Web-to-Print Software: Customers
The web site and the overall system has been designed with three principles in mind:
- Consistent user experience across devices. The site's responsive design adapts to the characteristics of the device used in order to provide the optimal user experience.
- Rich user experience through a lightweight and modern design.
- Powerful, but easy to use, print engine that is seamlessly integrated with the rest of the web site.
The web site maintains a consistent approach in its structure. The menu in the top header offers quick links to its main areas. The menu adapts to the user and session status. If the user has signed in it will put forward to the user a set of links related to the user's type and access level. The links to the home page, support, contacts and sing in/out remain unchanged. The menu links at the bottom of the page adapt in a similar manner.
The site can be customised by a number of options that are set by the platform administrator. These are linked to the account through which the site is accessed. These include the brand name of the site, the address, the contact/support details (such as email, skype, and telephone), social media links, code for analytics integration etc.
Products list can be adapted to the site's brand and focus. Products pages utilise a modified template that outlines the benefits of each product and its main features. For each product, one or more images can be used to bring the page to life. Similarly, to products, print shop locations list a number of locations that products can be dispatched to. Virtual links can be used for search engine optimisation. In addition, if the main domain offers global or bespoke templates, these appear in the menu, home page and under the product pages.
The site features a number of special pages such as:
- Sample request: users can enter the details to receive a free print sample
- Instant quote: users can enter the specification of the documents to print and receive an automated quote. Prices for popular products can also be presented
- Print now: users can create an account to test the site. If they decide to place the order, the trial account can be converted to an actual account just before placing the order
- Live support: a widget anchored to the site of the page makes it possible to contact support via a live chat interface or alternatively email support if the support desk is not available
- Print room: the print room features all the latest information and announcements
- Subscribe to mailing list: This makes it possible to subscribe to the site's mailing list, if one is supported
- Submit enquiries: users can log queries that are dealt by the support team
Print accounts & User types
Once a new print account is created, new users can be added individually or in bulk. The system supports three user types:
- Administrators who can manage all the users and offices in the print account
- Super users who can manage the offices and users in that office
- Users can only manage their own account
Depending on the account's settings, privileged user types have additional functionality. For example, administrators may confirm orders placed by users, before they are processed by the printer, so that they have control of the print spending.
Account information can only be managed by the administrator. Account information consists of the organisation details including the contact name, telephone number and email address. All users can access and edit their account information which includes their contact information; full name, telephone number, addresses, URL, etc. Such information can be used when creating documents in templates.
Document & Images
Uploading files: Files can be uploaded individually or in batches using the advanced uploader. Three file formats are supposed: PDF, Ms Word and JPG. PDF files will be added to the document library. MS Word files will be converted to PDF files and then added to the document library. JPEG/JPG files will be added to the image library. Depending on an account's setup, it may be also possible to upload PDF, Word or a JPG file directly from your Dropbox account. Similarly, it is also possible to search and upload a JPG file from Unsplash or from any publicly available URL.
Document library: The document library stores all the user's PDF files, which can then be setup and added to the shopping cart. The library listing summarises key information about each document such as their title, the upload date and when they document will expire (on which day it will be automatically removed from the library). Properties such as the documents page numbers and its print properties are also stated. Documents can be browsed and searched by name. It is also possible to filter PDF documents by user, office and domain or to clear the library quickly.
Setting up a document: An uploaded document requires setting up the print finishing options before its pricing is calculated and it can be added to the shopping cart. The finishing options are presented accordingly to a type, size and number of pages of the document. For example, a booklet option will only be available for documents in certain size and with multiple number of pages. The main print options include document properties, its title, number of pages, and size; then colour, paper type, and impositions settings for the print. Advanced options include setting up bleed or a different paper option for the cover page.
The user's image library stores images that can be used in templates. The image listing show a thumbnail, a title and the image dimensions. It also states other useful information such as when the image was uploaded and its access scope. It also possible to rotate an image or to convert it to a PDF and save it to the document library.
Merging PDFs and Images
The system makes it possible to merge two or more PDF or images files (up to 10 PDFs or 10 images). For PDF merging, once the first file is selected, its properties will dictate which other files can be merged with it, as they need to have the same dimensions and orientation. Users can then select the order in which the files will follow. When it comes to images, the user can select images of any dimensions or orientation. These are then imposed on the same page size following the positioning option selected. Merged documents are saved in the document library, ready for the user to set up print options.
Document templates which can be used to create new documents using pre-defined designs that can be customised. Creating a document using a template requires entering all the necessary information in a form which can be built with different fields, such as: simple text fields, rich text areas, images, radio or checkbox etc. Images can be selected among those uploaded to the image library or by using an image upload link to upload a new one. Image positioning enables the user to scale image or add border. Once all fields are filled in and all required options are selected; the user can preview the document by using the Preview button (bottom of the page). Once it is loaded the preview thumbnail will be available in the top of the form. The user can also find there the Preview PDF button which enables viewing the exact document that will be submitted to print. The user should approve the layout of the document before it is saved to the document library. The input can be saved for future modification or document can be saved to the document library in order to be printed.
Placing an order
The first step of your checkout process involves setting the quantities required. The number of documents can be selected from the drop down menu or entered manually. Then, the user is asked for a delivery address. A previously used address can be selected or user can perform a quick UK address search, simply by entering the postcode of the delivery destination. Alternatively, the delivery address can be entered manually using the provided delivery address form. Telephone number and email address provided here are only used for delivery related enquiries.
Depending on the address entered the system shows all the available printing and delivery options. A delivery method can be chosen depending on the delivery time and cost. The final checkout step provides an overview of the order and prompt for payment. Depending on account's setup, user can pay by credit card, PayPal or by invoice. Order status can be tracked using the order information that is available through the reports section.
Order reports can be used for accessing the details of a specific order or to generate a report. The later one can be narrowed by using a number of criteria, which may change depending on the user type. Three types of reports can be generated depending on the purpose of the report: a full report that includes only active orders (default), a full report, that includes pending and deleted orders or a summary report. It possible to export a report in CSV format. In order to access a specific order, its order ID needs to be entered in the corresponding box. All orders also have a button to print the order info. Order details include the date the order was placed and status (e.g. when a job was accepted for processing or despatched). If a tracking number is added, a link may be presented to redirecting to the courier's tracking page. The order report page also provides a detailed break-down of the costs. It also lists the documents ordered and shows the quantity and type of ordered documents, as well as their finishing options. This section also states useful logistics information such as the delivery address, the selected distribution method and the estimated time of arrival (ETA). The printer and support information are included in each report.
Depending on the account settings, confirmation by an administrator may be required before an order can be processed. An order is set to pending status until an administrator confirms an order. Once confirmed the order appears in the reports as per usual. An email is sent to let users know when orders have been approved or not and by whom.
User can leave feedback for each submitted order. Customers can score their experience with the service leaving 1-5 rating on the following: overall experience, print quality, satisfaction with delivery, support received in the process of ordering and value for money. The comment section enables the users leaving a short note to explain their scores.
Help & Support
Customer support can be provided through a number of different channels. For example, you can specify your email, phone number, address and Skype ID. The system also offers a customer enquiry form automatically capturing and linking the necessary order details. In addition, the system comes with a comprehensive help section that covers all aspects of the online printing process and includes a FAQ and the services terms and conditions. The help section of the web sites covers a wide range of topics that users may want to be aware of so that they can make the most of online printing, e.g. digital quality, artwork design, image resolutions and types, print options, bleed etc.