LiveArt Blog

Your Online Product Designer as Marketing Tool to Promote Your Business

This post was inspired by a business meeting I have conducted recently. Among the obvious common talks on business objectives to be met and requirements for a personalization tool, several concepts were talked about. Most of these will sound familiar or even trivial, yet they clearly show how the design tool may bring your business in the world of tomorrow, where having product customization would become a must.

LiveArt as marketing tool picture

Read more

Today it’s not just about personalization. It’s about someone expressing their own identity by means of having their own unique product, whether it’s a t-shirt, mug, wristband, or a postcard sent to a friend. Respectively, they do it from your website with an online design tool. Your product designer is not just a designing tool, but a whole identity builder. As a marketing tool, it can be central for many activities across your eCommerce site that will continuously drive your business forward.

First off, you can enable customization for pre-made products. Typically, customers would ask you to amend a label or replace an image with their own logo. Making such products “designable” will ease you upon accepting and streamlining the orders. A whole new automated sales channel will be open to scaling up your overall sales.

By having more and more of designed products, you will be knowing what your audience is up to and, thus, understanding the communities you are catering to. Is it a stag/hen party guys, students, brotherhoods, universities, family reunions, politics, or such? Those kinds of ideas would allow you building up a gallery of pre-made designs people can look over, engage, open up in designer, and make an order of the amended or same design.

Finally, what may hold users from sharing their ideas across social networks and their friends? Incentivize your customers to share their orders. With the modern social rebate systems, they can win discounts or free products once they gathered up lots of likes for something you have printed for them. Not to mention that such social users would bring you more customers to have personalized apparel of their own.

When catering to communities or organizations, you can always put design tools as a central point of sale. Projects like Teespring allow for launching campaigns where one’s idea may bring individual profit and bonuses. Why not promote your own business and product in the same way. Building a fundraising micro-sites around your customizable product would open a whole new scaled channel of sales!

All of the above is not a limited list; you are always limited by just your imagination. Social projects, fundraising, charities, crowdfunding all of that is only one LiveArt away to let it happen to your business.

Think Big. Do Big. Enterprise Solutions for Web to Print and Decoration Businesses

For decoration industries that cover large markets and require the complex web to print solutions, our development team offers an open and collaboration-rich process to achieve specific business goals of your market.

Our team is capable of handling complex projects that may involve online product design tools and complex processes - from initial inception to final deployment. Respectively, we don’t end it up on last sign off and provide continuous support and updates.

Lot’s of SKUs? Complex pricing? Specific requirements for output? Our expertise here covers several decoration markets, from custom apparel printing to classic web2print. Having average experience of the team to 10+ years in active web applications development, we carefully do:

   - Initial evaluation and planning;

   - Requirements development;

   - Custom workflows implementation;

   - Integration with third-party APIs and hardware;

   - SaaS and PaaS deployments;

   - Team coordination and maintenance;

   - Continuous updates coordination;

Oh, and did we mention that we always embrace the challenge and push the limits of the mobile web? Yes, we always look for something new and never stop.

Are you planning to go big? Share your plans with us!

Multiple sides in LiveArt HTML5

If you own a product personalization business you can get benefit from an online designer. To begin with, you should look for a solution based on the type of product. Designer with one-side support works well for decals, signs, or banners. What if you want to offer to personalize 4 sides of a uniform (i.e. front, back, left, right)? Or what if you offer to customize all 6 sides of a gift box? With a one-side designer, you would have to show different sides of your product as separate items. That would be confusing and frustrating for the user to work with the designer. In such case support of multi-sided products becomes one of the key criteria of your choice. Simple switching between sides and instant preview of any changes will help customers not losing their design of front while working on the back design of some product.

Read more

LiveArt HTML5 Product Designer allows users to personalize multi-sided products. The number of sides is optimized for up to 6, but more are available with slight customization. You can use it for custom printed gift cards, custom uniforms, business cards, signs, and a wide variety of products that need multi-sides support.

Add/edit feature in LiveArt Html5 designer

With LiveArt HTML5 Product Designer you can make a set of different products with different numbers of sides each. You can have in your designer t-shirt with 4 parts for user customization (front, back, left sleeve, right sleeve), a bag with 1 side to customize, and a tank top with 2 sides at the same time.

Select different products feature in LiveArt Html5 designer

If you want to offer to your customer's customization of more than one side of the product you face the problem of multi-sided support of your online designer tool. LiveArt HTML5 Product Designer easily solves this problem allowing multiple sides for various products. The clear and intuitive interface helps your potential customers proceed with online designing up to final order making the creation process of unique items clear, simple, and pleasant. 

Multiple sides design feature in LiveArt Html5 designer

Planning an Enterprise Custom Product Designer Implementation

For small shop owners introducing the online product, the design feature is a simple step by choosing among the appropriate tools on the market. You just walk into sites, talk with people, try the software, and agree on signing up if it matches your expectations and the printing technology.

For large companies, it does not work like that. Large portals implement various types of non-standard user stories like choosing between various decoration types, having a preliminary registration, offer a large number of products and their variations, and lots more. Implementing an online design solution for such companies requires a tailored approach and a proper guidance process.

Having over ten years of experience in working with decoration industry companies, we have adopted an easy process, coined by Spotify once - Think It, Build It, Ship It, Tweak It. The four phases of the project allow us to align it with the agile process we use and allow the customer to join our team and work out the solution with the best cost-effectiveness. This article would give a brief look at the above phases and how they work.

 Project phases representation

Read more

Think It. From the very first contacts with our clients, we thrive on understanding what their business is and what problem they are trying to solve with our tool. This comes in the form of company background, desired user stories, problem descriptions, and business goals. Once we have defined a set of initial scope that has to be covered, our team comes up with initial demos and prototypes.

Build It. Once signed up, the team now works more closely with the client team to compile a set of custom user stories, test cases for them, and respective performance requirements. Each set of this scope is estimated by the team, so that client is always aware of the scope and related cost of the project. The team then plans the sprints accordingly and delivers demos regularly to ensure the project is on track and aligned to customer expectations.

Ship It. Closely to project finish, when around 90% of the scope complete, we encourage the client to commence internal acceptance testing and alpha test for the users. At this time, both our team and client decide when exactly the product should be released and published to the broad audience.

Tweak It. The project itself isn’t finished with the final release. During the support period, the team stays focused on any performance issues, scope gaps, and common fixes to be brushed up for the post-release period. At the same time, both client and team continue to work on further updates, dictated by business needs, thus contributing to overall online product designer value for end-user.

The above approach, put into the Agile/Scrum methodology we use, provides firm results, and is always controllable. For a large company to implement the online design and jump into the market, what could be better?

It’s a Smartphone Revolution! Are You In?

(Guest post by Nick Rojas)

Mobile computing is taking over the world the way few technologies ever have. Not only is it a safe estimate that more than 95% of the people you see every day have a mobile device on them, but we are about to cross the threshold where there are more smartphones than there are people on Earth.

One of the strongest factors in the growth of smartphones is the power every app gives users. With them, users are able to transform their device into a multitasking wonder with a tap and a swipe to complete. Virtually every company benefits from being on board with this philosophy, translating as much of their service as possible into a mobile app for convenience.

In the following graphic, we’ll provide some numbers that may surprise you about what makes the smartphone such a necessary platform for businesses to develop for, and how you should tailor your app to make sure it gets downloaded and used as frequently as possible. Whether it’s to pay bills, communicate, collaborate, or scan barcodes, many people can’t leave the house without their phone on them, and so it’s more crucial than ever to tap into this hungry, captive audience with your own mobile app.

Read more

Infographic about importance of mobile versions in business Infographic Provided by SmartVirtualPhoneNumber.com

Working With Quote Services In LiveArt HTML5

Unlike many other plugins, LiveArt HTML5 provides a flexible way to build your own quoting in an online product designer. Any option or design element that is added to the working area will affect the quote if it is required by the business rules of your solution. This article describes in brief how quote services work and provide insight for integration teams.

Read more

The quote service is located in the main config.json file. Open the file and locate the line, which designates the endpoint that will handle the quote

"getQuoteUrl": "http://localhost/services/getQuote.php",

Since you would prefer to obtain a quote dynamically, based on selections of the user, you would place some sort of dynamic script into getting Quote service. Referring to a static file, for example, would always return the same price and totals no matter what the selections are and you would not want that.

Once the endpoint is set, use the Fiddler tool, Inspector, or Firebug to see what is being sent to the endpoint when the quote is requested. You would typically get the following JSON structure in the POST request as a “data” variable.

{
  "product":{ "id":"11", "color":"#FFF", "colorName":"White" },
  "locations":[
    {
      "name":"Front",
      "colors":2,
      "colorsList":["#4682b4","#000"],
      "designedArea": 384.60,
      "designedAreaRect": 480.50,
      "objects":[
        {
          "type":"txt",
          "designedArea":126.97,
          "colors":1,
          "colorsList":[
            "#4682b4"
          ]
        },
        {
          "type":"svg",
          "designedArea":258.63,
          "colors":1,
          "colorsList":["#000"]
        }
      ],
      "objectCount":2,
      "letterings":1,
      "images":1
    }
  ],
  "quantities":[{"size":"XS","quantity":1}],
  "namesNumbers":[]
}

While the product ID, color, or location name would be an obvious variable, some of them require explanation, as below:

   - colors - the number of colors used in design; this value is very usable for screen printing quotes. A “-1” value would mean the design contains a photo or too many colors;

   - colorsList - is a list of hex values for each used colors;

    - designedArea - area in units (inches, feet, any kind you designate as part of Product JSON), occupied by design. The designArea is a sum of designAreas for each of the elements.

   - designedAreaRect - an area of a rectangle, in units, occupied by all design elements;

Now once you obtain all these variables, LiveArt HTML5 would expect the following reply from you, the example goes below:

{
  "prices":[
    {"label":"Item Price", "price":"$29"},
    {"label":"Decoration", "price":"$15"},
    {"label":"Discount 0.25%", "price":"-$0.11"},
    {"label":"Total", "price":"$43.89", "isTotal":true}
  ]
}

All in all, you have just got little into Get Quote request, it’s structure, and the way it’s expected to work with LiveArt HTML5. Make sure to check our PHP sample code including reading variables and calculating color-based decoration fees.

Template Based and Variable Data Printing with LiveArt HTML5

In web to print business, it is often required that user can quickly order personalized product out of certain template which already has design elements created by a professional artist. Such templates gallery may greatly help the customer in visualizing their desired product and streamlining the whole process of ordering.

 Designing business card with LiveArt HTML5 designer

Read more

Template-based printing may also prevent users from placing design elements in an unlikely position than can be close or in safe or trim areas. While implementing the least is also important for online web to print design tools, a fixed elements template would guarantee that the output would be fine to print without going back to the customer for additional approval.

Variable Data Printing is extremely helpful for business card companies, where users can simply create a batch order by simply selecting a template, uploading company logo, and sheet with people information. The sheet would contain variables such as name, second name, address and email and so on that will immediately populate on design. Implementing VDP benefits easiness to both customer and business owners as it makes the whole process faster, cheaper, and bullet-proof valid.

LiveArt HTML5 Product Designer supports both template-based and variable data printing. While integrating, a business owner may set specific user flow rules and setup both normal and VDP products. Additionally, there is no need for learning specific software for creating such templates — everything is done within the same simple product designer.

To apply for VDP or Template-based printing please supply the following information:

   1. Product type you are going to print on.

   2. Pricing rules that are associated with user choices.

   3. How many and which variables will be required in each template.

   4. Applicable examples per each template and product type.

Our team will quickly get back with the applicable package and assist with the setup. In the future, you will be able to prepare own new templates and lists for VDP printing.

Best Of Online Product Design in 2013

Now that we are about to enter the new year 2014, it’s time to remember what happened to us back in 2013 and what we’ve achieved with this great year.

Read more

— First and foremost, we’ve finally raised standards for an online product designer that is totally cross-platform and compatible by releasing LiveArt HTML5 Online Product Designer. After almost half of the year development and refinements, we gave users the ability to smoothly design their product from various tablets as well as desktop PCs. Yet still, our Flash-based products would please desktop users who prefer solid experience and quick integration.

— Our components started to get integrated into a greater variety of platforms like Magento, WooCommerce, OpenCart, and many others. Hosted shopping carts like BigCommerce or Shopify can now embed LiveArt HTML5 as a hosted option too!

— As the custom decoration industry grows, so do our variety of products that can be customized by our tool. A recent project involving bottle opener customizer, online flag designer and do it yourself flask website proved that a design tool can be used to customize any printable or engravable product.

— Finally, our integration partners Peexl.com can now handle a number of eCommerce shopping cart integrations involving an outstanding Magento Community Edition as well as other popular PHP-based platforms.

We look forward to “unlock” new achievements in 2014 and would like to thank to all our clients and partners who stay with us and enjoy our online design products. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2014!

Online 3D Design Preview In LiveArt HTML5 Product Designer

Modern online product designers feature realistic previews that are shown in real-time. Whether you add text or upload your own artwork it is reflected on a product just in a split second. While a flat preview might be sufficient for a printed products industry or stationary, promotional products like cups or custom uniforms might require a better outlook. That is where the 3D preview of a design might benefit much to the final look and feel of the personalized promotional product.

Read more

Basically, a 3D design preview applies design onto a product model, allowing the user to rotate it in a 360 degree while realizing how the end printed one would look like. A 3D product preview can be implemented for all types of LiveArt software, including  LiveArt HTML5 version. Upon additional request, our team can build custom scenes for a product rather than allowing preview float in a space, which is the most simple implementation.

A realistic touch can be made for phone cases 3d previews, t-shirt 3d previews, mugs, cups, USB drives, and a number of various products one can imagine.

Want a 3D Product Preview implemented for your project? Gather up a bit of information and let us know:

- A version of a product you are already using or planning to use. Applicable versions are LiveArt HTML5, LiveArt Shop and LiveArt Lite;

- A product type you would like to enable 3D preview for - t-shirt, cup, mug, banner, notebook, jewelry, etc.

- Any additional preferences to controls or scene itself.

Today the personalization comes out of 2-dimensional into complete 3D, where one can 3D print small applicable things like phone cases. A 3D Product Preview or designer would benefit much to further augmented the feeling of designing and engagement as well as customer love. Happy online designing!

 

Online Product Configurator with LiveArt HTML5

Having an online product configurator on a website is common for products that are open to customizable options, additional services, or qualities. The product configurator captures user preference and helps in conveying it to order details. If the order itself requires more than just shipping products to the address, accurate configuration information is important for the backend office of production. 

Read more

Most eCommerce websites support product options that are available to the user. These could be the color of the product, a particular variation of it, or extra support or service. The options may also affect pricing depending on the choice, provide discounts, and such. Related pricing changes may render online, giving the customer a precise quote for the custom product they are going to order.

While LiveArt HTML5 primary function is being an all-in-one product designer, it can be also used for product configuration along with putting decorations like text and artwork. While the state of the art eCommerce product configuration forms normally don’t allow the user to preview the custom product, LiveArt HTML5 preview may change depending on the options chosen.

 Designing uniform with LiveArt HTML5 designer

One of the prominent examples is a uniform configurator, where normally the customer’s goal is to select the colors of their team, upload the logo, and add some texts like team names. LiveArt HTML5 Product Designer provides shop owners with the ability to build configurable products that can change their look as the user tries various options. Coupled with the live quote system, the product configurator gives users transparent and quick quotes making ordering simple and robust.

Not only uniforms but also other popular products like phone cases can be loaded into LiveArt HTML5 Product Designer for live configuration and decoration. Having a live configuration of the product would eliminate the necessity to have heavy forms on your website and make the process easy and fun for your customers.