Review: Bound Custom Journals
I have loved to journal, doodle, and sketch-out ideas on almost anything paper (and some not) for as long as I can remember, and I’ve been meaning to order a notebook from Bound Custom Journals (boundforanything.com) since I came across their story on Kickstarter last summer. Today, push finally came to shove.
1. Getting Started. Getting started with my custom journal is incredibly easy. There is a big, fat “Get Started” button in the middle of the homepage. In fact, each image on the promotator links to the next step, a nice touch. “Build a Journal” in the top navigation works as well.
2. Select a Journal. There are currently three journal options available to choose from. I like mine small, so went with the Bound Memo. The description is extremely helpful - I can practically feel the book in my hands already.
- I love how the copy says it “slips easily into a shirt-pocket”.
- The iconography provides a nice visual break while highlighting further features.
Nice to Have: I believe a nice little addition would be to shows tool-tips when mousing-over the icons. I don’t have a clue what “100% PCRF” means nor do I understand the benefits of acid-free paper. Educate me why this is unique or important.
3. Time to Customize. This process is a wonderfully intuitive and visual experience; I feel very in control of the whole process. The mouse hover states offer extra information and easy direction.
- Within each Section, there are multiple ways for further customization with previews for each look.
- By default, each section contains 20 pages, but you can add or subtract to liking with a few clicks, and follow the progress bar as your journal nears completion.
Nice to Have: I really craved the ability to repeat a customized section. I originally wanted to repeat every other page, but I quickly became too frustrated at having to add each section from scratch and gave up.
4. Review Order. Pretty standard and visually consistent experience here. The Big 5 actions on review pages are present: Edit Order, Delete Item, Update Quantity, Continue Shopping, and Checkout.
Nice to Have: One little bug I found is that if you click ‘Back’ in your browser, your cart is empty and your builder progress appears lost. Clicking ‘Forward’ in your browser displays the saved data, but I was nervous for a second.
5. Billing Info and Shipping. The billing information form is one of the nicer ones I experienced recently. Very standard in terms of length, but a had much cleaner layout than most. A slick, little feature (called out here) is the dynamically generated shipping options. Upon entering a zip code, price quotes are displayed in an easy-to-read fashion with most cost effective on top.
6. Confirmation. Confirmation pages are typically less than memorable, which is usually not a big deal. However, they do provide great opportunities to add to branding or solicit feedback. As a huge fan of feedback, I can honestly say this is one of the best executions of the feedback form I’ve ever seen.
With ‘Name’ and ‘Email’ pre-populated from my billing information, two steps have been removed from this process. This simple adjustment makes the form significantly more inviting - all I need to do is type in my thoughts! My inner dork is going nuts with this genius rendition! I’d love to A/B test this same form without the pre-populated data and compare the results. On a slightly less enthusiastic side-note, this simplified take on a bot fighter also makes me smile.
Conclusion. Overall, my first experience with Bound was thoroughly positive. The site is loaded with great UI and UX. For a first-time user, I navigated with confidence. While I eagerly await my finished product, I suggest checking them out for yourselves.