Taopix Launches Taopix Online

Taopix to launch HTML5 based online designer for photobook and photo gifts at Print 13

Taopix, the world’s leading photobook and gift software manufacturer, will be launching their new online HTML5 based designer, at Print 13 in Chicago, US next week. Taopix Online, which officially launches worldwide on Monday 9th September, can be previewed from the very beginning of the US based print trade show (8th – 12th September).

Taopix, who have offices in the UK, US, Singapore and Japan, recently arranged an internal launch programme at their UK Head Quarters in Newcastle upon Tyne, which was attended by all of their global employees.

Speaking there about the new product, James Gray, CEO and Founder of Taopix said:

‘We’ve spent the last 18 months developing and testing this brand new browser based editor. We’ve involved our entire core team of developers, as well as UX specialists and marketing, all working to ensure that what we build is the very best solution for our customers – featuring everything they’ve come to expect from our world leading platform and then some. We’ve spent time finding out what really works for both our customers and their customers and what just doesn’t when it comes to online. We’ve also focussed heavily on the end user, ensuring their online experience is as easy to use and intuitive as possible from start to finish.’

When asked why Taopix, who are offering Taopix Online alongside their existing world leading desktop based designer solution, have chosen now to bring out an online solution, Gray replied:

‘Previously, the technology available did not lend itself well to online photo personalisation. With the advent of HTML5 this has all changed. Taopix Online uses the latest and greatest technology that’s proven to work well for creating photo gift products online.

HTML5 has allowed us to build a slick interface, which works well across a range of devices, including iPad and Android. This means that a consumer could start a photo project on their laptop at work, save it, then go home and continue to work on it on their iPad. HTML5 is now widely embraced within the tech community, it’s robust and it’s future proof too.

In addition to this, we’re using CSS to allow our customers to easily use CSS style sheets to brand and customise the user interface as much as they like. ’

Gray then went on to talk about some of the features that are available with Taopix Online:

‘It contains a lot of the features you’d expect from us including an easy to use online designer, flight check, complete ecommerce platform with shopping cart. We’ve managed to pack in a range of useful features, including our powerful text engine, Perfectly Clear photo fix, in-browser photo crop and editor tool etc.’

‘We’ve focussed heavily on the end user, ensuring we’re delivering a slick user interface and well designed features, such as prominent live pricing within the designer and the ability to work on photos immediately, even while hi-res versions are still being uploaded. In fact, we’ve streamlined the way all user menus and options are presented to the user, making the whole system intuitive and easy to navigate.’

One of the features Gray seems most proud of relates to the user interface, a dynamic tool bar named the S.T.U. bar, which has received rave reviews from a select group of customers involved in the Alpha testing programme and has led to a lot of questions about where the name originated from…

‘The S.T.U. bar is our new Simple To Use tool bar. It appears prominently within the designer, presenting the user with a small selection of features, represented by easy to follow icons. What’s clever about it is that the features presented to the user dynamically change according to where they are in the designer and what the user is currently focusing on in context. For example, if they’ve chosen to add text, the S.T.U. bar dynamically updates to present the user only with the text options featured within our text engine and as they move to another aspect of their photo project the options presented to them update accordingly. Simply put it gives users everything they need at their fingertips, at the right time within the interface.’

In addition to concentrating on providing an optimal experience for the end user, Taopix have incorporated feedback gained from a number of their existing customers and have fed this into the product development cycle:

‘Taopix Online has undergone a vigorous testing phase with a select number of businesses whom we already work with and who agreed to take part in our intensive testing programme. In fact, we’re now at the end of a successful alpha phase, with some of our customers looking to launch Taopix Online into the market before the 9th September launch.’

‘The reaction to the new product has been incredible from anyone we’ve demonstrated it to so far. We’re already taking pre-orders for the product from existing customers and that’s before it’s officially launched into the market – with two businesses set to go live as I speak!’

Taopix Online has been purposefully packaged up in the same way as the desktop based version of the platform to aid existing customers who want to offer both solutions.

Says Gray: ‘Taopix Online has been purposefully built to ensure that it complements and works well with Taopix Desktop. What this means for our existing customers is that they will be able to add Taopix Online comfortably to their current offering with a few simple setting changes in the backend; meaning they will be able to give their own customers a choice of whether they prefer to create their photobooks in a desktop environment or entirely online.’

When asked about the growing trend toward online design options, Gray says he is certain that this is not the end for desktop based designer solutions:

‘Since our inception in 2007, we’ve always had a downloadable desktop client - this won’t change. In fact, following the launch of Taopix Online we will be promoting version 4.0 of our Taopix Desktop solution, which has been updated in line with the needs of both our customers and theirs.’

‘An online designer lends itself well to certain consumers’ needs, it’s certainly great for general consumer photobook buyers – particularly those who are creating photobooks for the very first time and there are several benefits for businesses that choose to offer a browser-based solution. Mainly, it allows time poor consumers to work on their photo gift projects across a range of devices and lends itself really well to quick consumer template projects, ready books, as well as single image products such as canvasses and greeting cards.’

‘Whereas a desktop based solution such as Taopix Desktop can be configured to allow consumers to create more advanced photobooks and photo gift projects. Consumers can work on hundred of photos at once, to quickly create a book on their desktop. This type of solution still works really well for pro consumers such as commercial and wedding photographers, product designers etc. And, of course, with a desktop based client you can choose to provide the user with many more advanced features if you wish, they are likely to have more time to invest working on their photo projects. Taopix Desktop allows pro consumers and those with no or limited internet connection to work quickly and easily on creating advanced photo projects from anywhere – it requires no plugins, support Mac and PC and can be used offline too.’

At the internal launch, Gray was asked what he’d recommend to businesses faced making a decision about whether to go with an online or a desktop based solution now:

‘We’d always recommend that it’s best to offer consumers both options – unless there is a specific reason why you need one solution over the other - it’s always best to give the consumer a choice on how and where they’d like to design and order their personalised photo products.’

Where to find Taopix...

Taopix Online will be launched during Print 13 on Monday 9th September on the HP stand. Print 13 takes place from the 8th – 12th September in Chicago, US. Visitors to Print 13 can find out more about Taopix Online and receive exclusive demos of the new product from the very first day of the show. Taopix will also be unveiling brand new branding and logo at the show, with a new website to follow shortly after.

Taopix, who unveiled their integration with HP SmartStream Production Center at Dscoop Asia and China Print earlier this year, will also be demonstrating the integration on the HP stand.

Media Contact: Zoe Hartill, Marketing Communications Manager, zoeh@taopix.com, +44 (0)845 017 8660 www.taopix.com

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