New Design Tool Changes

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Howdy folks,

As you may have noticed, we just launched some improvements to our design tool!

  1. Text rotation on all products – this was previously only available on binders
  2. Consistency with our product page – we recently changed the layout of our product page to make it easier to purchase and now our design tool matches and provides a consistent user experience
  3. Fixed several usability issues.

The Changes

Let’s walk through all the changes.

First, as mentioned above, you can now rotate text on all products! This has been one of our most requested features, and it is now available!  Just look for this icon:

This will allow you to do this:

Ok, now onto the rest of the changes!

Main Layout

Design Tool

The screenshot above shows the new layout containing two design objects: an image (“sun_18″), and text (“This is a test”). The first thing to notice is that there are two distinct main actions:

  1. Customize it!
  2. Choose your style and color

By clicking on “2. Choose your style and color”, the panel slides up and displays the product options. Clicking on “1. Customize It!” displays the design tools again.

Design Tool Product Options

The Toolbar

The toolbar contains all options for manipulating your images and text.

Design Tool Image Toolbar

Different icons and options will automatically be displayed depending on what objects you have selected (text or image).

Here’s a list of all the available icons are:

Shrink

Enlarge

Rotate

Select font

Font size

Text color

Text alignment

Fill image

Fit image

Advanced options

Above the icons are two menu items, “Edit” and “Arrange”. The Edit menu contains basic actions that allow you to cut, copy, paste, delete, and change background and border colors.

The Arrange menu provides more actions for centering and aligning objects, rotating, resizing, and sending to front/back.

Re-ordering Layers

When you are working with many objects in one design, the order the objects are stacked in determines which objects appear on top of which when the objects overlap. We’ve made it easier than ever to change the order of your objects. Simply drag them where they need to be!

In the left corner of every object is a textured grip area that you can grab with your mouse and drag. In the example above, we are dragging the blue circle image above the red circle.

Posting For Sale

The Post For Sale button has been changed to a link. You can still find it under the design controls area, next to the Email links.

The button was too prominent and was a bit confusing to new users who simply wanted to customize and purchase an item for themselves.

More info

For more detailed information, please read our Design Tool Basics help topic, or just start creating now!

22 Responses to “New Design Tool Changes”

  1. No.59 Says:

    Thanks, Ed – a nice summary that we needed!

  2. Velkro Says:

    Interesting changes. Going to go check them out right now!

  3. karinb Says:

    In my opinion the ROTATE TEXT option will be the mother of a lot of nasty designs! An arch-curve and/or flag-curve text option would be much better. (that is, unless I missed something. I was only able to convert the text to a vertical position.)

    Am too new to the site to be able to comment yet on other improvements. At less than a week, who am I to say?!

  4. Audra Says:

    That’s for this. I wish I would have seen it before I tried to make a new product! I like the sale button is away from the purchase button! I don’t know how many times I’d hit the purchase instead of “post for sale”!

  5. Shan Says:

    I think I like it..but I am worried that zazzle will lose sales for awhile till the problems are fixed!
    If you have more than 5 images or text it becomes hidden and you cannot see the scroll bar!!!

  6. Greg Vanderlaan Says:

    Thanks for the info about designing products. Accepted image sizes is in my top 5 bookmarks… Because I do art and then try to figure out what product it will fit on nicely… Thanks. Thanks. Thanks. I’m having fun zazzeling…

  7. Favian Says:

    Thanks! I think the new features are great!

    However I’m having trouble with the rotate text tool: When I rotate the text, it seems the dimensions of the text box are not kept and the font size changes. When I resize it the text box, the text doesn’t adjust accordingly to fill it lengthwise. Is there a bug?

  8. Caroline Says:

    Great changes that make it even easier to use the site. Nice Job !

  9. Pip Says:

    brilliant changes zazzle!! You guys seriously rock!!

  10. Mary McAndrew Says:

    I’m so glad you made text rotatable! It was on my wish list of things I’d like on Zazzle! Next in line is having SQUARE note cards, greeting cards, posters. Please! so many designs fit into a square format so well!! Love zazzle, visit my shop with original artwork and photos. http://www.zazzle.com/marymcandrew*

  11. Peerdrops Says:

    After getting use to this new design tool and publishing a few products, I really like it because it has a nicer flow and I can design faster than before. Thanks!

  12. Helena Pion Says:

    Why does the copy only allow pasting 1 object at a time? I used to “select all”, “copy” and it would paste the whole thing. Is this a bug? Will it be fixed or is it meant to be like this?

  13. Helena Pion Says:

    Well, I tried it again and it pastes, but only one object is selected after pasting, so I could see the others. I’m referring to envelopes here. Haven’t tried the other products. There seems to be a limit to pasting on evnelopes though. I am not sure what that means, because there is still lots of space left. Is this fixable?

  14. Daorge_Productions Says:

    Wow…some of these changes you have made are awsome almost as if you were in my head and heard my wish list. Thanks for all these changes. I will just now try it out.
    Good work Zazzle Team.

  15. rae levine Says:

    why could you not warn of us changes before spending hours of time

  16. Gorge Says:

    FYI –When I read the new Design Tools Basics (Answer ID 120), I found it has couple of incomplete directions. The hyperlink is missing for both times where it says “Drag the text module up or down by clicking and dragging on the textured grip area in the upper left corner of the text module. This is useful for changing the layer order if you have multiple objects. (See a more detailed description here)”. There is no hyperlink for the sentence in the parentheses. Just thought you might want to update it.

  17. Vicky Brago-Mitchell Says:

    A zillion thanks for the great improvements!

  18. eyefish Says:

    At first it was a bit confusing, but the more I get used to these new features, the more I like them.

  19. Marie Says:

    Thanks for the improvements. No easy task.

  20. John A. Says:

    The Arrange menu is missing a couple very useful options…

    Specify Size (let designer enter size in inches, cm, or pixels)
    Specify Location (let designer enter printable-area coordinates for selected corner or center of image)

    Those would allow precisely aligning multiple images, and accurately scaling such things as simulated objects, emblems, etc.

    • John A. Says:

      Also for the scaling, it would be nice to be able to tell it to scale to the image’s embedded dpi (if any) or specify a dpi.

      And for aligning, it would be cool to be able to specify that an image or text is to be positioned relative to another object instead of the entire print area.

      Anyway, thanks for the changes so far. You’re on your way to making this very easy to work with!

  21. gkrew Says:

    It will take some time getting used to the changes.

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