It's been one heck of a ride...we're web guys and don't exactly have a lot of experience in building factories or making, um, real physical objects.
The frontend is powered by Interface (http://www.getinterface.com), with the backend order fulfillment / manufacturing infrastructure built in Rails running on top of Ruby 1.9 and Unicorn, all sitting behind Nginx. All asset processing on the backend is done using GraphicsMagick using a modded mini_magick, which is way faster and more efficient than ImageMagick.
We'd love to hear your feedback, thoughts, and criticisms!
Very cool, great work.
They look really good though.
Here are some of the cases coming off the line now: http://u.phoreo.com/pa.JPG
And here is a hand shot (the original art was a bit messy; the printing is correct): http://u.phoreo.com/en.JPG
That being said, there's a problem with the custom artwork process. The vast majority of my photos are landscape, and these simply don't fit well onto a case. I had to photoshop one of my photos to add some extra sky onto the top in order to graft it onto a case. Any landscape photo taken with the rule of thirds will have this problem.
This is compounded by the tool, which has a nasty looking warning if you fail to fill the entire print area with your photo. There's nothing in the FAQ about the "print area", and none of the photos show the front of the case, leaving me completely in the dark about how serious an issue this is.
We're working on updating the FAQ about the bleed area. Basically since you're looking at the back of the case, it's hard to visualize the fact that the case wraps around the sides of the phone and has a slight lip around the front. The image printing process does cover that entire area. We wanted to make people aware that the image does in fact need to cover more area than is visible in the configurator. You do have the option to not cover the bleed, it will just end up being the white base color of the case.
Thanks for the feedback, it's much appreciated!
1) Document this better! I figured it out eventually, but there were a couple of people looking over my shoulder who wanted to "just click continue", which would have resulted in an ugly surprise later on.
2) You could auto-expand my image to cover the bleed. Basically, just take the last few pixels on each side and expand them out to the edges. That would almost always be better than plain old white, right? This is basically what I did manually with Photoshop.
The biggest value to me is to be able to upload and use my own photo; I don't care too much for the existing art, not that there is anything wrong with your selection.
Uploading the photo was easy and resizing and centering is easy and intuitive.
Couple things, though:
When I submit my uploaded pic for approval, it just spins indefinitely.
Also, when I was centering my custom picture on the phone, the picture filled the entire area of the phone, but not the entire "print area." I don't really get this. If the pic covers the whole case, how does this not cover the whole print area? It wasn't originally clear to me that the blue dotted square is the entire print area.
Feel free to drop me an e-mail if you have any questions: email@example.com
One thing: maybe this is just me, but the account verification email got caught in my spam filter. If I had to guess, I would say it's because the title was "hello" - kinda spammy sounding.
A friend mentioned he's unable to upload artwork from Safari 4 on a mac, if you'd like to double check that. (it worked in firefox on the mac).
Also, $60USD shipping to Australia for a $40USD product? is that correct?
I did some looking around, and I can't find another way that you might have arrived at this link (unless perhaps the JS did not initialize correctly).
If you still have trouble after ensuring that JS and Flash are both available, drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll look into it right away.