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SOS Campaign [message #30957] Sat, 16 July 2011 02:15 UTC Go to next message
avatar mctrivia  is currently offline mctrivia
Messages: 808
Registered: September 2010
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Senior Member
Many people don't check the shops section so I am bringing this to the general discussion forum. Many of us have growing shops with more and more models every day. And as our shops grow the interface to adjust prices, descriptions, tags, material availability, visibility, ect rapidly becomes a huge burden.

At the moment I have 315 models in my shop. Just to change 1 thing on each would take me assuming I can do each in 30sec which is only possible for the quickest of changes it would take me


315*30/3600=2.625hours

This is mind numbingly repetitive work and it takes hours. Worst of all some changes take 4 times this time meaning I am litterly spending an entire work day just clicking to make changes.

There are 2 ways that the user interface can be improved to allow changes from hours to seconds.

Shapeways API - could be powerful but development stopped. Also only useful for programers like myself.
CSV - Not been started yet.

CSV stands for comma separated values. It would take a competent programmer less then a day to program an interface to import/export all model related data to and from this format and just about every spread sheet program like excel can read it. The beauty of this interface is it gives the user tones of control without requiring shapeways to do much:

*If using excel you can write formulas to change values of things, cut ,and paste data to multiple models at a time ect
*If you are a programmer it is a super easy interface to read into the language of your choice and parse through all the data.

Shapeways is not in any hurry to add this interface because there is an interface that works. But they are forgetting about our sanity. I even offered to write it for them to save myself 10hours work changing shop section data but no answer.

So my request to all shout it from the roof tops and write it everywhere on every post and maybe they will put it up the priority level.

[url=http://qrh.me/*SSOS][SIZE=7][COLOR=red]Shapeways SOS[/COLOR][/SIZE]
http://qrh.me/*SSOS[/url]



Shapeways SOS
http://qrh.me/*SSOS


link goes to this thread.

Also since this will make price changes easy I will give $1 off every model I have(that has more then $1.01 markup) for a week when it is implemented and I ask other shops propose discounts they will offer also. In this way both shop owners and our customers can push for shapeways to Save Our Sanity.


Follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/mctrivia or my blog at http://4ddice.blogspot.com/
Re: SOS Campaign [message #30963 is a reply to message #30957 ] Sat, 16 July 2011 04:13 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar MuseumofSmallThings  is currently offline MuseumofSmallThings
Messages: 108
Registered: May 2011
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Hey mctrivia,
I agree with you 100%, although i only have a small amount of items i can already see that dealing with more would be a major annoyance. I love a clean and logical interface and i think Shapeways has done very well so far considering what their work load must be like. There is room for a lot of improvement though and i welcome it when and if it comes. I think i could handle updating an excel spread sheet type document with no issues.
I like that idea.

Leigh


http://www.shapeways.com/shops/most
Re: SOS Campaign [message #30965 is a reply to message #30963 ] Sat, 16 July 2011 04:37 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar mctrivia  is currently offline mctrivia
Messages: 808
Registered: September 2010
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I am not proposing getting rid of old system. Just adding csv as an option. I would happily post instructions on how to automate changes people may wish to know and even write programs for more common stuff.

I can help shapeways set the system up to be very helpful to all.

When interfaces are made possible cool stuff like my magic menu can be made by the customers( http://mctrivia.com/magicmenu.php ) which makes everyone happy. i write for free makes shapeways happy. myself and you get the tools we need which makes others happy.


Follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/mctrivia or my blog at http://4ddice.blogspot.com/
Re: SOS Campaign [message #30971 is a reply to message #30957 ] Sat, 16 July 2011 06:08 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar aeron203  is currently offline aeron203
Messages: 452
Registered: July 2008
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You make a good point about using text files to move the shop info back and forth. I agree that that will become necessary moving forward, and a lot of people have experience editing spreadsheets, even if they aren't programmers, so that lightens the load on Shapeways and others to create specialized tools and interfaces. It will also be the best way to move co-creation orders, since those are much more likely than shop inventories to be the subject of software automation.

Putting aside for a moment the issue of whether it makes sense to put time into implement import/export of shop data, I have to point out that of the 315 models in your shop, 191 of them are variations of your D6 Grid Die. From a workflow standpoint, I have to wonder why you didn't just upload one version and make it a co-creator, especially if they are all the same price. Shapeways has the handy automated render, but you could probably pull that off yourself without uploading tons of models. I'm sure there's some slight volume variation in the versions, but the savings on the volume margin of a co-creator are immediately nullified the first time you have to go through that many models. Even Oskar Puzzles has only 131 models. From the point of view of a visitor, it looks like you just dice-bombed your own page. Have you calculated how long it would take a customer to look through your shop?

I have never actually gone through all my models in one sitting, changing values. I never had to because I instantly do a cost benefit analysis. If a design is not worth 30 seconds of my time it gets deleted or combined with other models as a kit or co-creator series. I suspect a lot of the problems you are having are actually a result of using the API instead of the co-creation interface, where you could simply have a handful of pictures that succinctly expressed the styles and variations you offer in your designs. I know you are experimenting with lots of new approaches and it is very innovative stuff, but there are changes you could make right now that would save you tons of time.

So, CSV has my vote, but is more important for co-creation than inventory, at least for me.


Aaron - 40westdesigns.com/blog
Re: SOS Campaign [message #30973 is a reply to message #30971 ] Sat, 16 July 2011 06:26 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar mctrivia  is currently offline mctrivia
Messages: 808
Registered: September 2010
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I have been thinking of ways to deal with those 191 models. part of the problem is the time it would take to remove them. I can make an instant cocreate that eleveates all the issues of material variances(which is actually quite large) and is likely what I will do in the future to shrink the space that section of my collection takes up.

However putting those 191 aside I am constantly working on new models and new ideas so my collection will just keep growing. CSV would let me mass delete, mass update, mass everything when need be.

I have computed the shapes for 1000 new dice. It will take me a few years to actually draw them all but unless shapeways is willing to finish the API, speed up there servers, and allow shops to do simulated private sales CSV will be a necicity for me. And it is the easiest system for everyone else.

Not to mention php(which this site is writen in) has commands specifically for creating and reading csv files so half the work is already done.


Follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/mctrivia or my blog at http://4ddice.blogspot.com/
Re: SOS Campaign [message #30981 is a reply to message #30973 ] Sat, 16 July 2011 12:10 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Kevin Cook  is currently offline Kevin Cook
Messages: 3
Registered: February 2010
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Junior Member
I agree as well ... I know that AMAZON allows batch changes (ie likely so that sales/discounts can be given across a large number of products) ... In this global economy ... it may even be necessary to give discounts based on location ... For example if a buyer is in an economically depressed area ... the seller should have the option of providing more of a discount than those an a stable area

As to co-creator of the 191 models .. the question becomes ... how do you slice it? ... there are 16 die styles ... with 12 indicia/pip/spot shapes and who knows how many materials available

What about people like me that want one of each?

What about people who only want heart shaped indicia/pips?

What if someone wants ever indicia for one body style?

It then becomes very tedious to have to go through and choose the combination is wanted ...
Re: SOS Campaign [message #30998 is a reply to message #30981 ] Sun, 17 July 2011 00:08 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar henryseg  is currently offline henryseg
Messages: 224
Registered: July 2008
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+1 for CSV!

Much of the interface is somewhat clunky. The system to alter which materials are available for a model is particularly annoying. The obvious web interface would involve radio buttons then submitting many changes at once. Instead, currently every click involves communication with the server, which is not fast here in Australia.
Re: SOS Campaign [message #31036 is a reply to message #30957 ] Sun, 17 July 2011 19:45 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar aeron203  is currently offline aeron203
Messages: 452
Registered: July 2008
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Kevin, are you saying it's tedious for the customer to place an order for each die, so they would want to use a spreadsheet? The only limitation for co-creation is price. The maximum number of items for a customer to configure could never be more than the number of options of whatever variable is changing in the "custom kit".

If I have a hypothetical die with ten variables, each with ten possible values, I can order a trillion combinations of dice. I would never have to order more than ten unless I was ordering arbitrary combinations, which would would not make any sense unless you are just "taste-testing" a handful of them. Also, I could simply have a kit for sets of common values, so you could easily order all body styles, number of sides etc all at once, but still be able to modify stylistic aspects.

Is there any reason a person couldn't simply take a look at their entire dice model collection and sort them into categories, then have an image showing the effect of each variable or style? A bit of an extreme example, but you could pack your whole shop into there if everything was the same price.

Coming up with "which way to slice it" is an important part of product design. I don't think we are going in a good direction to be pre-calculating every possible combination of variables, uploading them as separate items, and then expecting a customer to use a spreadsheet to place an order when they are unable to move through the shop. Again, I do support eventually using CSV for shop management, I just think that reducing the number of items available favors quality over quantity, and makes sales more likely, by conveying that impression of quality.

McTrivia, one of the major innovations of 3D printing is that you don't need to have inventory, and objects are created on demand. In developing software to take full advantage of 3D printing, the goal is not to crank out the most models, but for the designer to encapsulate his or her design intent into a "framework" for creating other models that are still constrained by this intent, and then to generate the models as they are needed. You are on the right track with the instant co-creator, but I suggest you re-evaluate your workflow before modeling your 1000 dice.


Aaron - 40westdesigns.com/blog
Re: SOS Campaign [message #31037 is a reply to message #31036 ] Sun, 17 July 2011 20:46 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar mctrivia  is currently offline mctrivia
Messages: 808
Registered: September 2010
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The 1000 dice are very different. They could fit in an instant co-create as I can do anything I want with that only time to generate is an issue. The 1000 dice I have computed is different side counts. 2 for each even number from 2 to 500. There is no automation in the generation of these dice. I hand design each. My computation is how it would be possible to make it(I.E. what geometry has the shape needed to provide the number of sides I want while staying fair and having faces always land up).

http://www.shapeways.com/model/294411/solid_d28.html

Is an example of one of the dice I have designed based on these calculations. A 28 sided die is not a standard shape.

I am not saying you are wrong about compressing the 191 grid dice to a single entry. I have 13 group packs at the moment which include all of these dice. I am saying it would take hours to remove them and I still need to make a way for these dice to be made available.(By the way these dice are all hand made I did not write a program to generate them like I do for the instant co-creates).


Follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/mctrivia or my blog at http://4ddice.blogspot.com/
Re: SOS Campaign [message #31040 is a reply to message #30957 ] Sun, 17 July 2011 22:32 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar dizingof  is currently offline dizingof
Messages: 1288
Registered: October 2009
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Shapie Expert
If you compress the 191 dice variants to 1 die you will not be able to say you have more dice than me Laughing


Seriously thou, i see all over the forum that you're practically begging for attention by Shapeways IT guys to your programing skills and ideas.. - I agree that the shop management panel needs some new creative angle and fast (i myself write autohotkey scripts to change stuff automatically for my close to 400 designs) - but bare in mind its SUMMER TIME and beside that, Shapeways chief IT has left so .. you might want to chill till September ? Cool





http://www.3Dizingof.com
Re: SOS Campaign [message #31041 is a reply to message #31040 ] Sun, 17 July 2011 22:51 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar mctrivia  is currently offline mctrivia
Messages: 808
Registered: September 2010
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Lol the copressing how many spaces designs take up does not reduce the number of designs. Besides you claim to have the most even if I have more so if they take more space or not I expect you not to change.

But that aside. Yes I am begging now. I have been trying to get things changed for months. They even gave me partial axis to the code so I could help but only implemented a tiny fraction of the stuff I wrote. As a result the api is now just barely usable for stuff like instant cocreate.

I am not asking them to flesh out the api to do all it could which would require at least 100 man hours. Just something small that would be helpful to shop owners big and small though obviously more help to the big.

I don't want a job. But I so want features to let me work easier and I am willing to put my own time into developing.


Follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/mctrivia or my blog at http://4ddice.blogspot.com/
Re: SOS Campaign [message #31049 is a reply to message #31041 ] Mon, 18 July 2011 05:13 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar mctrivia  is currently offline mctrivia
Messages: 808
Registered: September 2010
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Senior Member
Here is an example of how the CSV should look. If anyone can see anything I missed please let me know.

The first line is the header.
The second defines variable types and gives forumla for cost of material
All lines after that would be 1 line per product.

The only info really needed on the second line is the cost formula. This allows programs and users a quick and easy way to know what the cost of each material is without going through the materials page(please check i got this right). Since some are a little more complicated then startup+material*volume I used excels standard if statement to define it. That way a user need only replace v or s with the volume or surface area and put an equals sign in front and excel will calculate for them.

These are all just suggestions on how data could be layed out to include all necessary data(all of it).

Some fields are marked as fixed these are for users use. You should ignore these fields on import since the user does not have control over these values.

By the way my example is a 1x1x1cm cube

  • Attachment: example.csv
    (Size: 1.33KB, Downloaded 129 time(s))

[Updated on: Mon, 18 July 2011 05:15 UTC]


Follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/mctrivia or my blog at http://4ddice.blogspot.com/
not invented here ?? [message #31062 is a reply to message #31049 ] Mon, 18 July 2011 09:05 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar kontor_apart  is currently offline kontor_apart
Messages: 159
Registered: February 2010
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Dear mctrivia,

Thanks for bringing this up again and I could not agree more to your pledge. Sadly enough, I really fear your efforts are currently in vain. While I have been watching this over the past months, almost a year now, I sensed a strong discrepancy between the headline of the Shops forum und reality:
Quote:

Shapeways Shops

We would like to get feedback on the Shapeways Shops, tell us what we need to work on, what needs to improve...
and wondered why they would so much ignore the repeated complaints of their power users and top-sellers.

From the reactions (or lack thereof) I got a strong suspicion about the underlying cause: The Not-Invented-Here syndrome. Think about it: The more you try to prove that your suggestion(s) is(are) important and really easy win-win, the more they will find reasons to not do it.

I also had to learn that forum posts don't work with suggestions for improvement. You may always shout Hoorah in the forum, but that's about it. It's pretty frustrating and I am not sure what else to do. The most constructive suggestion I can make:

Try to contact the CTO directly and offer your services as a (paid) contractor. Seems they are fairly short on programming resources and he might even listen. That would make you more important, eventually part of the team and would give a lot more weight to your voice.

Feeling your pain, good luck,
trompevenlo

Re: not invented here ?? [message #31381 is a reply to message #31062 ] Sat, 23 July 2011 08:57 UTC Go to previous message
avatar woody64  is currently offline woody64
Messages: 474
Registered: November 2008
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Today I oncemore had a click session since I didn't catch all my FD/default material settings within the first step.
I don't know how many possible buyers where disattracted by the much to high price.

So I only can add my vote vor that change.

Shapeways SOS
http://qrh.me/*SSOS


Quote:


From the reactions (or lack thereof) I got a strong suspicion about the underlying cause: The Not-Invented-Here syndrome. Think about it: The more you try to prove that your suggestion(s) is(are) important and really easy win-win, the more they will find reasons to not do it.

I also had to learn that forum posts don't work with suggestions for improvement. You may always shout Hoorah in the forum, but that's about it. It's pretty frustrating and I am not sure what else to do. The most constructive suggestion I can make:



I strongly have to agree. Also I'm frustrated with reactions to such input.
Even this simple change of having the "previous/next" buttons also nearby the save button, to speed up such work didn't work.

The only way to cope with that, would be to start a cooperation of shop owners and key users speaking with one voice and bringing some input in direct discussions/negotations.

To be clear: Shapeways offers a wonderful service for us. This could be even better and eaiser for us and them if they hear a little bit on their business partners (and that's what we shop owners are).
I sometimes really don't understand why there's so minimal reaction in these topics.

Maybe to add an idea how that can work:
- having a group of 10-20 key users/shop owners
(only works if there are some top sellers in)
- discussing topics and possible changes
-- must haves: since show stoppers for us
-- needed
-- nice to have
- having 2 or three spokesmen
- discussing that with Ana
- getting a qualified response
-- we do that/we don't do that
-- reasons for the decision
-- possible alternatives/workarounds
-- timeline

Woody64

[Updated on: Sat, 23 July 2011 09:24 UTC]


More then 8100 items sold over SW (but still a hobby)
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References: 3d Printing Industries, CNN, J. Burks, Ugly Duckling, M.Evans, Stop Motion Film,Computer BILD, How to Become a 3D Printing Entrepreneur
More then 270 shop items (more then 146 already printed once) More the 500 successful Products (Items&material printed once)

 
   
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