site but will respond to the points made. What I actually forgot to ask in the initial post was whether anyone how responded had actually been through a divorce? People who haven't been through one, quite naturally, have no idea how long the process can drag on and how expensive it can get.

    The idea is that people anonymise (fully) their Form E documents and the financial order. The numbers are visible but no personal details at all. They do the same with the financial order that has been approved by a Judge. It is these documents that someone purchases from the person who uploaded them into the database. Documents need copying, anonymising and then scanning back to a device to be attached to the database entry. Obviously this can't be done on a phone which is why we were focused on desktop/laptop presentation. We hoped someone who was interested would find it on their phone but would then complete their entry using their laptop etc.
    The person who buys a copy of the anonymised documents then has something tangible to put in front of their partner (or their solicitor) and say "look, this has been considered reasonable in the past." Copies of actual documents are carry some weight whereas a piece of paper with some numbers on doesn't.

    We don't have any input into the settlement. If people want to work there own out they can use the divorce settlement calculator on the gov.uk website, but the result they get from that hasn't been approved by a Judge so will it persuade a awkward or stubborn partner?

    The T & C's were adapted from an ebook template to cover the 14 day cooling off period. Obviously with ebooks, you could buy them, read them during the cooling off period and then ask for your money back. With ebooks, once you've downloaded them your cooling off period expires. Fagin2021, is it the amount of T & C's that you think it the problem or what they say?

    Alluphere, appreciate your comments and will look focusing more on why people should use it rather than why it's a good idea. Can I ask why you think it looks like a scam? We've just made the entries in the database up? People pay their money and get rubbish? I'd be interested to hear.

    Darren_Ssc. I friend of mine recently got divorced. He owned his own Business (as I did when I got divorced.) I told him what I expected the settlement would be from the start. He wound up in front of a Judge as his wife refused all his offers. A week before his final hearing he upped his offer to her of more cash but it would have to come from future earnings. When the Judge made his awards, she got £150k less than he'd offered her before the hearing. Why didn't her solicitor tell her to "snap his hand off?" Between them they spent nearly £200k on legal advice. He did pay more than I expected but I think that was because he had offered more in the first place. If he could have found a couple of similar cases in the database and gone to his solicitor and said, send these across to them, here's my offer, and if she doesn't accept it I will apply for costs from this moment forwards. I think it would have brought her to her senses and stopped it being a free gamble in her mind. That's why he would have been prepared to spend £1200 on two similar cases, saved a couple of years of his life and reduced the legal costs from £200k to £40k ???? If one of the sets of documents was yours, you'd get paid £444. Almost worth getting a laptop out for?

    That's what we're trying to achieve folks. Offering some people the opportunity to earn some money and others the opportunity to save themselves a fortune.

    Any feedback still gratefully received. Thanks.
     
    Posted: Feb 13, 2021 By: Drinkwater2 Member since: Dec 24, 2017
    #9
  10. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    34,002 10,098
    None of that comes across on the site.

    Use of a laptop/desktop to do whatever is going to cause you all sorts of grief. Chap I know going through a divorce is in a cheap bedsit and just a mobile phone. That's his sole means of communication.

    Anyway, you big problem is still trust. You don't have any contact details on the site nor do have any proof you can deliver. For all we know you are an overseas scammer taking money and giving out made up documents.

    And you have built it like an ecommerce site - something it isn't.

    And I still haven't managed to find a single document based on my current criteria.

    (also been through 2 divorces - neither of which cost me more than £5K in legal fees).
     
    Posted: Feb 13, 2021 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #10
  11. Drinkwater2

    Drinkwater2 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    56 4
    Hi Fisicx,

    Ok, take on board your comment that the Site isn't explaining what we hope to achieve and will have a think about the best way forward.

    I recognise that the Site not being totally mobile useable is a problem. A buyer could purchase documents using a mobile but a seller can't would need at least a printer/scanner and it would be pretty fiddly.

    I understand the World is full of scammers and proving you're not one is a dilemma. Any thoughts on that yourself? The Limited Company is named on the Contact Page which is the only information I was told must be on the Site. Any who is interested could look on Companies House for further information. I just didn't think quoting an address answered any of the "trust" issues.

    The Company we used to design the Site said Wordpress was the way forward. If someone purchased some documents (via paypal) they can then download them. Also via Paypal we then forward the Sellers money to them. Is that not Ecommerce?

    There are 2 examples shown in the database, we didn't want to open up real records until we had enough to guarantee obscurity by the number of records in the database. If you put the Wife's age at 46 - 50 you will notice that only one record is displayed. Obviously if there were more it would show those only.

    Pleased to hear your divorce legal fees weren't crucifying. I had a friend who was a farmer. His wife left him for another woman. He had £250k in his current account when she left. When that had gone in legal fees, suddenly a deal was negotiated! I understand I probably sound very cynical about divorce lawyers, but I've yet to hear of one that tries to get a deal done cost effectively. You wouldn't employ them as a salesperson in your business, it could take years for them to walk in with their first order!

    Appreciate your input. Thanks.
     
    Posted: Feb 13, 2021 By: Drinkwater2 Member since: Dec 24, 2017
    #11
  12. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    34,002 10,098
    What seller? I thought you had all the documents already?
    Full address, telephone number, email, company number on every page. Include case studies showing how having an agreed settlement saved X ££££. Show an example of a settlement document.

    Don't be anonymous.
    WordPress is just a cheap way to manage content. You only have one product, there is no need for woocommerce, all you need is a payment portal with the options to pay with CC, PayPal, Bitcoin or even BACS. They have use woo because it's free and easy to setup. But it's the wrong way to do things.

    People will only ever be on the site because they want what you are offering.

    This means you need the form on the homepage. Even better, make it a multistep form when you can filter the details. For example: Do you have your own business Yes/No. Depending on how they answer takes them to the next step. Help ease the way for people who are no doubt already stressed and under pressure.

    The buyer is your most important visitor - they will be using a phone. You have to build the site for them.

    As an aside, the company that built the site need a kick up the backside. Their efforts give you a google score of 33/100.
     
    Posted: Feb 13, 2021 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #12
  13. Drinkwater2

    Drinkwater2 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    56 4
    Seller - no we don't have the documents. There is (on average) 1400 couples per week finalise their divorces in England and Wales. (The divorce laws are different in Scotland and NI.) It is those people, 7600 of them in the last month we want to attract. The idea is it works like stubhub or viagogo, the only difference is there is no limit to the amount of times they can sell their documents. Once uploaded, they're done. In your case, you spent £5000. Your documents would be priced at £110. You get £71.50 each time they sell. The £38.50 is admin charge which has a VAT element in it. Obviously a large chunk of the remainder goes for advertising.

    Take onboard, name address, telephone number etc. Yes, a case study with "what I earned" and "what I saved and how much it speeded the process up" would be great but that's a bit of a "chicken and egg" situation.

    Originally we did want the "seller" to populate their own database record but decided that we would do it. Would rather not as it could be time consuming but had to avoid "garbage in, garbage out" scenario.

    You clearly know more about website design than most. We thought the design was ok because somewhere we had to explain the concept and thought the pages we had were ok. Obviously not as it appears it isn't at all clear how the Site works, certainly to sellers (the document owners.)

    Back to "chicken and egg." At the moment getting sellers is most important. If we can get 500 - 1000 records in the database it could then be tailored to be as user friendly as possible to buyers and make any new sellers do a little bit more work for their money.
     
    Posted: Feb 13, 2021 By: Drinkwater2 Member since: Dec 24, 2017
    #13
  14. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Legend Full Member

    10,833 4,636
    1. It does not work at all on a phone - so useless for most prospects.

    2. Yes, I've been through a divorce (in Germany) and it was cheap and easy.

    3. Looking on a laptop, I still have no idea what it is there for. There does not seem to be a USP or advantage for the person getting or thinking about a divorce. It seems I can look at other people's settlements but what that costs or why I should look at them remain a clouded mystery.

    4. As for the texts - I strongly suggest you get the book 'Making Ads Pay' by legendary advertising writer John Caples. At the age of 25, he wrote the most famous ad in the history of humanity and it is still studied by wannabe advertising people to this day.
    https://swiped.co/file/they-laughed-when-i-sat-down-at-the-piano-by-john-caples/

    5. At the end of the book, he gives a check-list of seven things that an ad (or here a website) must achieve if it is to sell products. Make sure that you comply with all seven!

    Good hunting!
     
    Posted: Feb 13, 2021 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
    #14
  15. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    34,002 10,098
    Pay people for their documents. This will help fill the database.

    But finding these sellers is going to cost you a large wodge. The only people looking for a service like this are those getting divorced not those who are already divorced. Which means you need a lot of advertising and a lot of incentives. Don't even think I've kept my settlement. Probably wasn't called a Form E back then.
     
    Posted: Feb 13, 2021 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #15
  16. Drinkwater2

    Drinkwater2 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    56 4
    Hi The Byre,

    We understand the limitations of mobile phones, there are quite a few websites that are more cumbersome to use on a mobile than a laptop or desktop. We were working on the basis that someone who was in the midst of an on-going long-winded expensive divorce might be motivated to find a laptop/desktop somewhere if they thought they may be able to progress the job.

    Don't know what the laws are in Germany but they may have controls on costs in place. Here it seems to be very different... see

    http://www.complaintaboutsolicitors.co.uk/challenge.../
    DIVORCE LEGAL FEES ?
    Again, with divorce, we think there is often a correlation between the net worth of the client and the fees solicitors impose on them which, if this is the case, its shocking!

    There is also an article on the website linked to a Daily Mail article in which a couple worth around £3m blew £920k arguing through solicitors. At what point do solicitor's consciences prick them and they say we need to reach an agreement?

    Maybe the Site needs to be aimed specifically at people with an interest in a private limited Company as in every case I'm aware of forensic accountants have been involved and costs have gone through the roof. In my own, I told my solicitor "if they want that they can pay for it." I was told that the cost must be shared or "a Judge may take a dim view of me." It was a waste of money and we never went to a final hearing. We settled on the courtroom steps, I moved £10k and my ex moved £500,000. Her solicitor was quite happy to present a demand from her that included a house that didn't belong to us. Impossible for me to agree to. Would they have forwarded that request on a no-win no-fee basis?

    As regards why someone would want to purchase someone's documents, if they're contemplating a divorce might like to get a steer on what a possible outcome could be? Someone in a divorce presents the documents to the other side to keep people realistic and the process progressing. The documents support a claim for costs if the other side refuses to see reason and continues to be unrealistic. Judges don't like to see fortunes wasted arguing unnecessarily through solicitors as ultimately they know it's financially very damaging to an already bad situation. I thought the economics spoke for themselves. Spend £500 to try and prevent another £50,000 in legal fees? I asked a question on a website forum concerning rights to access to the children. There were 16 people who replied and the combined legal bills were £1.2 million.

    Thanks for the advice about the book, I'll get it. I have seen videos on youtube about that highlight the effectiveness of painting a picture in someone's head and the solution to the situation is to buy what you're selling. I did think about it but was worried it came over a little "american" if you know what I mean.

    Hi Fisicx,

    Yes, we thought about buying the documents off people just as you'd buy stock for a shop. It would cost a lot of money to do. If someone's paid £30,000 for their paperwork, what would they want for it? We also thought that the potential of an on-going income would be more appealing than a one-off payment? Yes, most people are delighted the process is finished and only keep their decree absolute and financial order, the rest goes quickly in the bin. We're hoping to attract the people who got the job sorted recently. There are 7,600 of them every month!

    Thanks again to both.
     
    Posted: Feb 13, 2021 By: Drinkwater2 Member since: Dec 24, 2017
    #16
  17. Paul Carmen

    Paul Carmen UKBF Regular Full Member - Verified Business

    414 128
    This isn't about a website review, although 100% it has to work well on mobile, or you've alienated 65%+ of the potential market. The site needs a redesign with clear info, proper copy and needs to attract sellers and buyers. But you need a plan first...

    I don't think you really know your target market, you may think you know what they want, but I'm not sure you do. You also seem to need people to want to sell their details to you for your business model to work, which again I'm not sure they will ever do.

    The site is very confusing and I had no idea what it was for and you fail to explain any of it clearly. Living with someone who'd been through a divorce, she would not look for or be aware of the things your site talks about or targets either.

    To create this as a successful website and business model, you need to have a marketing plan and proposition that works. This should be based on customer and market research; e.g. how will potential customers find you, what will they look for. Plus, how will you get people to sell you their divorce details?

    If, as I suspect based on a quick look at the keywords searched for in Google, there is no one looking for the exact type service your offering, you need a plan fast. That doesn't mean it won't work, but you need to get in front of people looking for cheap options or trying to do this without running up huge legal fees.

    At the minute your model sounds like, "tell your lawyer there's a cheap way to do this", when your lawyer actually wants you to spend money on their fees. Plus when I look for solutions on your site, you don't have any....

    You actually need to market twice here, as you have no solutions without customer divorce details. As far as I can see you need some serious help here to have any chance of this working, as you first need the divorce data/info available to make this viable, so you need a marketing process and budget to achieve this before you can sell anything. You then need push marketing to make people aware there's a better way than paying huge legal fees, because they don't know this currently.

    This requires a lot of marketing to get away, as you either need to rank well for high volume very competitive search terms things like 'online divorce', or you need a big online or TV marketing budget to get people to your site and interested in what you do. I don't know if there is any other business like this already, but it feels like one that's trying to disrupt an industry, that will require substantial backing to get working.
     
    Posted: Feb 13, 2021 By: Paul Carmen Member since: Jan 27, 2018
    #17
  18. Chawton

    Chawton UKBF Regular Free Member

    177 80
    How much response did you experience from the demand side after 2 weeks of Twitter promo? Albeit you got shut down it was at least some exposure; did 2 weeks garner any response?

    Only if the answer to that was yes would I look at the supply side. The supply side should be the most straight forward of all really and not arduous, provided you were prepared to do the inputting and could throw £70-100k at it.

    How much better is it than the gov.uk system? How much more compelling? That's what you need the real feel for. I suppose it's fair to assume the "reasonable" side has already waved .gov.uk printouts in the belligerent's face and pleaded for sanity to prevail...they could take some persuading to then part with £100's for the prospect of this being thrown back in their face too.

    Not saying it's without merit but those are the main barriers as I see them.

    Personally I'd lose the pink too for fairly obvious partisan reasons.
     
    Posted: Feb 13, 2021 By: Chawton Member since: Mar 21, 2018
    #18
  19. Drinkwater2

    Drinkwater2 UKBF Contributor Full Member

    56 4
    Hi Paul,

    When I asked people to have a look at the Site I admit I wasn't expecting so people to say it was a poor design. I thought the layout was fine. I know the mobile menu doesn't work in portrait mode but I'll get that sorted, hopefully today.

    I do think we know who our target market is, I'm willing to bet that plenty of the members on this Site who have ownership or part ownership of an SME and have been through a divorce would be able to throw some light on the outcome of future divorces for other business owners.

    We didn't want divorcees to sell us their details, and it's important to stress it's only the numbers they share, nothing that could ever identify them. We thought that the potential of an on-going income for around 30 minutes work would appeal to a lot of folks. There's enough posts and blogs about "make money on-line" but they're either offering you $14,000 a day without any investment of £2.50 an hour for testing and reviewing products. Someone who makes they're experience available to others on our Site receives a minimum of £71.50 per download and up to a maximum of £444 depending on how drawn out and expensive their divorce was. It seems like a useful sum of money to me? We hoped if we could find a few they would pass it on to others, after all, we all know people who've got divorced.

    I know the divorce solicitors want you to run up sizeable bills with them. I should state that we are trying to help people reach a fair settlement cost effectively. Anyone who tries to "con" their partner into settling cheap always runs the risk of the Order being set-aside and being back to square one at a time that may be highly inconvenient for them.

    Armed with someone else's "reasonable" settlements, they don't just plonk them on their solicitor's desk and say "I want to make an offer in line with this." Bearing in mind that it is an extremely acrimonious process, in fact there is a bill being discussed in Parliament to remove the necessity of citing a reason to get divorced before a two year separation has elapsed. Not everyone has the option to wait 2 years but the Government is aware that citing a reason often enflames the situation. This leads to a "revenge" mentality and rational reasoning goes out the window. If the person is dealing with someone who is being totally unreasonable and refuses to enter into negotiations whilst maintaining impossible demands, the party who is trying to settle the divorce reasonably walks into their solicitors office and says, "based on these two cases I am prepared to offer this. I want you to send the offer, and these two past settlements to the other half solicitor and say that I'm prepared to negotiate slightly but will be applying for all costs against them if they refuse to start being reasonable." Being unreasonable is no longer a free bet and may prove to be a very expensive choice. That's how an investment of a few hundred stops both parties suffering huge legal bills, as they do today.

    Yes, we do need some sellers before we start marketing the site to buyers. We're looking for 500 of them.

    Yes, I am trying to disrupt an Industry, and it is an Industry rather than a service. I'd like it on my headstone, "The person who derailed the divorce gravy train."

    Hi Chawton,

    Yes, response was pretty good with 4% engagement to Facebook Ads and 8% engagement on Twitter posts. It is of course the proverbial searching for a "needle in a haystack." We promoted tweets to 15,000 people and 1200 people engaged and 300 clicking the link to the Site. I estimated that around 40 of the original 15,000 people may have got divorced in the previous 12 months and of those, how many had still got their paperwork?

    I can do the £70 but the £100,000 would make me cough a bit!

    The gov.uk divorce calculator spreadsheet takes you back on-line to fill in all the fields. It would be a nightmare to try and do it on a mobile device. The main problem with it though is that the answer you get has not been set before a Judge and been approved. It may well be a perfectly reasonable offer but it doesn't have the gravitas of a previous financial order that has been before a Judge and approved as fair and reasonable.

    Thanks both for your input.
     
    Posted: Feb 14, 2021 By: Drinkwater2 Member since: Dec 24, 2017
    #19
  20. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    34,002 10,098
    But unless they know you exist or are looking for something like this you will never gain any traction.

    Your marketing costs are going to be huge - just getting sellers onboard is going to be tough. I'd have thought £100,000 would be good figure to start with. offering 500 sellers £100 for their settlement document will eat up half of that. Can't see any reason why I'd be interested in giving you my document without some incentive.

    I do get what you are trying to do but a cheap and not very good website isn't the way to do this. If you paid more than a couple of hundred for this you were ripped off.
     
    Posted: Feb 14, 2021 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
    #20