More than just embroidery…

by

Release O’Plenty

Wow. What a release! If you haven’t noticed already, we’ve just pushed out one of the biggest releases in Zazzle history. Not only are we now doing real embroidery, but we’ve packed this release full of candy-coated goodness! Unfortunately, we’ve hit a couple performance snags, but we’re getting those resolved very quickly – keep your eye on the Zazzle Forums for updates on that front.  For a quick overview, read our main blog post entitled Embroidery AND New Features. In this post, I’m going to get into some detail on some new features of the Zazzle Design Tool.


I’m such a tool(bar)

One of the first things you might notice is the look of our toolbar. We’ve reorganized it to show more options in a familiar menu style.

There are now Select, Edit, and Align options in the toolbar. These features help you select design elements, copy and paste them, and align them relative to each other. Next time you create something, check them out!

Also, if a product contains more than one design area (front and back of a t-shirt, multiple areas of a shoe, etc.) an Area selector appears on the left. This is a quick and easy way to select the different areas of a product to design on. And the best part is that now they contain easy to understand icons.

Oops, I messed up again

One thing a lot of people do is customize an existing design. You see a cool design and want to add your name, or you want to nudge the image a bit higher. If a contributor has allowed customization, anyone can do these things.

Of course, when you start messing around with a design, you may end up with something that doesn’t quite look like you pictured it. What to do?

REVERT! Yes, now there is an option to revert any design to its original state before you started changing things. Revert is located just under the Post for Sale button.


Templates made easy

So here’s the big one. The top banana. The Big Kahuna. El Jefe. Yes, ladies and gentlecontributors, we now have an easy way to make templates! Zoinks!

“You mean we don’t have to double-click somewhere and add cryptic brackets anymore?”

Correct. There is now a template UI!

You can make a product become a template by simply defining which image(s) or text object(s) can be replaced by the buyer.

Example:
Add an image to a product. You will notice an “Advanced options” link on the image object.

Click the Advanced options link to show all advanced options.

One of the options is a checkbox labeled “Make this a template object”. Checking that box will display all the options available for defining this template image placeholder.

When you select “Make this a template object”, you have access to four options:

  1. Product page label – This is the label that the customer will see on the product page. Use something descriptive here, like “Your picture” or “Your logo”.
  2. URL parameter name – If you are using the Zazzle API to pass data to this product from an external source, this is the parameter name the API will use. Avoid spaces or special characters. You can safely ignore this field if you are not working with the API (see the Zazzle API documentation for more information).
  3. Inner fit/fill mode – For images.If your template allows the buyer to replace your placeholder image with one of her own, this setting determines how the buyer’s image replaces yours. The options are none, fit, or fill.

    none
    – If you set Inner fit/fill mode to none, the buyer’s image simply replaces your placeholder image, and may be larger or smaller than the placeholder.fit – Selecting fit will resize the buyer’s image to fit inside of your placeholder image object’s dimensions. This will ensure that their image is not cropped.

    fill
    – Selecting fill will resize their image to fill the entire dimensions of your placeholder image. If the buyer’s image is wider or taller than your placeholder, this may result in zooming and cropping of the customer’s image.
  4. Allow editing on product page – Keep this checked if you want to enable EZ Templates on your product page. Unchecking this option is usually only done when working with the Zazzle API.

Once you have filled out all the options, click Post for Sale. You are then presented with the normal Post it for Sale page. Notice the checkbox labeled “This product is a template”. This tells you that the product contains template objects, and that it will be posted for sale as a template. Only uncheck it if you decide at this point to not allow customer personalization of this product; otherwise keep it checked.
Congratulations! You have just created a template product!

Lock it up!

Sometimes, you may want to create a template product but have items that are not changeable by a customer. Now you can simply check the box labeled “Lock this image” or “Lock this text object”. This will essentially lock the item and not allow any editing of it whatsoever (can’t delete it, move it, resize it, etc.)

That’s all there is to it, folks!

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15 Responses to “More than just embroidery…”

  1. More than just embroidery… « Zazzlr - Zazzle Updates & Links Says:

    [...] More than just embroidery… Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: embroidery, stitch, techblog, zazzle — zazzlr @ 2:36 pm {via Zazzle TechBlog} [...]

  2. Mousearte Says:

    Thanks for the explanantion on the templates, I did a couple and now have to go back and customize because I didn’t fully understand the ins and outs. I really like this easier way of doing them. Great job!

  3. Two Hearts Wedding Shoppe Says:

    Thanks for the new way of creating templates it seems much easier except my templates are not showing up. I have followed the instructions listed above, but when I publish my product, it does not have the “Personalize” tab for the customer to easily place their own text or images. Please help! I have someone who wants to order 300 Save The Date cards with her custom information. :-) Thanks so much.

  4. andrew Says:

    we had this technology patent pending 3-4 years ago. what, you need $26mm in venture to say its revolutionary. ask mike karns

  5. Cherie Says:

    Great guys! Needed this info…and I keep emailing you that I have templates that I think are pretty cool…if you would add them (or one of them at least) to the templates (borders) section, I’d appreciate it!

    I keep forgetting about this TECH BLOG, glad I found it again!

    Cherie

  6. Caza Creations Says:

    I just created my first template with this new update and it works great :)

  7. Behind the seams… « Zazzle Blog Says:

    [...] For more information on how to create templates, see the post titled More than just embroidery… [...]

  8. Stitch That Niche!!! Customizable Embroidery Templates! « Zazzle Seller Blog Says:

    [...] can create Templatized Embroidery products. Yep, that’s right, as Ed mentioned in his last TechBlog post, you can actually create templated embroidery products. This opens up a whole new category of [...]

  9. Caza Creations Says:

    One thing I have noticed is with this new way, we can no longer combine several text templates into one. I would often use this when I wanted to create template text with a drop shadow effect. I used to be able to enter [Your Text Here]#1 and [Your Text Here]#2, which would kill two birds with one stone. Now I can no longer do that in a single stroke and it is now more work for my customers to enter everything in twice (sometimes 3 times). This is especially true for greeting cards with multiple “twin” text fields on the fronts, insides and backs and also sports design with player number’s on the backs of t-shirts with shadow effects.

    Not very convenient or efficient for potential customers. Probably a turn-off for many. Too much clutter and confusion usually results in them shopping elsewhere. This has me concerned and I would like to see this feature added back to template creation choices.

  10. Caza Creations Says:

    reply to andrew

    Andrew, it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans if Canadians aren’t allowed to join your site and that you don’t reply to potential customer’s e-mails (sent a couple weeks ago). Last time I checked, Zazzle allows international customers and sellers on its site. You can talk about being the first to introduce on-demand embroidery Andrew, but a lot of good that does when most are excluded from even using it. Zazzle 1, Andrew 0

    Don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk.

  11. Ed Caggiani, User Experience Designer Says:

    Caza, you can still create placeholders that get replaced by one piece of text or image. Simply name them all the same. Keep the label and URL parameter identical for each object, and they will behave as one. Hope this helps!

  12. Asrjavan Says:

    Hi
    3 new banners for refferal links ;)
    http://www.h4ir.com/story.php?title=3-banners-for-refferal-links—-

  13. Caza Creations Says:

    Ed, thanks for the advice. I will give it a try. It never crossed my mind that way might work. I don’t know why I didn’t think of trying it first.

  14. Acai Berry Says:

    Wow…Zazzle is a whole new thing to me. I’m really glad I ran across this link (Zazzle.com open in another window…). I really like the zoom affect on your home page, but I guess that is getting off track.

    I really like the idea behind creating templates. I’ll have to try it out and see how well it works. Thanks!

  15. Elenne Says:

    I have tried to create a card (template) But it doesn’t come out like some others I have seen. Like clear in the middle where they can add their pictur or words. What am I doing wrong?? Help ?? Thanks Elenne

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