iExtend Print-on-DemandThis modular extranet application allowed distributors to browse vendor product lines and create customized sales collateral.
I worked as project lead to design a workable architecture and seamless interface for the system.
The ProblemiMarlin had been engineering a print-on-demand system for almost a year before I joined the company as an interactive designer. The existing Flash interface was flush with customization options and had been built on a robust base, but suffered from too much complexity.
My ApproachOne of my first priorities was to examine what food-service clients were currently doing in the absence of our system. Most used generic vendor catalogs, or cobbled together their own product and price sheets with scissors and a photocopier. Few seemed to possess the inclination or the ability to micromanage the look and feel of their sales collateral.
After interviews with sales representatives and vendors, I saw that customization of content was far more important than customization of design. With this as a guide, I created a process that focused on the selection and input of products, but that deemphasized visual design decisions such as arrangement, typeface or color.
SolutionAs project lead, I collaborated with print designers and programmers at iMarlin to create design templates and content population algorithms that could drive the layout process and give customers results that respected their brand.
Abandoning the Flash interface, I implemented a cross-browser DHTML design that ran from an SQL database and could be customized for multiple clients.