Suggestions for better partner UI

print-area

#1

I came to Spreadshirt just to create a few custom designs for myself (and maybe my wife). I wound up in the Marketplace just because my design sizes were above the maximum file sizes for custom shirts. I considered setting up a shop, if for no other reason than to allow some friends to buy a shirt if they were so inclined.

In the process of learning about the design process, I added a design, laid it out carefully, wound deleting and re-adding it for some reason and then placed an order to see the quality of the design and shirt. When the shirt arrived, I realized that when I re-added it, I forgot to lay it out again, so the design was too small and sits just above my belly. The shirt is trash.

OK, I’ve done some graphic design work, but never T-shirts, so I looked into the basic design principles. For most designs, it appears that placing them about 3" below the neck line works well. Mine wound up about 4"-5" inches below.

I would have thought the default position would be an optimal one and that’s really my suggestion for you. The default appears to be something like centering the design in the print area, which is totally wrong for many designs. What’s worse: if I really wanted to sell my designs in the Marketplace and created a bunch of products, it looks like I have to fix every design individually.

This does not lead to a great user experience.

Now, I realize that coming up with a good default placement rule for all designs might seem a little tough, but you can’t really do worse than what you’re doing now. My suggestion is to try to break down designs into basic shapes: circles, squares, ovals, rectangles and diamonds. If you can’t do this automatically, ask the designer: what is your basic design shape (include “other”)? You could even have the designer overlay one of these shapes over their design—visually, you might want the default placement of a design to not be based on the extent of the design, but on where the visual “center of mass” exists.

For my design, I said it is placed 4"-5" below the neck line. The design is a circle with some text above it. The difference between 4" and 5" is whether you measure to the text or to the circle. I suspect the best placement for the 3" mark is below the text and slightly above the circle. By allowing me to overlay a circle on my design, I could provide you better information for finding an optimal placement.

Take a dozen graphic designers with T-shirt experience and have them lay out the basic shapes over each product (each product, not each product type, needs its own rule). I suspect you’ll get a lot of agreement. Ideally, they would do both size and position.

Now, when someone adds a product to their marketplace, the product starts out in the optimal position. The designers could then tell you to reposition or resize the design on each product by a certain percentage. Ideally, the designer could explicitly override any individual product’s size and position—and could later opt to remove the override.

If you wanted to go crazy, you could also do some override by product type. For instance, designs on tote bags might be at 100% size, but shirts might be a 80% (to be clear, that’s 100% or 80% of the default (as per the experts), not of the print area.

Right now, if I have a lot of products, and add a design, I have to go edit every product, one-by-one. Because your design tool doesn’t actually report things in inches, I can’t provide any consistency from one product to the next. For my designs, centering horizontally is useful, center vertically is useless.

In any case, I don’t find the marketplace process anything but exhausting and will probably not bother. I also need products with coordinated fronts and backs, which you guys keep saying you aren’t going to do because there are too many “use cases”.

I haven’t place any orders since my initial one. It’s cheaper to order a lot of shirts, than to order one-by-one, but now I’m afraid I’ll place the designs too low or two high and waste a lot of money. Even looking at the shirt on models in my “showroom” doesn’t help (the shirt I got looked OK on the site, but as soon as I put it on, I knew it was screwed up), so this is definitely a barrier to selling me shirts. I keep wanting to put a ruler by the neck line on those models.


#2

Thanks for the feedback! I’ll definitely put it forward.

Could you please give me your partner ID so I could give your accuont / the designs in question a quick look?


#3

My partner ID is 302483947.


#4

This kind of thing would be too hard to maintain from year to year: our product range changes all the time.

We are working on a function thought that will allow for you to quickly edit entire product ranges for a design, in a way that you have predetermined. Like, which size, position & colour for which product.

You’ll have to wait a bit for the release though :wink:


#5

I never claimed it would be easy. :slightly_smiling_face:

On the other hand, whenever a product is added, someone has to do the layout work, right? So it’s either a few people at SpreadShirt or a ton of designers laying out stuff for these new products.

Anyway, if you guys have a better solution, that’s fine. My ideal solution would be for me to place the design on a generic T-shirt and then have that design automatically adjusted for all products in some sensible way. For example, a position and size that works for a men’s large won’t necessarily work for a woman’s small V-neck or a child’s T-shirt, not to mention for mugs and mouse pads.

So imagine that a designer has 30 designs and 30 products. No matter what solution you choose, what is the work involved to add one new design (given 30 products)? One new product (given 30 designs)? The ideal answer from my point of view is close to 0. I add a new design and it gets applied to all 30 products without requiring any adjustments from me. I add a new product and my 30 designs appear on the new products without any additional work on my part.

That’s the ideal (for a designer). The reality is you can’t read my mind and some designs aren’t just the center-on-the-shirt type. Some are deliberately asymmetrical or might just be a small logo over where a shirt pocket might go; some might even need to go as low as possible on a shirt (or mug or whatever). So there is a need to create some layout rules (ideally, just for the oddball cases).

Again, the closer you come to the ideal, the happier your designers will be and the more likely they will add more designs and products. I saw it as too much effort, so I deleted every product except the ones I am interested in getting for myself. If i find friends who are interested in the designs, I’m not sure what I’ll do—a lot of the designs are two-sided, which you don’t plan to support.


#6

Wait for a week or two and try out our “template”-function, when it’s been released :wink: See if it improves the experience for you :slight_smile:


#7

Thanks. Will do. It sounded like the update was a long ways into the future.

While my post is about UI improvements, it centers on the idea of having a new design appear at a better default position and size by applying the collective wisdom of experienced T-shirt designers. If you don’t want to embed these rules into software, perhaps you (the collective you) would consider creating a visual design reference.

I’d love to hand a set of rectangles to a bunch of designers (starting with tall, narrow rectangles, through squares and on to wide, short rectangles) to see how designers would size and place each one. Since this is for SpreadShirt, the layout has to fit within the print area. I’d be happy if the rectangles were just, well, rectangles with no content (either an outline or filled). This would be great for beginning designers.

I’d love to see a few more shapes and maybe some examples of layout when the size varies (for example, take a circle and show how changing the size changes the ideal position). Experienced designers might have a few other examples they would want to include.

The entire reference might a 2-3 page PDF–I’m not talking about a 100-page tome.

If something like this already exists, please point me to it.