Posted 2012-06-12 by & filed under Product Update.

A Milestone In v0.6.3

Greetings to everyone! I’m Wai Yin, developer at Piktochart.

 

Piktochart app for infographic edit
First off, I’m really proud of what Piktochart’s become. We’ve gone through several minor changes, which when I look back, actually are a whole lot of things combined. I remember the menubar and the list of tools we have on the left pane, they’re so much different now than it was before. In a good way, of course. We wouldn’t have been able to shape Piktochart to what it is today without our team and most importantly, all of you users.

 

piktochart toolbar
I could go on rambling about the history of Piktochart and its evolution from the alpha-days, but today I shall discuss on two issues we’ve been receiving flak about. First, image quality. We intended the infographic creation process to be fairly quick and the goal be simple; Users pick a theme, edit the “lorem ipsum” placeholder text, move some images around and perhaps add a few images of their own, save the infographic and then share said image on their website or blog. We quickly realize that our users wanted more than just that; they wanted to print it out for presentations and banners.

 

piktochart infographic example
“Why are the printed images blurry? How do I make it sharper? How do I print this out as a banner?” These were among the many questions thrown our way. Here’s a quick explanation without getting too technical: The full infographic image you see on your computer screen is only about 25% of the print size. This mean if you want the exact image size of the image you see on screen to be printed on paper, it’ll only show up on 25% of your paper. Now if you wanted to print the infographic onto 100% of the paper, the image is forced to zoom in, resulting in the dreaded blurry image.

 

Can this be fixed? Yes it’s possible. Sadly, we were unable to arrive at a satisfying solution for this issue. This is partly due to a limitation with the flex application itself. It cannot render an image larger than a certain size, and especially when it’s print-size.. It’s something we unfortunately discovered a little later in the development stage of Piktochart.

 

What are we going to do about it though? We’ve taken note of this “pain” that a lot of our users are experiencing. In the next version of Piktochart, we’re working closely with print-quality images in mind. For one, you will not have to worry about this soon!
what sorcery is this

 

The second issue, in direct relation to image printing, was users stumbling with our “HTML” output. Users were supposed to be able to painlessly convert their infographic into a web-embeddable format which they can upload online. As we worked on Piktochart more, we hit a lot of roadblocks and bumpy roads.

 

One of them was, the fonts won’t load if you open the HTML on your computer; it has to be uploaded online. This makes it really difficult for users to test whether their infographics actually look fine on their blog or website or not. That leads us directly to the next problem: It was difficult to integrate the HTML into any of the user’s existing online content, whether it is ablog or a website.

 

piktochart toolbar menu
Users were required to apply adjustments to the HTML output file before they can integrate it to their site. The developers on Piktochart had some difficulty doing it at first, so imagine the trauma a non-computer-savvy user had to face. And even if they managed to integrate it into their website, they would run into another problem, as shown in the screenshot below:

 

errors piktochart
The images were not colored as they were in the Piktochart app. Errors can be seen spilling in the developer’s console. In a nutshell, we can only tamper with the images if the HTML and the images are from the same domain (e.g.www.mywebsite.com). The problem was, the images were on our Piktochart servers. The HTML output file were obviously not, because it was going to be used on users’ websites, blogs, or just on their desktop.

 

We’ve come up with a possible solution for this. However It’ll take some time to finish and test it. We don’t want to rush a fix for this and have users stumble into another problem. On news that you can look forward to, for the next version of Piktochart, we’ll definitely make sure this issue is completely taken care of.

 

That’s all for today, I’m afraid. We’ve gone a long way and have thus far reached the most stable version of Piktochart. The two issues discussed above are also thus far, the biggest issues we’re having and the biggest headache we’ve been getting. Let’s hope for the best and may these problems be dealt with as soon as possible. And by then, our users will be able to enjoy Piktochart without worries. :)
LWY

About Author

Ai Ching

Ching is the Chief Email Officer and dedicates her time to find growth hacking ninja ways. Former P&G and Experimental Psychologist, Ching’s addiction includes supporting new projects on Kickstarter and travelling.

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