Okay so today is another zippy day at Needlepoint Land.
Going over to the store right now (10am-ish) to meet George the installer.
The main focus of the day will be to put up the bamboo storefront blinds I bought on sale at Lowe’s, mount the fire extinguisher, and finish putting together the spinning display racks. The blinds will reduce the glare coming in front the parking lot, and help protect my canvases and threads.
By the way, given the nice progress I’m making lately, my target for opening the store to the public is now Friday, July 18.
Meanwhile, the tech team has quit loafing on the beach with the SUP board, at least for now, and figured out a neat way to display belts.
You can see their demo here.
So what this does is use CSS (this is like a mini scripting language for telling a browser how to display the HTML code that specifies a Web page) to achieve a zoom effect that is not available to plain vanilla WP blog sites, unless they upgrade to custom CSS design.
It’s quite the clever little CSS trick actually. More importantly, it solves the objection I had with using carousels to display images of belts.
Aesthetically, using carousel galleries in WP just did not look elegant at all for this purpose, and, more critically, did not allow the beauty of each belt’s design to stand out, say, when you hover a pointer over a given image. If it’s going to sell online, it has to look good on a computer screen or smartphone.
One thing I should mention is that theme I am using for the eStore/catalog is more advanced than the one I use here.
So it will not work properly with IE9 or below, but does work on the latest Mozilla and Chrome browsers — even if you are running, say, Vista. I have decided that having a responsive design theme, which works real nice on smartphones, tablets, and PCs with modern browsers, is more important that “dumbing-down ” my eStore/catalog in order to be compatible with an inferior legacy browser — although I have asked WP technical support if there is a way to make Pictorico work correctly on the IE platform.
Since MS has decided not to allow IE11 to run on Vista, testing for the Windows platform using the latest MS browser will have to be restricted to the starter System 7 netbook I have, or wait till I get the new Surface Pro 3 (or some facsimile) tablet running Windows 8.1.
I think it may be interesting to have one in the store and set it up so that my customers can browse through multiple designer catalogs at the touch of a screen.
That might a lot fun, actually, and would help supplement, if not eventually replace, the traditional paper based experience of page turning actual paper.
Many designers and vendors now send store owners .pdf files anyway, so having a little custom app running on a tablet would allow customers to view anything they want online (and maybe save me from having to printout out all this stuff!), or maybe only the .pdf catalogs — if I don’t want the expense of an Internet connection in the store other than the one I have through my Galaxy! 😉
I have to think about this some more, before deciding on things like Surface Pro 3 vs some other tablet — as of right now, it’s not a top priority for launch.
Now that a technical solution has been found for the belt catalog, what’s left to do now is retake all the snaps of the belts using the “white balance” trick I discussed in an earlier post.
The pics will be retaken by the tech team (I had to lock the SUP board away, despite much teeth gnashing) in the impromptu Needlepoint Land “studio” and probably will be up by tomorrow. The tech team is also going to fiddle around with the CSS some more to make the belt interface even more polished.
Once that’s done, I will enter Product IDs and prices for each belt– most likely by Monday. And voila, I’ll finally have an online belt catalog!
© Erin McGrath and Needlepointland.com, 2012 – 2016