[April Fools] New Design for Growing a Balanced & Diversified Community

scotty on 01/04/2013 at 12:01 am, filed under OzBargain

tl;dr — OzBargain has been a male dominant site for the past six years. We are hoping to steer OzBargain towards being a more balanced community with a new design.

The Humble Beginning


OzBargain in 2006

It has been more than six years since OzBargain was launched. Before I soft-launched OzBargain back in November 2006, this blog was where I shared electronic, computer and cheap prepaid mobile SIM bargains. This was an era before iPhones and Android devices. But hey, I am a nerdy guy and I love my gadgets.

After OzBargain was launched, we initially received a wave of visitors from other popular Australian forums, namely Whirlpool and OCAU. In fact Whirlpool remains one of our biggest referrer to this very day, sending 2000+ gadget-loving tech-savvy geeks to OzBargain every 24 hours. Again, mostly nerdy blokes.

Cheap,  Tech-Savvy, Geeky and MALE

The figures speak for themselves. For example, these products probably won’t be all that useful if you are a man. However, looking at the commenters and the voters — most of them¬† will not be able to use these products. “Female members?! What female members?!” seems to be the running joke on OzBargain, where many express disbelief sarcastically when hinted that there are actually female users on our system.

Our Facebook page statistics seems to agree as well.

Well. It does not look too bad, as there are just a bit shy of twice the males who “like” the OzBargain Facebook page than females. However, when you look at the number of people talking about OzBargain on Facebook, there are actually 3.5 times more young males (18-24yo) than females of the same age bracket (the gen-Y’s).

What does that conclude? OzBargain is dominated by its male members — not just in terms of numbers, but also in its opinions and its voice. I fear the domination here is so strong, that many female visitors do not even bother to sign up, to vote, to share or to join the discussions.

IMHO, it is actually a loss to the community. Personally, I have learnt so many saving money ideas from my wife and some female friends are the most vigorous bargain hunters I know. Without their contribution, OzBargain will continue to be in its little niche of cheap gadgets and making Ainol “that’s what she said” jokes, instead of benefiting the greater Australia.

Something needs to change!

How to make OzBargain more female-friendly?

To continue to grow OzBargain into a more balanced and diversified community, we need to make the site more female-friendly so women will be more willing to sign up and contribute.

Having no idea how to get started, I went to ask the question at SavvySME, a newly launched community website for the business kind. I asked, How to Grow a More Diversified & Balanced Community Website, pointing out OzBargain’s male-dominant nature. I got some vague answers. One said that I need to “find those pockets of people and give them a reason to come to your website”. Yeah right it’s like telling Gerry Harvey to find pockets of people happy to pay high price and bring them to shop at his store — it’s obvious but not very actionable.

Maybe, it’s just the design?

Then one day I had a bright new idea while browsing the latest deals on OzBargain (who hasn’t?!). By changing the design of the OzBargain website, it could create an environment that is more female friendly, which in turn would help OzBargain to be a more balanced community! Brilliant! I am an engineer after all who knows nothing about all that marketing fluff. Creating a new design however is at least more doable than “finding pockets of prospects and persuade them to signup”.

After a few days of testing out the new colours, let me now introduce you our new design — Pink.

Pink Theme

It’s only a start, but here are some of the changes:

  • PINK is now the primary colour. Most people are sick of the OzBargain Orange anyway.
  • Comic Sans as the primary font will definitely bring out the vibrant side of the community.
  • Love hearts on the OzBargain logo because we know how much you love it!
  • Falling animated love hearts on the home page. Can you say bling?!
  • New default avatar featuring My Little Pony-lookalike (well, until we figure out a more suitable, copyright-free avatar image)

I have briefly tested the new design with two female family members and they absolutely adore it!! (those are from my 6yo and 8yo daughters, btw). I have also shown it to my wife and she could not stop laughing which I presume that means she likes it.

That’s not all. More features are planned, gearing towards female members. For example,

  • Cosmetics, Fashion and Shoes deals automatically get +10 after posting.
  • Teaming up with other community websites such as Essential Baby and Vogue Forums, so female members can share their experiences across all the sites.
  • Inviting celebrities and popular mummy bloggers to endorse the brand.

Stay tuned! That’s all I want to say. I believe this effort will eventually move OzBargain to a more balanced community, which would be good for everyone.

Any suggestions? Feel free to leave them in the comments.

93 Comments

  1. Anthony:

    april fool you say? thought it was valentines day at first.

    31/03/2013 @ 11:13 pm | Reply
  2. Chewy:

    Love it :P

    31/03/2013 @ 11:13 pm | Reply
  3. Aj:

    Looks shit

    31/03/2013 @ 11:15 pm | Reply
  4. Alex:

    April fools perhaps?

    31/03/2013 @ 11:16 pm | Reply
  5. hando:

    way too much time spent on an April Fool’s joke.

    31/03/2013 @ 11:18 pm | Reply
  6. Evil-Elmo:

    I thought OzB had been hacked! Then realised you were just a little early for QLDers :)

    31/03/2013 @ 11:18 pm | Reply
  7. Charlotte:

    This might be an April Fool’s, but I like the pink ;)

    31/03/2013 @ 11:19 pm | Reply
  8. eggnbacon:

    YAY PONIES!!

    31/03/2013 @ 11:20 pm | Reply
  9. FOX:

    Love the design…… but reading all italics is a bit tiring though~

    31/03/2013 @ 11:20 pm | Reply
  10. Aj:

    Ah fools day stunt

    31/03/2013 @ 11:20 pm | Reply
  11. fieldafar:

    So kawaii.

    31/03/2013 @ 11:21 pm | Reply
  12. shinryoku:

    Haha nice one scotty!
    April Fools Day coinciding with Easter long weekend has given you more time to move OzBargain to a more “gender equal” site, lol.
    Since it’s already written, you should consider theming OzBargain, and keep Pink Pony theme as a alternative. ;)

    31/03/2013 @ 11:21 pm | Reply
  13. frrakitude:

    u didn’t get me ;)

    31/03/2013 @ 11:22 pm | Reply
  14. Pink:

    Too girl-ly…font is a bit difficult to read…hope this is just temporary

    31/03/2013 @ 11:22 pm | Reply
  15. Francis:

    You posted this 1 hour too early ;)

    31/03/2013 @ 11:24 pm | Reply
  16. Riczter:

    Stahp! Make it stahp. My eyes.. it burns..

    31/03/2013 @ 11:24 pm | Reply
  17. fookos:

    Ha! Happy April Fools Day to the Ozbargain community!

    31/03/2013 @ 11:25 pm | Reply
  18. LoveAprilFools:

    You’re too early for April Fools brother – funny none the less!!!

    31/03/2013 @ 11:25 pm | Reply
  19. Sabs:

    YAY, April Fools!

    31/03/2013 @ 11:25 pm | Reply
  20. Ray Stoker:

    It’s fantastc. Pity the release date happened to be April 1st.

    31/03/2013 @ 11:25 pm | Reply
  21. kacak:

    Nice one, happy April Fools to you too :)
    Btw my eye hurts :(

    31/03/2013 @ 11:25 pm | Reply
  22. Greg:

    Wow such a great idea!

    31/03/2013 @ 11:25 pm | Reply
  23. Tom:

    I don’t like the pink sorry. Its too bright and the falling snow love heart things looks childish work any more as it will attract attention

    31/03/2013 @ 11:28 pm | Reply
  24. April Fool!!!!

    31/03/2013 @ 11:28 pm | Reply
  25. Vladdo:

    I ain’t no fool, suckers…!

    31/03/2013 @ 11:33 pm | Reply
  26. geek7899:

    Thank God for 1st April.
    I was gonna delete my account if it was any other date.
    Can’t stand that font !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    31/03/2013 @ 11:35 pm | Reply
  27. Cat:

    You forgot to change the blog to pink

    31/03/2013 @ 11:39 pm | Reply
  28. dirtYbird:

    At first glance I pulled the power plug on my PC thinking the worst. But I got the same result on another laptop so figured it might have been a Valentines Day thing but that was February wasnt it. Mothers Day already maybe?
    But now I know after looking at all those dates this one is truly special. :D

    31/03/2013 @ 11:40 pm | Reply
  29. k15866:

    i like the idea, but prefer the old font. perhaps having the option for old layout

    31/03/2013 @ 11:40 pm | Reply
  30. Kenny Liew:

    Happy April Fools Day! 8)

    31/03/2013 @ 11:41 pm | Reply
  31. Adrian:

    April Fools’?

    31/03/2013 @ 11:43 pm | Reply
  32. Anthony:

    Haha April Fools!

    31/03/2013 @ 11:44 pm | Reply
  33. kram:

    First impression I thought it was meant to be easter design but valentine’s day uploaded by accident. Not sure if colour scheme makes difference for split in gender though. It might partly do with what kind of deals are posted by members. I show people at work this site and most of them seem confused or do not have the time to understand it. I think a good idea would be any improvements that can be made on filters and search e.g. sort by posting date, hide expired deals etc. Maybe subscribe to email updates on certain posts e.g. travel.

    31/03/2013 @ 11:46 pm | Reply
  34. GreenRomeo:

    I welcome changes as well as new female fellows, but can you at least make the good old orange layout optional please? I’m not sick of it, yet, and I definitely can’t say I fancy the new pink theme and the Comic Sans font, which looks more female dominant than any female oriented website I ever came across.

    31/03/2013 @ 11:48 pm | Reply
  35. Steph:

    Oh no… I appreciate your effort to make this more female friendly and I am a female who has been going on here but never posted haha. But please tell me the falling hearts thing isn’t permanent, I can deal with the other changes (I love pink, however, not very fond of the comic sans font since everyone used it in primary….) but the falling things are a distraction and can probably cause headaches.. I thought the old design was totally fine, I think I’m just a lazy person to post and comment since I don’t really have much to say. Anyways, I’ll still be going on this site for some great bargains :)

    31/03/2013 @ 11:48 pm | Reply
  36. Pony Pony:

    LOVE the new page! Quick suggestion: Ponycon is on in Sydney next week. Given the awesome new look, ozbargain should be able to get a stall. It could be a great way to drive awareness among a segment (geeky) within your target (females), resulting in increased penetration of ozbargainers and growth in your key focus area.

    31/03/2013 @ 11:48 pm | Reply
  37. millzy:

    April Fools!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    31/03/2013 @ 11:51 pm | Reply
  38. IIMurphaII:

    My eyes bleed…

    31/03/2013 @ 11:51 pm | Reply
  39. run2dmax:

    Loving the new look. Hoping it lasts most than a day.

    31/03/2013 @ 11:52 pm | Reply
  40. Allan:

    Making a website pink to make it appeal to women is at the very least demeaning to women. You need to change the attitudes not the design.
    Not to mention you will put off your existing male customers.

    Why would you use the basis of a 6 and 8 year old as your decision? Your target audience are not that young.
    http://adpearance.com/blog/5-myths-about-designing-for-women

    Comic Sans is not intended for this use and is quite inappropriate.
    http://www.comicsanscriminal.com/
    http://mashable.com/2012/10/03/comic-sans-history/

    And please, PLEASE get rid of the dropping hearts. They are distracting from the content of the site

    31/03/2013 @ 11:52 pm | Reply
    • Allan:

      just hoping this is april fools joke

      31/03/2013 @ 11:55 pm | Reply
  41. GreenRomeo:

    Oh well, I forgot what day is today. Nice try, Scotty!

    31/03/2013 @ 11:52 pm | Reply
  42. downero:

    Thought theres a virus or something. Nice idea but the font is ard to read

    31/03/2013 @ 11:53 pm | Reply
  43. silverrat23:

    Love the new design. Made for professionals, by professionals.

    31/03/2013 @ 11:53 pm | Reply
  44. devank:

    Good April fool joke :)

    31/03/2013 @ 11:53 pm | Reply
  45. meticulousmatty:

    Normally my missus is mad when she sees the orange.

    Today she was pleased. Guess pink stays for now…

    31/03/2013 @ 11:54 pm | Reply
  46. Sama:

    Can we choose from a range of ponies? That would be fabulous.

    01/04/2013 @ 12:01 am | Reply
  47. Grox:

    This is so amazing! I wish every day was pony day!

    01/04/2013 @ 12:02 am | Reply
  48. Kyle:

    I think it needs some yellow too

    01/04/2013 @ 12:02 am | Reply
  49. Is that Comic Sans what the duck man, Thats not going to lead any smart ladies to this site. Maybe just some 5 year olds or blind old ladies.
    (:

    01/04/2013 @ 12:02 am | Reply
  50. Nofearzzz:

    Just a few observations…

    Comic Sans is not a good look and is honestly a step backwards. Please see this link for more info: http://kadavy.net/blog/posts/why-you-hate-comic-sans/

    Secondly have a look at the Ebay endorsed http://www.pinchme.com.au it is absolutly flooded with Females. Take a look at their Facbook page. They must be doing something right..

    Hope this info helps!

    01/04/2013 @ 12:05 am | Reply
  51. Ben:

    Thanks Scotty. But..
    Can we have purple instead? Pink is too girly, I think.
    Now not many guys will dare to open OZbargain during office hours.
    Falling animated love hearts hurts eyes after some time.

    01/04/2013 @ 12:07 am | Reply
    • Ben:

      Haha. April fool. What a relief…,

      01/04/2013 @ 12:28 am | Reply
  52. Harrison:

    Although I love the concept, falling hearts and Comic Sans MS are really unneeded. Comic Sans MS is painful! Don’t take this wrong way though, fantasic idea – really like expansion just please make sure it is bearable to read. Pink colour is nice change.

    01/04/2013 @ 12:08 am | Reply
  53. Unicorn Lover:

    Now officially my favourite site on the internet, thanks Scotty!

    01/04/2013 @ 12:10 am | Reply
  54. eug:

    Finally. I needed something to tone down my extreme manliness a bit. This will do just fine.

    01/04/2013 @ 12:11 am | Reply
  55. Rob:

    Good bye Ozbargain. You used to be a good site. Now I will never use it again.

    01/04/2013 @ 12:12 am | Reply
  56. hellothankyou:

    ha ha ha gotcha! April Fools! You missed international women’s day by about 3 weeks scotty.

    01/04/2013 @ 12:15 am | Reply
  57. Daydream:

    What about the hermaphrodites?

    01/04/2013 @ 12:15 am | Reply
  58. I think the change is for the best, the MyLittlePony replacement for the avater is a nice step forward.

    Only issue I have is the falling hearts at times get in the way of my mouse clicking and needs to be hidden from the mouse or at least not interfere with it

    01/04/2013 @ 12:22 am | Reply
  59. AprilFools:

    One of the best April Fools I have seen! Can’t believe so many suckers on here fell for it.

    01/04/2013 @ 12:22 am | Reply
  60. Rose:

    HAHAHAHA GOOD ONE! To everyone who fell for it, you’re all funny! HAHAH

    01/04/2013 @ 12:28 am | Reply
  61. Lauren:

    hahaha best april fools! wasn’t foolish enough to fall for it though ;)

    01/04/2013 @ 12:29 am | Reply
  62. Davo1111:

    Looks fine to me, except the hearts. yep, i know the date

    01/04/2013 @ 12:39 am | Reply
  63. kram:

    opps I feel for it damn, but so much effort was put in lol

    01/04/2013 @ 12:46 am | Reply
  64. Banana:

    This was so awesome, I signed up after being a long time lurker just to say ‘awww yeaaaaaaaaaaaa’

    01/04/2013 @ 1:05 am | Reply
  65. Chris:

    The Comic Sans, it burns my eyes

    01/04/2013 @ 3:33 am | Reply
  66. Briefcase:

    Happy April Fools Day! :D

    01/04/2013 @ 7:00 am | Reply
  67. Michelle:

    The website design is hilarious but you do realize that the ozbargain community can be difficult to engage with at times, for women? Ohhh, sexy woman in lingerie, must up vote and try and make the best “your girlfriend” joke. Hey, freebie tampons, LOLZ!!! Tampons soooo funny! And the worst website design in the world… Must be one that girls would HEART.

    Not saying I don’t get the joke, just that this is an opportunity to point out that there’s a reason some women would avoid engaging with the community aspect of the site.

    01/04/2013 @ 7:11 am | Reply
  68. PlasticSpaceman:

    My girls (7 & 9) love it too! Only comment: needs more unicorns and rainbows. ;-)

    01/04/2013 @ 7:22 am | Reply
  69. peeweekathi:

    Ponies, ponies, want more ponies, want them NOW!!! Pweeeease? xxxx

    (LOL!)

    01/04/2013 @ 7:23 am | Reply
  70. Ozi:

    Yup, awesome effort..! Well played :)

    01/04/2013 @ 8:41 am | Reply
  71. Clown:

    this better be a joke, ITS BURNING MY EYESSS

    01/04/2013 @ 9:05 am | Reply
  72. PaSaWaY:

    Dont mind the pinkish theme…. But definitely not the FONT. If this continues, optical and health (eyes) related bargains should be at the very top and automatically get a 50% Like. Lol

    01/04/2013 @ 9:06 am | Reply
  73. Rhianna:

    Sorry, but you have missed the mark with this joke, it’s too ridiculous to be funny.

    01/04/2013 @ 9:30 am | Reply
  74. TOTO:

    01/04/2013 @ 9:39 am | Reply
  75. Jean:

    You almost had me Scotty. Infact, you had me hook, line and sinker…until I read the comments!

    Why not have an option at the top of the page, whereby the user can toggle a custom design scheme e.g. Orange/Black “Classic Theme” by default and Pink “Feminine Theme”. Just tone down the number of love hearts because this ain’t the HBK or valentines day.

    01/04/2013 @ 9:50 am | Reply
  76. Fars:

    I thought it was for April fools! lol
    I would definately appreciate more clothing/ fashion deals! good going OzB

    01/04/2013 @ 9:57 am | Reply
  77. Whacker9:

    Really? Lame… Slashdot did this in 2006. here: http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-6056735-7.html

    01/04/2013 @ 10:25 am | Reply
    • WTF007:

      Ozbargain is a copy cat. Tried to copy a 8 years old idea and was thinking to get away with it? LOL

      01/04/2013 @ 11:50 am | Reply
  78. myian:

    so old school

    01/04/2013 @ 10:34 am | Reply
  79. Pingback: From Kogan To Google, Here Are The April Fools’ Day Gags We’ve Spotted So Far | Gizmodo Australia

  80. Rob:

    Great intentions and fun change but sort the fonts out. Opera under Win7 is pretty good but under IOS Safari it’s terrible, can hardly read the text!

    01/04/2013 @ 10:54 am | Reply
  81. xiangtan:

    First, let me say your idea of a balanced $ diversified Ozbargain community is great. However, the rejigged Ozbargain site looks weired. At first I thought: Oh, is today the Valentine’s Day? And also, the font doesn’t look good. I feel it’s hard to read. The site doesn’t need to be pink with heaps of love hearts. It needs to be neutral.

    01/04/2013 @ 11:09 am | Reply
    • obses2ion:

      Dude .. it’s a joke.

      01/04/2013 @ 12:02 pm | Reply
      • xiangtan:

        Geez, I took the bait

        01/04/2013 @ 2:11 pm | Reply
  82. Ran:

    I think the My Little Pony theme makes the site more child-friendly than female friendly. Not many females in the target customer group are current fans of My Little Pony. How about the option to choose your own theme? We could have:
    1. Power Rangers theme
    2. Pokemon theme
    3. Gardening Theme (for the growers among us)
    4. Star Wars theme (I’m guessing there’s 1 or 2 Star Wars fans here)
    5. Matrix – of course
    6. Emo/Goth theme
    7. Dolphins theme <- Now this would be more female friendly

    Happy April Fools' day!

    01/04/2013 @ 12:09 pm | Reply
  83. haha:

    Saw it a bit after midnight.. didn’t fall for it at all ;)

    01/04/2013 @ 12:20 pm | Reply
  84. Mohammad Kibria:

    Please get rid of the falling hearts.

    01/04/2013 @ 12:39 pm | Reply
  85. Chris:

    Holy crap OzBargain, you almost gave me a heartattack!

    (Then I looked at the calender and a sigh of relief almost overwealmed me)

    01/04/2013 @ 1:01 pm | Reply
  86. Michael:

    I feel the density of falling love hearts is not great enough to get the message across. More please ;)

    01/04/2013 @ 1:49 pm | Reply
  87. Steve:

    Thank you to whoever made this Easter egg!
    Made my day

    01/04/2013 @ 2:08 pm | Reply

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