Case Studies - Pixelmoon
Pixelmoon Photo Book Website
1 developer, 1 manager
Kentico Content Management System, C#, ASP.NET, WPF, Silverlight
Pixelmoon is a publishing website inspired out of the need in the expanding personalised print market for high quality and stylish photo books.
Pixelmoon required a web-based application that could utilise web-to-print technologies in a seamless and reliable way, without concerns relating to image file size or user inexperience. The proposed site would also require full support for localisation, and an e-commerce facility to allow users to purchase their photo books once created.
Blueberry was contacted at the concept stage to design and implement a system where users could:
- Choose the shape of their photo book.
- Choose a cover for their photo book.
- Choose a theme for their book.
- Upload and adjust images to create their book.
Blueberry implemented a web-based platform that employs a high-end Web to print solution to produce personalised books for sale direct to the public.
Blueberry first identified the core requirements for the project and developed a full specification in consultation with the client, which included detailed design, the most appropriate technologies to use and likely challenges.
One of the challenges when designing a photo application is that image files can tend to be large and hence difficult to reliably transfer by inexperienced users.
Blueberry’s solution was to break the files down into smaller portions so that if one portion did not arrive then only that portion needed to be re-requested. This is done seamlessly, behind the scenes, without the user noticing.
A further challenge was that the printing process is prone to small positioning errors that can be noticeable if content intended to go right up to the edge of the page doesn’t quite do so. For this reason, it was important that the software could automatically and unobtrusively create some bleed past the page edge to solve the problem.
The Pixelmoon site allows users to upload image files, chosen a book size, position and scale pictures, place the order, and then convert the document to print-quality PDF for printing.
The Kentico Content Management System was chosen for the photo book site because it included an e-commerce / shopping cart capability, allowing users to pick a product, add it to a cart, and pay for it. Kentico’s e-commerce solution includes PayPal and Worldpay support, as well as support for tax calculations, shipping options, and multiple currencies.
The project was completed using the Kentico Content Management System and a combination of C# ASP.NET, WPF programming and Silverlight technology.
The live Pixelmoon site allows users to upload image files, chosen a book size, position and scale pictures, place the order, and then convert the document to print-quality PDF, which is sent to a professional printing partner by FTP, complete with the customers’ order details. The site currently also offers printed canvasses as a second sales item, and there are plans to expand the product portfolio to include a range of offerings.
Rob Wakefield, Managing Director of Pixelmoon Ltd, said: “Here at Pixelmoon we have built our business on the delivery of high quality and stylish products for the expanding personalised print market. We’ve achieved this by combining creative solutions with an ever evolving product range that provides customers with a great product.
“Our Web-based platform utilises seamless Web to print technologies that produce the final product on the most advanced digital presses in the European market – and we offer our products direct to the public for delivery throughout Europe.”