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Zazzle Updates Logo, Brand and Website

Zazzle updated their logo, homepage, and general brand yesterday. I previously criticized Zazzle for designing their site for SEO rather than user experience. The new homepage is much better and does take into consideration of user experience and directs users to many of the things that make Zazzle unique such as the custom shoes, licensed content and music related products.

The new look definitely matches their recent direction in deals and promotions with music industry and the addition of a wider range of content. A few years ago their site had a very family friendly appearance and they largely pushed the licensed content (see our post on Zazzle web site design history). The designs were definitely not as edgy as places like Cafepress. Following the Zazzle’s heavy recruiting baiting, and bribing of Cafepress shopkeepers much of the same content was soon available at both locations.

The new homepage is way more user friendly and very clear for users as to where they should go depending on their interest. The first two boxes are very clear with “Create” on the left, “Sell” in the middle, but on the right the image that says Infinite One of a Kind-ness ended up being a waste of space since it just goes to a page of blah blah when it should just go to the shopping page. The rest of the homepage really is a good blend of products and themes considering the breadth of the Zazzle market. As far as the new logo goes, I really did like their old one but the new one really does look a lot more “hip” and goes well with the dark site. I think the best part of the new logo is the Z inside the circle. The dark header with the simple white text really does make the designs pop out of the screen which is quite nice.

If you want to hear why Zazzle did the update you can visit the Zazzle Blog.

Zazzle

Written by T-Shirt Talk

12 Comments

  1. Digger · August 20, 2008

    I actually prefer the old logo, but yes, this is a step in the right direction for Zazzle.

    However, I unfortunately still find just about every shop on Zazzle to be a mess, in terms of layout and navigation. If Zazzle is striving for designers (who are serious about making money via POD) to have their “home base” stores on Zazzle, then Zazzle really has to introduce more customization options, a la Cafe Press premium shops, or how Printfection is customizable for free with knowledge of HTML / CSS.

    Right now, I’m building my stores on Printfection, and intend to stay there. I do have some of my designs on Zazzle, and have gotten some marketplace sales (without me “pushing” anyone towards Zazzle). Also have been fortunate enough to get a couple of Zazzle’s “Today’s Best” awards, in the short time I’ve been there…

    …but it’s not enough for me to focus on Zazzle, over Printfection. Again, I find Zazzle too much of a mess. My two main issues are:

    1) The inability to somewhat eliminate Zazzle’s “Buy,” “Create,” “Sell” nav bar at the top. This remains a huge distraction to potential customers. I do understand that Zazzle needs to try to expand their business in this way, but can’t it be much subtler? Cafe Press (premiums) and Printfection are way subtler — small logos or just there name in plain type at the top or bottom of the screen — certainly much less of a distraction.

    2) I’d like to be able to opt out of having my designs voted on, and I’m fine with it, if that also means it takes me out of the running for Today’s Best Awards. I just don’t like the thought of other people’s votes potentially dissuading a customer from buying a design that they may initially like, but then see some bad votes and be “talked out of it.” Understood that getting perfect scores may help you sell a design and influence sales, it’s a double-edged sword. I’d still prefer no votes. (Apologies if there already IS a way to opt out of being voted on, that I’m not aware of.) What I’m saying is, any douchebag can come along and trash your designs, for whatever reason — let me opt out of that.

    Bottom line here is that I’m in the process of building online t-shirt stores, and I want them to appear as “real,” as the major t-shirt online that sell traditional screenprinted merchandise. Right now, I can’t shape my stores how I want to on Zazzle. I can on Cafe Press and Printfection — and I believe a whole lot more in Printfection’s reproduction quality, so I’m going with them. (I’ve recently printed a test shirt with Zazzle, and they screwed it up…THREE times! How can I expect my customers to deal with this?)

    Simple question: Take a look at the popular screenprinted t-shirt stores like SnorgTees or BustedTees. Can these store layouts be achieved on Zazzle? Or make a storefront like these on your own domain, and then seamlessly integrate with Zazzle? As far as I know, the answer is no on both…

    …so, between that and the lack of quality control I’ve experienced with them recently, they’re my THIRD choice on where to base my stores. I’d speculate that Zazzle has premium shop or further customization options down the road, or sooner than we may think. But I think what’s happened with them, is that in their attempts to set them apart and above Cafe Press, they’ve just crowded their own site too much.

    D

  2. Nelson Rios · August 21, 2008

    I really dig their new look. Makes our designs pop.

    As for your point that you can’t “…make a storefront like these on your own domain, and then seamlessly integrate with Zazzle”, that’s actually incorrect. They just released a php script to do just that called the ZazzleStoreBuilder. You can install that on your own domain and build whatever look you want, and pull in your products.

  3. T-Shirt Talk · August 21, 2008

    Regarding the Zazzle on your own domain I should have a post about that later today.

    matt

  4. Digger · August 21, 2008

    Hi guys – Thanks for bringing that to my attention. How new is the Zazzle Store Builder? Are there any example sites (stores) that you have links to?

    Thanks, best,

    D

  5. Nelson Rios · August 22, 2008

    I used the Zazzle Store Builder on my site: http://www.customgameshirts.com

  6. Digger · August 22, 2008

    Hi Nelson,

    I actually found your store before you posted the link! (Thanks for putting it up, though!)

    I also found that the Zazzle Store Builder is very new.

    For my own store, I personally prefer NOT using the models wearing the shirts as the storefront section images…prefer to do my own mock-up “squares” in Photoshop, and not be restricted to what is imported from Zazzle.

    I suppose I could make my own sections images on my own domain and then link them respectively to Zazzle…

    …but then the issue still remains of when the consumer gets to Zazzle, seeing the voting and comments, which I’d like to eliminate. I simply don’t want my customers distracted by the community aspects of Zazzle…

    …for me, it’s much more about using Zazzle (or my choice, Printfection), to collect and process orders, produce the shirts, ship, and handle customer service. Pridyction and fulfillment. I want my stores to look, feel, and operate as closely as possible to how “real” online stores do, and not have all this extraneous community stuff — I’m not saying Zazzle should drop it all together, but allow us to opt out. (To make a mediocre analogy: If you walk into a t-shirt store, do you see votes and comments under each design? Let the individual customer make up his or her mind, without outside influence.)

    Bottom line again, is that the user experience I’m going for, still can’t be achieved with Zazzle. It can achieve it with CP and Printfection.

    Thanks again, best,

    D

  7. Digger · August 22, 2008

    One more thing: I do recognize that my analogy above doesn’t hold water, if you’re talking about, let’s say books. You don’t see votes under a book in a bookstore, but you DO see them on Amazon…

    …but these are t-shirts we’re talking here, and a line of our own products, where we set-up and maintain our own stores. Let us control if our stuff is voted on!

    D

  8. Rude Retro · August 23, 2008

    I think his statement that you can’t “…make a storefront like these on your own domain, and then seamlessly integrate with Zazzle” is still correct. Even with Zazzle’s storebuilder. That tool just builds links to your Zazzle store it does not integrate facilitate integration.

  9. Nelson Rios · August 23, 2008

    What do you mean by “it does not integrate facilitate integration”?

  10. Rude Retro · August 23, 2008

    Typo, sorry. Thought the readers would be able to figure it out. I meant to write: it does not facilitate integration. Look at your site for example. (Looks good by the way.) When I click on an item I am taken to the Zazzle store. There is not way back to your site. They are separate, not integrated. For integration take a look at what you can do with cpshop and your Cafepress store.

    cpshop: http://www.marty.net/go2/site/view/marty/101

  11. Nelson Rios · August 24, 2008

    Ahh I see. I guess I’m not too worried with keeping them on my site since they ultimately have to checkout at Zazzle anyway. And when they go to my gallery on Zazzle, they’re still seeing my products, and my skin mostly matches my site.

    I guess with cpshop it looks like you can do more on your own site, but honestly, I’d rather Zazzle do the heavy lifting, and all I do is funnel people to my products on Zazzle. Gets them closer to clicking that add-to-cart button, and I have less work to do to maintain my site :)

    And thanks for the comment on my site! It’s a bit simple, but I guess it works :)

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