Merar begins Spring 2011 with a new design. Find out what has changed and why we have decided to upgrade our investment platfrom.
The new Merar is here!
We launched Merar in October 2010 (the soft launch was made in June same year) with what we thought, the ambitious idea to become the Investment Network for the Emerging Markets. Since then we received numerous comments, requests, and ideas for new features. We would like to thank our members and partners for providing such qualitative feedback. Without it we wouldn't be here today. This relaunch is also the result of great teamwork. We thank to the wonderful team of Magic Solutions and especially to Venelin, Ilian, and Pavel who wrote the code and Sve, who designed our beautiful new logo.
Highlighting what's new
With this article we wanted to highlight some of the key changes as well as some of the end goals that influenced the improvements we made. Some of these changes are based on member requests, while others are based on our own observations on how to make Merar better. Many of the changes are in the core of the Merar product. We thought that some of the features will be used differently by the users. Now we have learned a lot about how people are using the investment network. We have poured this understanding into the new design and many updated functionalities.
Identity and colours
Goal: Since we are relaunching the service we wanted to make it visible. Our goal was to update the Merar logo and change the site colours. Our desire was to focus on (E)merging in the logo. You can tell us, how do we succeeded in this update.
Changes: This is the most visible aspect of the relaunch. In order to make this change we updated every single page and functionality on the site.
Role based navigation
Goal: We thought it would be useful to divide the functionality for Investors (Provide Funds) and Entrepreneurs (Get Funds). The feedback was that we had them somehow hidden in the previous Merar. The most important features the customers required us to highlight were Your Opportunities and Change Password.
Changes: The website is now divided in two role-based parts Provide Funds and Get Funds. The profile management the all other sections remain common for both investors and entrepreneurs.
File request was removed
Goal: We thought originally that many project owners would like to require permission for investors accessing their files. It appeared that most investors are looking to receive as much as possible information before establishing any communication with the entrepreneur. Rarely investors would like to request such information from the entrepreneurs.
Changes: We made all files visible for the registered investors.
Goal: In June 2010 we thought that the project title and the short description would be enough for investors to register and start communication. Apparently this amount of content was not enough neither for provoking interest, nor enough for proper search engine optimisation.
Changes: All the project information (including title, short and long description) became publicly available. The project files and the messages option will be still reserved for serious investors, members of the Merar network and will not go public.
Goal: Communication is the essence of the Merar Investment Network. Members had already exchanged over 1900 messages and we carefully listened to their feedback. We also wanted to simplify the communication by making it understandable, still highly private and of course very comfortable for both parties (investors and entrepreneurs).
Changes: When an interested investor or partner communicates under a specific product, his profile details are automatically disclosed to the project owner. When the second replies, on the other hand his profile details are visible to the interested party. It's so simple and it works in both ways our tests revealed. Still none of the contact details is publicly available and this is on of the Merar rules.
How it works
Goal: Many users suggested they have higher visibility on how the investment network works from the first day they sign for it. New users wanted a for of a 'site tour'.
Changes: We developed two separate sections with a quick tour or overview of the Merar network from the angle of the investor or the entrepreneur.
Goal: In order to satisfy even the highest security standards and with the current internet speeds worldwide together with the lightness of the Merar's front-end we decided to deliver the site's contents only using the SSL cryptographic protocols. This high-level protection for both parties (investor or the entrepreneur) and that nothing can interrupt their communication on the Merar investment network.
Changes: All of the website's contents are delivered now with https:// web protocols. We have also updated our anti-spam and anti-fraud policies and technologies.
HTML5 and going mobile
Goal: Make the site as much as compatible with all modern browsers, make it visible on all operating systems including mobile phones and devices.
Changes: We thought, now is the time to implement the most modern techniques. With the rise of the mobile technologies our further investment in developing fully mobile compatible site will be of a paramount importance.
We have only highlighted some of the many new improvements. There are also many changes in the registration process for new members, the appearance of two RSS feeds, new content and much more.
Now we would like to know more of what you think about the new Merar and did we managed to succeed with our efforts to improve the investment network. Because lads, we are making this site for you.