Couple of newbie questions
Posted: Friday, January 18, 2019 12:18:53 PM
Hello! New Zazzle designer here. I have a couple of questions, although I'm sure there will be more to come! I've done a lot of googling but a couple of things still leave my head spinning.

1. One of my categories isn't showing on the Home or Product page. It has a thumbnail and I've triple checked to make sure it's set up like the other ones. I saw where it can take awhile, but is several hours out of the realm of possibility before it will show up? The thumbnail has "Office & Stationery" on it in case you peek at my store.

2. Although I have shops and stores at other places, this is the first time at a store creating customizable options. When I add a design or pattern to something...say a card...do I edit the item and add a shape w/text before listing to sell so that the customer can go in and add their own text? That's what I'm doing right now but I want to know for sure before adding too much more.

3. What is the purpose of Collections? Is it for showcasing our own items, people we follow, or both?

Thanks in advance Smile

-Lisa
Posted: Friday, January 18, 2019 12:28:34 PM
Have you read this thread?

it can help you with lots of questions newbies have. also read the other sticky posts at the top of this forum section.

best wishes.

https://forum.zazzle.com/new/top_ten_mistakes_revisited
Posted: Friday, January 18, 2019 12:36:53 PM
#1 - I checked, and I see "Cards & Stationery." Is that what you meant instead of Office? Regardless, it often takes a while for a category to show up from several hours to a couple days.

#2 - I'm not sure if you and I define "shape" the same way. We do have the ability to add various shapes such as circles and rectangles, but unless you want to frame your text, they aren't required for text. The shapes are often used as design elements. To create text that the customer can personalize, you have to make it a template, the spot for doing so being on the right side of your screen down at the bottom--you many have to minimize the the little preview and also scroll to find it.

#3 - If you wander through people's product pages on Zazzle, you'll often see collections immediately beneath the product image. Most often, the collections contain products that relate to one another, most often in that they use the same design. For instance, I just finished creating a collection for sweet sixteen birthday parties. If a customer arrives at the page for one of the products in that collection, they'll be able to choose the type of invitation and also the color they want. Another way collections are used is for promotion on places like Pinterest. So yes, it's mainly for showcasing our own items.

Posted: Friday, January 18, 2019 1:48:36 PM
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
Have you read this thread?

it can help you with lots of questions newbies have. also read the other sticky posts at the top of this forum section.

best wishes.

https://forum.zazzle.com/new/top_ten_mistakes_revisited


Thanks, Shelli, I've saved it to go over.

-Lisa
Posted: Friday, January 18, 2019 1:52:05 PM
you are welcome and I hope it helps!

I learned a whole lot from these forums when I was new... and I still learn things here!
Posted: Friday, January 18, 2019 1:57:59 PM
Colorwash wrote:
#1 - I checked, and I see "Cards & Stationery." Is that what you meant instead of Office? Regardless, it often takes a while for a category to show up from several hours to a couple days.

Ok, I'll keep an eye out for it! No, it's two separate categories.

#2 - I'm not sure if you and I define "shape" the same way. We do have the ability to add various shapes such as circles and rectangles, but unless you want to frame your text, they aren't required for text. The shapes are often used as design elements. To create text that the customer can personalize, you have to make it a template, the spot for doing so being on the right side of your screen down at the bottom--you many have to minimize the the little preview and also scroll to find it.

I was talking about the little shapes that can be added in the edit section. Looks to be a circle, square, or a triangle. I didn't know if those were something I need to add in as I create the product or make it part of the the design itself (like in Procreate, for example). Or if the customer is the one who adds the shapes.

I did do some reading on the templates but haven't tried making one. Zazzle is a bit overwhelming for me when it comes to all the options.


#3 - If you wander through people's product pages on Zazzle, you'll often see collections immediately beneath the product image. Most often, the collections contain products that relate to one another, most often in that they use the same design. For instance, I just finished creating a collection for sweet sixteen birthday parties. If a customer arrives at the page for one of the products in that collection, they'll be able to choose the type of invitation and also the color they want. Another way collections are used is for promotion on places like Pinterest. So yes, it's mainly for showcasing our own items.

Thank you for the info!

Posted: Friday, January 18, 2019 2:02:22 PM
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
you are welcome and I hope it helps!

I learned a whole lot from these forums when I was new... and I still learn things here!


If it's like Etsy, there's always something new to learn! The other stores I'm at (Redbubble and Society6) aren't customizable so I'm used to just making repeat patterns and putting them on products. I may ditch those stores as they're pretty dead for me. I put off coming to Zazzle but a few people are here from a FB group I'm in so I finally decided to check it out. Aside from the learning curve, I think I like it and may focus on it. That or I just like seeing my patterns on a ton of stuff! Grin

-Lisa
Posted: Friday, January 18, 2019 4:27:50 PM
It's your choice whether or not to add shapes, depending on your other elements and if they incorporate well. You can use them to compose your entire design. I've never turned them into image templates for the customer to reconfigure, but that doesn't mean there aren't some designers who've done so. When I've used them, it's been mostly as a frame for something like a monogram.
Posted: Friday, January 18, 2019 5:16:36 PM
Colorwash wrote:
It's your choice whether or not to add shapes, depending on your other elements and if they incorporate well. You can use them to compose your entire design. I've never turned them into image templates for the customer to reconfigure, but that doesn't mean there aren't some designers who've done so. When I've used them, it's been mostly as a frame for something like a monogram.


I think I'm still trying to figure out how to make most things customizable (or maybe just personalized) since my designs are mostly already made patterns. It seems adding one of the shapes with me customizing the colors and they can add text or their initials is what will be best. I hope anyway!

I was a bit confused reading about the templates. It seems like what I read sounded like it was for the designers to be able to reuse. Right now I don't have anything for the customer to reconfigure so I can't see using templates, either.

Thank you .. my head is spinning but I know it'll all make sense the more I work at it. Oh, and now that I'm home my "Office & School" category is showing up. Smile

Posted: Friday, January 18, 2019 10:03:15 PM
LavenderMintGraphics wrote:
I was a bit confused reading about the templates. It seems like what I read sounded like it was for the designers to be able to reuse. Right now I don't have anything for the customer to reconfigure so I can't see using templates, either.

The word "template" has multiple meanings on Zazzle. It can refer to:

1) An image or text on a product that a customer can change because the designer has set it up that way.

2) Products that designers create with templates to reuse when running Quick Create

3) Any product that contains a template, as in #1.

Yes, it's confusing.

So if you want customers to be able to easily change the text you add to a product (such as adding their initials), it is crucial that you learn how to do #1 above. Same for if you're expecting a customer to replace the picture you put on a product as a placeholder.

It's not hard, once you get the hang of it. In the designer, look in the panel on the right for the three horizontal dots and the words "More Options". Click that.

Look for a slider with text that says "Make this a template object". (scrolling may be required, or minimizing the product preview at the lower right.) Drag the slider so that it turns blue.

To make it easy for customers to know what they're changing, you can change the "Product Page Label" to give them a hint. Don't write a novel, though. One word hints will be the most friendly for customers visiting the site on their mobile phones.

Leave the "URL parameter name" alone. Hint: If you have a two sided item and want customers to be able to change both sides at once, Add your text/image to one side, setup the template, and then copy and paste it to the layer for the other side. This way it will have the same URL parameter name and customers will only have to change one side to affect both.

ETA: If you set up a template correctly, the right options should already be set on the "post for sale" page, but do pay attention them.
Posted: Saturday, January 19, 2019 4:36:43 AM
Here's a reunion invitation postcard of mine: https://www.zazzle.com/reunion_save_the_date_with_chameleon_hiding_announcement_postcard-239531522015552310

On the product page, look at the "Details" for "Personalize this template." Then click on "Customize" and check on the right and down at the bottom to see how I turned the various lines of text into templates for the customer to personalize.

When you're first starting out, it's easier to work with just designs, not turning images or text into templates. It gives you a chance to practice the basics. However, as time goes on, you'll want to start incorporating the ability for customers to personalize the products. Why? Because that's what Zazzle is all about--the ability for customers to personalize a product for themselves or as a gift. It can be as simple as a key ring with someone's name on it or as complicated as a suite of wedding products.

As Fuzzy said, the unfortunate use of the world "template" for more than one thing can be very confusing. I originally checked my thesaurus and discovered why Zazzle used just that one term: There really isn't a better one.

Posted: Saturday, January 19, 2019 6:51:33 AM
Colorwash wrote:

When you're first starting out, it's easier to work with just designs, not turning images or text into templates. It gives you a chance to practice the basics. However, as time goes on, you'll want to start incorporating the ability for customers to personalize the products.


Actually, I'd say to try to incorporate personalization as soon as possible. When I first started, I had no idea about templates, so made all of my products without them. Well now I'm sorry, because I can't go back and change them, and I can't delete and publish a new version because they've sold and would lose their marketplace ranking.
Posted: Saturday, January 19, 2019 8:18:27 AM
Augie has an excellent point, so if you still need time to learn, create practice designs that include templates and publish them as hidden just so you can test how they're working. You can change those hidden products to your heart's content without consequence.
Posted: Saturday, January 19, 2019 9:03:32 AM
When I make a text template I always add a short instruction but is more than one word...

Mine say things like "keep or replace this with your text"

"replace this with your name"

"replace this with your address"

"change this to your initial"

etc...

It makes it easier for them that way and when you make sure that editing from the product page is enabled they don't even have to open the design tool for basic personalizing.

if you see any of my templates that don't have this you know those are my early creations when I was just learning and I didn't know I should do this yet...
Posted: Saturday, January 19, 2019 11:28:41 AM
Three to five words on average for me too. Occasionally, and because it can be confusing with business cards in particular where there's a front and back, I'll put in "FRONT - whatever," "FRONT - also whatever," "BACK - more whatever," and so on. That way the customers instantly know which side they're changing.
Posted: Saturday, January 19, 2019 11:48:50 AM
I used to do short, instructional phrases for the "product page label", but I'm thinking we were told at some point by Zazzle that single word designations were better for mobile users. Have to see if I can locate that post (or discover that I just dreamed it.)
Posted: Saturday, January 19, 2019 12:23:17 PM
Fuzzy Felosarix wrote:
I used to do short, instructional phrases for the "product page label", but I'm thinking we were told at some point by Zazzle that single word designations were better for mobile users. Have to see if I can locate that post (or discover that I just dreamed it.)

Well, I didn't find that exact instruction, but there was a post a while back about A/B testing for a new mobile design tool. In that post, we were asked to have the label for the template say something other than just "text", with the example of changing a date-related template's label to say "Date".

I still think keeping it short is good guidance because of mobile users (which the post referenced above said was 50%), but I can't find definitively that it's a "Zazzle said..." thing when it comes to single word template labels.
Posted: Saturday, January 19, 2019 1:31:18 PM
Fuzzy Felosarix wrote:
Fuzzy Felosarix wrote:
I used to do short, instructional phrases for the "product page label", but I'm thinking we were told at some point by Zazzle that single word designations were better for mobile users. Have to see if I can locate that post (or discover that I just dreamed it.)

Well, I didn't find that exact instruction, but there was a post a while back about A/B testing for a new mobile design tool. In that post, we were asked to have the label for the template say something other than just "text", with the example of changing a date-related template's label to say "Date".

I still think keeping it short is good guidance because of mobile users (which the post referenced above said was 50%), but I can't find definitively that it's a "Zazzle said..." thing when it comes to single word template labels.


That is good reasoning and advice. I guess if mine get truncated they would still say either Change this or replace this, so it still might work.
Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2019 12:21:21 PM
Thank you all so much for the tips! I am slowly learning about the different template types. I searched the boards and found where someone had a great thread on creating products for designers using pics. I'm also finding I like creating products on my Mac as the template layout is easier to follow than on my PC here at work (my, um, real job lol).

I had created a Zazzle board on my Pinterest and pinned all my stuff to it. Once I played around with the creating them the correct way, I hid the board, deleted all my products and redid them correctly here in Zazzle. That was a job but thank goodness I only had a handful of products!

I tested a couple of my products without logging in and they appear to doing like I want as far as customers being able to personalize them.

I won't object if any of you want to try one or two to see if I'm doing it right. Grin Laughing

Thanks again for all the help!

-Lisa
Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2019 2:56:23 PM
Hi Lisa,
I went to your store and looked at several of your products with the name options, a pillow with the name Karen, and a notebook with the name Skylar were 2 of them.

What I noticed is that you are not making the text layer a template object that can be edited from the product page without going into the design tool.

Right now a customer would have to hit "customize" and then in the design tool they can change the text, but this is much more involved and inconvenient for them.

In order to make any layer a template, whether it is an image or text or a shape, you want to select the layer then go to the right side and scroll down behind the preview panel to where it says "make this a template object"

where it says product page label you give an instruction like "name" or "change this to your name"

make sure that "allow editing on product page" is enabled

and leave the part that says URL parameter name as is...

Here is a screen shot to help you see what I mean.



when you have done this correctly you will see the template on the product page like in the next screenshot...



and when a customer clicks on details a pop out will open where they can edit the text like in the next screenshot



in the example the image is also a template object and I used the same process to do that.


I hope this helps!
Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019 10:03:23 AM
Hi Shelli,

Thanks so much for checking out a couple of things for me, I appreciate it.

I actually had all that correct. I think I found where I was messing up. When I was ticking the yellow places at the bottom (G-General Public, etc.) I was ticking it NOT to be a template. I thought that made it to where a customer could change everything besides just personalizing it. So the last one I changed I set it "Make this a template" and got the little "Personalize this template" to show.

Be so glad when I get it all down. I'm ready to create instead of having to redo everything! Laughing

-Lisa
Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019 10:07:14 AM
LavenderMintGraphics wrote:
Hi Shelli,

Thanks so much for checking out a couple of things for me, I appreciate it.

I actually had all that correct. I think I found where I was messing up. When I was ticking the yellow places at the bottom (G-General Public, etc.) I was ticking it NOT to be a template. I thought that made it to where a customer could change everything besides just personalizing it. So the last one I changed I set it "Make this a template" and got the little "Personalize this template" to show.

Be so glad when I get it all down. I'm ready to create instead of having to redo everything! Laughing

-Lisa


Oh good, I am glad it was a simple fix rather than having to remake all those products! Maybe the examples will help others in the future.
Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019 10:27:37 AM
Shelli Fitzpatrick wrote:
LavenderMintGraphics wrote:
Hi Shelli,

Thanks so much for checking out a couple of things for me, I appreciate it.

I actually had all that correct. I think I found where I was messing up. When I was ticking the yellow places at the bottom (G-General Public, etc.) I was ticking it NOT to be a template. I thought that made it to where a customer could change everything besides just personalizing it. So the last one I changed I set it "Make this a template" and got the little "Personalize this template" to show.

Be so glad when I get it all down. I'm ready to create instead of having to redo everything! Laughing

-Lisa


Oh good, I am glad it was a simple fix rather than having to remake all those products! Maybe the examples will help others in the future.



Me, too on both!
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