Tuesday, May 7, 2013

5 Tips for Creating a Fabulous Login Page

Did you know you can customize your customer login page? You can! Just check out these amazing examples from CraftHub customers Sonya de Hart and Claudine Hellmuth! How can you make a fabulous log in page? Here are 5 tips to get you started!
Sonya de Hart Custom Login Screen

1. Make it look fabulous!

Branding matters!
Does your shop have a logo or banner? If not, now is a great time to make one! Match the look and feel of your login page to the look and feel of your Etsy shop. This will help your customers to know that they have come to the right place.

Keep it simple.
Resist the urge to include everything. The more text and images on your page, the harder it will be for your customer to find the most important information. Organize information using headings, grids, and bullet points to help your customers find what they are looking for.

Fancy fonts are great (but not for everything)
Fancy fonts are great for drawing attention to titles and headings, but they can also be hard to read. Use a simple font for instructions and information.

Claudine Hellmuth Custom Login Screen

2. Provide easy-to-follow instructions

The download instructions are the most important information you need to convey to your customers. Sonya and Claudine both do an excellent job of providing easy-to-follow 1-2-3 instructions in an accessible visual format. When writing instructions it's important to:
  • Write every step. 
  • Use short sentences.
  • Avoid long explanations.
When you are finished, have a friend try to follow your instructions. Ask them for feedback to see how you can make your instructions more clear.

3. Provide Troubleshooting Tips

What should your customer do if the download doesn't work? Think about the most common issues your users encounter. Some common issues we encounter are:
  • Customer can't find where their files are saved
  • Customer reached their download limit
  • Files are IP locked
Then tell them what they should do to resolve the issue. 
  • Check their download folder.
  • Contact you.

4. Include Your Contact Information

Be accessible! Is there anything more frustrating than having an urgent question and not knowing who to ask? Provide a way for your customers to contact you right from your login screen. Your customers will be grateful!

5. Add Links to your social media outlets

Connect with your customers! Add links to your social media outlets so your customers can stay in touch with you.

Feeling Inspired?

We want to see your login screen! When you are done, post a link to your login page in the comments below.

Monday, April 15, 2013

New Updates to your Products Page!

I am excited to announce that we have made updates to your Products page! The new changes make it easier to see which media files are attached to your product listings.

Are your files attached?

We've made it easier to tell if files are attached to your product listings. In the "Attached Media" column you will now see a link to your files. Click the links to confirm that the correct files are attached to each product. If no links appear, that means no files are currently attached.

To add or remove files, open the product listing by clicking the Product Title link. You will see your available files below the product information. Use the check box to add or remove files. If the box is checked, the file is attached. If the box is not checked, the file is not attached.

Click the red "Save" button to save your changes. If you want to upload a new file, click the "Upload New Media" button at the bottom of the screen.

When you click the "Upload New Media" button you will be redirected to your Media page. By default, the new media item will be attached the product listing you have open. Turn the "Attach to Product" button to "off" if you do not want the new media file to attach to the open product.

Instant Download

The instant download feature is now activated by a check box. If the box is checked, your product is available for instant download. You can activate or deactivate the instant download feature for each product on your Products tab.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

How to Download Your CraftHub Purchase

There are two ways to retrieve your purchase:
  1. Visit the login page of the shop that you purchased your files from <- This is what we recommend. If your shop owner did not provide you with a link to their login page you can find it by typing in http://ETSYSHOPNAMEHERE.crafthub.me/login
  2. Wait to receive a link via email. The email will contain a link to the login page specific to the shop you purchased your item from.
Your purchase will be available as soon as your payment is confirmed 

Enter the email address associated with your Etsy account, and your order number (found in your Etsy receipt) then click the login button. This will take you to the download landing page.

To retrieve your files via email

After your payment is confirmed you will receive an email from CraftHub. You will receive this email five to ten minutes after submitting your order. If the email does not come to your inbox please check your spam folder.

Open the email, and then follow the link to download your files. The link will take you to the download landing page.

Download your files

On the Download Landing Page you will see the products you purchased. Click the Show Files button to view the files available for download. Please note that shop owners have the ability to customize this page, so your download landing page may look slightly different.

Click the Download button to start the download. 
Please note that files are saved in your Downloads folder by default.

Open your files

Open your Downloads folder to find your files.
Please note that this screen may look different depending on the type of computer you use, your personal settings, and the name and type of file you have purchased.

In this instance, my purchase has been delivered as a .ZIP file, so I will need to open the file in order to view the individual items.

That it! I can now use my files. You can try our instant download service for yourself on our Etsy shop.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

How to Write your First Pattern in 6 Steps

CraftHub is delighted to present Stacey Trock of FreshStitches! In addition to designing for FreshStitches, Stacey has written two crochet books: Crocheted Softies and Cuddly Crochet. She's also CraftHub's first ever guest blogger! Thanks, Stacey, for sharing your pattern-making tips with us!

How to Write your First Pattern in 6 Steps

You might think that you need a whole bunch of fancy software to put together a professional-looking pattern, but it just isn't true! You can put together a great-looking pattern using what you probably already have on your computer!
I’m going to assume that you already have written a clear set of pattern instructions, and I’ll give you tips to turn those instructions into a beautiful pattern!

Step 1: Take fabulous photos

You don’t need an expensive camera! You just need your product, some good lighting and a regular point-and-shoot camera.
If you’re not rock-solid on your photography yet, check out my 5 Photography Tips and my detailed write-up of how to create a seamless white background.
The secret to good photography is taking oodles of photos. You can always delete ones you don’t like, but you want to maximize your chances of snagging that perfect one!
Don’t forget that in addition to the cover photo, you’ll want to take photos that show off any detail work or unique features of your design.

Step 2: Select your format

Chances are, you have a word processing program like Microsoft Word on you computer… great! You can use it for formatting your pattern!
Have a look at the features your program offers. Go to File > New. Is there an option of using a template? A template can be a great way to get started with the design of your pattern.

If you don’t want to go the route of the template, think about setting key elements of the pattern apart with simple design elements. Perhaps your materials listing could go in a colored text box. headers) to break up the text. Keep in mind that many people find a huge, solid block of text difficult to read, so use design elements (and headers) to break it up.

Step 3: Insert your photos

To insert your photo into a document, go to Insert > Picture, and pop in your selected photo.
Take a look at the top of the screen after you've inserted your photo… do you see formatting options? In my version of Word (above), you can see a variety of picture formatting settings: such as changing the shape of the photo or adding a border. This is an easy way to add a personalized style to your photos.

Step 4: Add your information

Do you want to add copyright information? How about putting your email address on the pattern so customers with questions can contact you? Or maybe you’d like to include your website?
Don’t forget these details… remember that the pattern instructions are a way to communicate with your customer! You want to make things easy for them… don’t make them hunt you down if they have a question!

Step 5: Try a font!

Once you have your text and photos in… you’re finished (and can skip to step 6)! This step is optional, and just adds a little extra to your pattern!
I’m a big fan of fun fonts, and downloading a new font is a great way to add your own sense of style.

My favorite website for browsing new fonts is dafont.com. There are two things to keep in mind.
One, be sure to read the conditions on the the particular font you’re interested in: fonts designed for personal use only aren’t intended to be used for commercial purposes. (…just like patterns!)
Two, most people find fancy fonts in the text difficult to read, so keep the fun stuff to headers and titles.

Step 6: Make a PDF

PDF stands for ‘portable document format’, and it’s called that because it’s a file that shows up exactly the same on every computer. You’ll want to convert your document into this format before it’s ready for distribution.
Fortunately, this is easy! In the old days, you needed fancy additional software, but now, it’s as easy as going to Print in your Word Processor and selecting Adobe PDF as your printer.
The result is your pattern… that’s ready to distribute!

Are you ready?

You shouldn't let fear of technology or lack of a graphic designing degree keep you from putting together a pretty pattern that you can be proud of!
I hope I've encouraged you to give it a shot!

This post was written by Stacey Trock of FreshStitches. Find her at www.freshstitches.com (http://www.freshstitches.com).