Why do I need to optimise my products?
LOAD TIMES AND PERFORMANCE CAN AFFECT CONVERSION RATES
Fast loading / responsive products will offer a better user experience over slow loading / unresponsive products. Therefore, product optimisation should always be a consideration when creating new products on CPP, as the setup can have direct implications on both load times and performance. These affects can be exaggerated when the products are used in retail environments (eg on a kiosk) that may have poor internet connections and want to minimise customer waiting times - or on mobile / tablet devices that only have 3G / 4G connections.
How can I optimise my products?
1. USE SMALLER FILE SIZES WHEN UPLOADING ASSETS AGAINST YOUR PRODUCTS ON CPP (DOES NOT INCLUDE PRINT ARTWORK).
The following setup options should feature compressed or optimised files. The smaller the file sizes, the better the load times as there is less data to process.
2D VIEWS / ASPECTS: These are used to represent the on-screen product preview. As such, they are loaded when the i-frame loads, so file size is important. 2D Views have a file size restriction of 750kb (combined with mask element), but Aspects currently do not have a limit. This means you could technically upload a several megabyte file here, but doing so would negatively affect load speed in the App.
If you want to upload more elaborate images/lifestyle shots as a preview, the best thing to do is compress them with free software such as https://tinypng.com/ - or - save JPEG files at a reduced quality from your artwork package to control the file size. We advise keeping below 750kb as per the limitation for 2d Views.
Here is an example of an image intended for use as a preview being run through TinyPNG:
MASK FORMATTING: Masks are used to control personalisation visibility both in the preview and in the print output. Best practice is to ensure that any created masks are always a solid black shape on a transparent background. Removing any colour information will ensure that the file sizes are small, even if they are saved at print resolution, eg such is required for a Custom Image Mask used on an Image Area.
The examples below highlight the difference in file size that can occur if masks are used that don't conform to the standard format. Here is a 2d view mask comparison in standard format vs coloured:
Here is a custom image mask comparison in standard format vs coloured with some noise detail to highlight how significant the file difference can be:
IMAGE AREAS (PLACEHOLDER IMAGES): In some scenario's, placeholder images are used to achieve specific results on a product. Often, these placeholder Images are then needed for inclusion in the delivered artwork file when an order is placed - meaning that these are print resolution files and subsequently can have large file sizes.
Placeholder Images are loaded when the App loads, so the larger the file size the slower the load speed.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to recent IOS updates, compatibility checks have highlighted that IOS devices will not load design elements set as placeholders that are 2MB+
For these reasons we recommend that you avoid using placeholder images for purposes of delivering artwork unless A) strictly necessary and B) the sizes are less than 500kb - otherwise you will experience slower load speeds and performance implication on some mobile devices. The best alternatives would be to revise your setup / compromise with the functionality and upload your artwork to Artwork Advanced menu - OR - utilise a gallery with the autoload image feature enabled.
CUSTOM THUMBNAILS: This becomes applicable if you are using a product selector in the App. There is no definitive limit on thumbnail image size but we recommend no more than 600x600px image.
2. USE ARTWORK ADVANCED FOR ADDING FIXED DESIGN ARTWORK
Artwork Advanced adds a low resolution artwork preview in the App, but retains the print resolution file for the output. The regular artwork menu does not do this, you have to 'stamp' the 2d view/aspect to update it. This 'stamping' process increases the file size of the preview images significantly - in some cases you can see increases from just a few KB up to several MB.
**A note on Artwork: Your artwork files that are to be used in print should not be compressed. CPP allows artwork files to be uploaded against the print area (via the Artwork / Artwork Advanced menus) at print resolution (300dpi). These slots will take files up to 60mb, and will display a low resolution preview in the App to avoid any negative performance implications. CPP galleries operate based on a similar concept.
3. REDUCE PRODUCT COMPLEXITY
Complicated product configurations can have performance implications and lead to products being unresponsive / 'laggy'. Usually, this is a result of a large volume of design elements on a single product. Things to consider are:
- Volume of Text Areas and any associated sync functionality
- Volume of Image Areas and any associated sync functionality
- Volume of Colour Areas and any associated sync functionality / intricacy and size of custom masks
The more interactive elements that you have, the more information there is to process when the end user personalises the product.