LiveArt Blog

Paradigm Shift of Personalization Tools Towards Simplicity

The online product customization software has been traditional in a sense of UI for over a decade now. The instruments might be different, going from old-school Javascript, then Flash and Silverlight, and, finally, Javascript again, albeit with more assistive technologies like JQuery and Bootstrap.

The advent of mobile devices powerful enough to compete with desktop PCs has changed everything in a way how common customer personalizes their product. The previous online personalization tools were mostly intended to work with desktop computers, which included a common single input device as a mouse (keyboards were never usable for customizing a t-shirt as a primary device). Using the above one could select a product from the catalog and add simple personalization of text and artwork.

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As users became more technologically savvy, the online personalization tools offered more and more features. At a certain point, they almost started to resemble professional software like Adobe Photoshop. Such tools offered users lots of buttons and options increasing both complexities of UI and CPU load at the same time. The online design tool right for the user had to choose now between sophisticated tools on the one hand and simplicity and load speed at the other.

The mobile interfaces for iOS, Android, Windows 8 devices came along with the simple concept that had to exist in all applications people would install. Respectively, users would expect same experience from HTML-based web applications for online product customization. The fact of expected simplicity has shifted the paradigm of complex and sophisticated features for the sake of clean and neat UI that would allow customers to quickly apply custom text and images to the product and checkout without lengthy and complex processes.

Are you still using old and complex online personalization tools? Need a replacement to quick and neat online product designer that would work on both desktop PC and all mobile devices? Request a demo today to get advice for the right online design software for your website.

Why the Output Is So Important For Custom Printing Companies

One of the crucial things about online design software, is having an appropriate online designer output, which would minimize production efforts and streamline the ordering process. Ideally, the design file should be immediately compliant to be printed on a ready product. The other benefits normally include:

   - Less returns and refunds;

  - Less graphic designer input is required;

  - Increased general customer satisfaction with easy proofing;

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The common format which is offered by most of the online designer software vendors is PDF. In the marketing messages this is communicated as being an applicable format for both backend office as proof and production for printing. However, how does a printing company knows if a manifested information about PDF would be of sufficient quality? What are key aspects to evaluate about the output from online designer?

The first thing we normally do at LiveArt is requesting an example of pre made design from our client. This could be an Illustrator, CorelDraw or an EPS file we can open and decide, whether additional tweaking might be required for our standard vector PDF output. Normally, there’s a standard set of tweaks which are requested more frequently than others. These can be split in groups:

  - Format. While the common format used over the output is PDF, sometimes the printing requires different suitable formats like TIFF or EPS. In such case certain additional development might be required to let this happen.

  - Resolution. Most of the resolution questions are covered with the vector PDF LiveArt is providing as this allows rasterizing the mockup to the required resolution, whether it is 300 or 600 dpi. If the required format is raster, the resolution should be indicated explicitly in LiveArt Online Product Designer configuration files; 

  - Bleeds. In most cases the output mockup does not require any additional bleeds placement. Yet still, the software has to support ability to place extra layer of the necessary bleed areas. This type of output files modification is popular in signs printing.

  - Post-processing. The post-processing may include application of raster filters to output raster image, including product image into design mockup, put additional information directly into mockup, e.g. SKU and product color in text.

Taking output image requirements into account might be the most important part of the online design software. So when deciding about the vendor of online design software, make sure they are totally ready to match your business needs for online design output.