The Issue with Long Lists and PaginationThe only problem is, sometimes digging through that backgrounds library seemed daunting and unorganized, and naturally the images at the very end of the list didn’t get very much action (very few people press previous page first to go through the list in reverse order, almost everyone just goes page 1, 2, 3 etc). So this UX needed to be updated to make it easier to find the content you love in the BG library. Well, that’s where the Category browser comes in.
Enter the Library Category BrowserWe’ve launched a new and improved component recently that is already proving to give users more control to get design they love. Now in step 1 when you browse backgrounds, you’re greeted with a scrolling single page list of thumbnails that represent each category, and are labeled as such to make it easy to understand what each category tile is a collection of. Now, a customer can see “Fine Art” for example without ever having to click to a next page, and they can click that to see our collection of great fine art images without having to dig through a whole list to find them. This is way easier and more fun, and immediately makes it so much faster to create a design you already start to like in the first step.
Live and Doing Great!This feature automatically updates in your app so you should already have it live on your own MyStyle enabled sites if you have a Step 1 for backgrounds (it’s the default, so you probably do).
Stats Show Increased PerformanceWe’ve already seen an increase in the amount of designs and purchases that make use of background assets that we do not normally see many sales on. This is the proof that the new feature is getting used on designs that make it all the way through to sale, and that customers are happier than ever using MyStyle to personalize their designs with our collections of free graphics. That’s great news for everyone using MyStyle!
Identity Systems Inc sought to expand on their already top position on Google search with a site that catered more directly to consumers with low volume orders as well as larger corporate orders. By creating NameTagWorld.com and enabling it with MyStyle, they did exactly that.
Online Customization for Custom Name Tags and Badges On-Demand
To accomplish this, they’ve implemented the MyStyle Customizer as the design tools to allow their visitors to upload their own logos to company badges and name tag designs, and then order individually or in bulk.
This allows any user to put a company logo, or event themed graphic onto the name tag permanently, while leaving space on the tag to be written on.
Custom Reusable Name Tags
Why throw away Name Tags after an event? With reusable name tags, you don’t have to. Name Tag World offers a variety of reusable name tags, and not just for markers, either. Check out their erasable chalk name tags for a new spin on an old concept.
Chalk name tags can actually be a perfect reusable name tag option for coffee shops, startups, or any business that wants to have a little bit of a different look from the standard marker-style name tags.
Custom Metal and Plastic Name Tags
In addition to chalk, Name Tag World has a whole bunch of plastic and metal name plates that can have a metallic finish that really looks nice. These will last a really long time, too, as they won’t rip or fade in the way that paper name tags can, and they look more official. These are great for staff members, security, uniforms, or anything where a more official look is needed. The best part is, these too can be customized right on their website.
Batching A Set of Name Tags
“Do I have to make one for every person?”
This is a common and logical next question. Of course not! Just design 1 name tag, add a logo or customize as you wish, add an example name in the design where you want the name to go, select the font as you want it, and just make the 1 name tag design. Then, at checkout, you can add a spreadsheet to your order and they will batch-print your order, inserting each name first.
We’ve just released a minor update for the plugin that verifies unit tests have passed on the most current WordPress and WooCommerce versions as listed below. There is also a fix for an admin debug tool for repairing the design pages for an old legacy bug that rarely occurs.
This update is not critical or required if your system is already stable, but is safe to use with all versions of WordPress and WooCommerce.
- Fixed an issue with the Design Profile Page Fix tool.
- Unit tested current wordpress version and ran primary UX cases with no errors (WordPress 4.8)
- Unit tested current WooCommerce version and ran primary UX cases with no errors (WooCommerce 3.1)
- Updated readme.txt to reflect that the plugin has been tested with up to WP 4.8.0
- Updated readme.txt to reflect that the plugin has been tested with up to WooCommerce 3.1.1
We’ve recently released version 2.1.0 of the MyStyle Custom Product Designer plugin for WordPress / WooCommerce. This is a non-critical update that addresses the following features or points:
- The main product link for customized cart items now goes to the regular product page (it was previously going to the design profile page).
- Added a system for theming the output of the plugin.
- Added a theme-able template file for the output of the cart item thumbnail for customized products.
Update Easily in Seconds from your WP Admin
Update by pressing “update” on the main MyStyle Custom Product Desginer plugin in your WordPress plugins list.
Bot Sessions Saving in DBAs usual, bots are ruining nice things on the internet. Because of the large amount of bot traffic (including both legit bots like search engine bots, monitoring bots, etc and also spambots and hackerbots and such) session data to track user designs may have increased the database table sizes significantly, depending on how your site is set up to block bots or not. In some cases, the tables were very very large having stored hundreds of thousands of bot sessions. This was discovered in versions less than 1.7 in May 2017 and quickly fixed. With version 1.7 design sessions will only be stored upon design completion, and the database will be automatically purged of old bot session data. If the table sizes grow large enough, it could cause poor performance on the website (slowing down website response time).
Fixed in 1.7 with Auto-Clean-UpMyStyle Custom Product Designer v1.7 and higher will automatically clean up old session data in the DB, purging it entirely to shrink the table size. New sessions will not be stored for bots, keeping things small and clean.
1.7+ Update RecommendedIf you are using the MyStyle Custom Product Designer for WordPress / WooCommerce and have a version less than 1.7, we highly recommend updating to 1.7 to auto-clean your session data from the DB and prevent bots from slowing down your database.
Your Customized Wood Frames
With its unique blend of smooth grain, photos on wood have become an artistically beautiful way to share memories with friends and family. Plakthat.com has established itself as a leading business for custom design wood photos fit for any building or wall background it adjusts too. Personalized photos on wood steers away from the mundane canvas art and attracts an antique, natural looking setting against any background of choice. Coincided with the MyStyle Customizer, plakthat.com offers an array of personalized options for your creation to come to life.
Synthesize a Captured Photo on Wood
What’s extraordinary about any wood photo is that each wood grain can never be a replicate. This is what differentiates the product amongst other competitors and customers love the fact that it resembles a rustic setting. Each is handcrafted specifically with 100% FSC certified sustainable wood which is where the real nature feel comes to life. On the MyStyle Customizer affects can be changed and managed on any wood photo created. All wood photos allow an escape from the generic store bought brands where the Customizer allows for add in text, color changes, fades, frames, designs, and much more.
Create Your Own Photos on Wood
Personalization has never become more accessible than with the MyStyle Customizer especially when designing one’s own wood photos. A choice of seven frame sizes is available then the rest is up to your imagination. A four step process is presented to you through the Customizer which allows each customer to modify his/her wood print any way possible. Add photos from a special occasion like a wedding, birthday, anniversary or vacation then jet off into your own creative side. Try adding in meaningful texts then color coding the print with your office space at home. Wherever your mind takes you MyStyle Customizer has the tools for your unique frame.
Personalized Custom Disc Golf Discs
Since being launched as one of the top quality fly discs’ customizer, FlyDiscs.com has changed the game of designing one’s personal disc golf discs. With its innovative features, creating custom disc golf discs has never been easier. When you design your own disc golf disc the customer is unveiled by the MyStyle Customizer which allows full disc designs so you can add your own images, text, colors, patterns, effects, and more.
Pick from Professionally Crafted Discs
With the art and design of creating your own custom disc golf discs it is imperative the discs meet professional standards. Using the MyStyle Customizer features, FlyDiscs.com offers four brands of dics all critical elements when playing the game. You have the option to choose between creating a driver, midrange, putter or standard ultimate frisbee. With each customizer option comes versions of each brand to pick from. Like for the midrange you have the option to choose from six different subcategories of midranges spanning from the Latitude 64 Gold Core disc to the top seller Fuzion Truth disc. It doesn’t stop there with the added enhanced description of why each disc varies and gives further information on specific strengths it offers to your game.
Design Your Own Disc Golf Disc
With the complete four step process you can construct your ideal fly disc in minutes. It starts with background features which includes colors, shades, logos, patterns, and adjustable features. Then moves into add in personal photos and texts which can look great together or separate. Scan the browse page for unique ideas that customers are saying look best on a disc golf disc. Once your creation is complete and you’ve saved your desired disc, buying and checking out never got simpler. With its elite status as a customizer flydiscs.com is changing its reputation as an online disc ecommerce website that each player has to check out!
Many people like MyStyle for the quality look and feel that it brings to the personalization experience. It looks professional, clean, and it’s able to be customized with your branding, and the UIs move and behave smoother and more intuitively than other apps. That’s great, and it never hurts to look good.
Still, MyStyle has a lot to offer in the UX beyond the smooth UI and graphics that other apps just can’t seem to get right, that are a big part of it’s high completion and conversion rates for design – something that can be a point of failure for users that have little or no experience with design or graphics.
With tons of experience over the last decade, we’ve learned where to expose features to the user, and where to hide them away and make them automatic functionality.
Layers as a Concept
Layers is something that unless you’ve used a graphics editor, you probably are not that familiar with. Once you know how they work in Photoshop, or Illustrator, or whatever graphics software you might use that support it, it’s logical and easy. But, that initial learning curve is tough at first without a tutorial or a person teaching how to use them. Many developers will aim to try to copy Photoshop in UX because they themselves are familiar with it’s vocabulary and UX metaphors, but that’s actually a big mistake.
Hide the Concept for Usability, Automate the Functionality for Design Success
Since MyStyle caters to the common online shopper who is often non-technical when it comes to design and graphics, “Layers” as a concept must be implemented and functional the whole time the user is designing, but it has to be hidden away from the user’s experience to make it smooth and easy without that learning curve. This doesn’t mean it’s not there, though. It just means it’s running behind the scenes instead of competing visually in the UI controls for attention, like Photoshop, the way many apps make the mistake of doing.
There are an unlimited number of layers with sophisticated groupings automatically set up and generating and removing within the both the product template and the user’s design object layers. You can find “bring to front” and “send to back” buttons in the adjustments panel for any object to work with layering, but it’s not required and in most cases isn’t needed. Groupings of the layers ensure that text can’t get stuck behind images, that backgrounds are always in the background, that patterns fit in the middle, uploads go on top of background and patterns, monograms in front of that, and so on.
This automatic layer control makes the design process easy for the user, ensures logical and common composition ordering occurs naturally, and allows users to compose dozens of layers without ever having to hear the word “layer” once.
Dynamic Process of Composition
Composition is the process of combining and layering graphics together within a defined space. This seems obvious enough, and with computers the rules have definitely changed, but the roots go back to drawing and painting and still hold true today with computer graphics. MyStyle has made a 1-2-3-4 step composition process that accomplishes the natural back-to-front approach starting with the lowest possible UX barriers to entry. This linear UX makes the question “what should I do next” a sort of non-issue, because everyone gets that “steps” go in order. At the same time, you can click any step at any point, so you don’t have to go in order. While simpler users will just follow the order of the steps as is and do great, more advanced users will try to click steps out of order more often, and quickly discover that they can still work in any order they want, should they want to go back and change something up, or skip ahead to a feature they want immediately.
A Good Composition Starts with a Background You Like
Any good painting starts with with a color palette and laying down background. In the beginning of the MyStyle apps intro, it shows an animated arrow to the main composition steps, pointing at Step 1 – Backgrounds, in most cases. This gives the user instant gratification to play around with some color choices, either solid or a gradient from one color to another, and requires zero content on their part. As they move through background images, patterns, etc, they already get to see how easy it is for them to control their design and steer it into the realm of their personal tastes.
From here the Upload Images and Add Text features come into play for most users, as steps 2 and 3, layering perfectly and auto positioning as they go, to try to automate as much of the tedious obvious chores of a composition intuitively without too much intervention needed.
As a Result, the composition a user comes up can surprise them, as they often get further along artistically with more elements than they’ve ever done before. For many people who are not photoshop users, this is the first time they’ve done a cool gradient, a photo or image, a pattern, some text or a monogram all together in one composition.
The steps in MyStyle can be configured to go in any order at all, so the app is not stuck in it’s default configuration, although the default configuration does use the back-to-front composition that works really well. So, if your product does not have a background ever, or your users 100% just want to start with an uploaded image for whatever reason, then steps can be removed or re-ordered however it needs to be to fit the demographic and primary use cases best.
Unique Trending Features
It’s not uncommon for the MyStyle dev team to create both hot new features for the out-of-the-box customizer, as well as custom features for specific MyStyle apps and clients. This can add a special element to your app that you think will fit your users or your products needs more specifically than the general design tools already do.
Note: You can find lots of great add-ons in the MyStyle Marketplace to add special elements to your MyStyle apps.
Some unique custom features we’ve developed in the past have included:
- Custom Color Palettes
- Custom Pattern Libraries
- Custom Product Navigation
- 3D Rendering / Preview
- Acrylic Frame Customizations
- Changing Template Size Options & Shapes
- Patterns; special size scaling and/or repeating patterns
- Gloss and Matte finish lighting effects
- Price calculations (based on sq ft of actual design area used)
- Laser and Engraving output
- Custom Monogram Shapes
- Custom Fonts
- Custom Background Libraries
- Custom Foreground Libraries
- Product Option Overlays (like a photographic options that can be toggled on or off to layer on top of the design as predefined add ons)
- Special Vehicle Trims
- Special Templates with Predefined Text
- Effects Layers and Textures
- Custom Watermarks and Overlays
- …many more
The Tip of the Custom Iceberg
These concepts are some of the core of why the MyStyle Customizer is so good at what it does. But, the list goes on and on. This is the base that you want in place for users to have design success, and fall in love with your brand for the ability to take products to a personalized and special level with great up-front features and tons of hidden automated power and functionality at their fingertips. Beyond this, the sky is the limit on how we can customize our customizer further to take your brand to the top of conversion optimization and user satisfaction with the best UX possible for customized configurations and personalized prints.