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The Template Library: A Journey of Discovery

James Lee — 2 February 2017


An extensive Template Library makes for a great Outfit experience. More importantly though, adding new templates quickly and easily to a project makes for the best Outfit experience.

Prior to our new Template Library, we focussed a lot of our efforts on the latter half of the user’s journey (ie. the experience of editing and exporting documents), instead of how they find the darn things in the first place.

While past iterations made sense within Outfit at the time, it has become increasingly clear that the process was cumbersome, and a little confusing.

Our first template library was quite minimal and clean. Minimal and clean because it was simply a list of template names. The list quickly became obsolete, as a growing user base and library of templates created a very confusing list of non-descriptive template names. This meant that if someone didn’t know the name of a specific template and what that looked like, then finding what they were looking for was a very lengthy process of trial and error.

Although there was a lot of room for improvement from the first template library, one of the awesome features was the ability to store all templates in a tray that could all be added at one time when you were ready (more on that later 😉).

It was around a year ago that we realised the first iteration needed a serious rethink. To remove the problem of no detail, we needed a better way of providing context around what type of documents people were actually adding to their projects.

So we iterated on it…

Finally, templates had a visual representation and context. There was even the ability to preview the template. It was great and exciting. We were one step closer to a great experience.

However we realised shortly after, that the way we had filtered the different variations of templates was not in line with how people visualise a template.

Outfit Lesson Alert!

In Outfit, a template is the overarching visual style of many different dimensions and file extensions. Within one Outfit template you could have many (even hundreds) of template variations (ie. The template could be Posters and the variations could be A4 Portrait, A4 Landscape, A3 Portrait etc). So initially, we thought the way we filtered templates in the library, made sense.

However, for our users, they didn’t understand what was happening in the background, they saw an A4 Generic Poster, Training Presentation - PDF and Event Name Badges; the fact that these came from the same ‘master template’ was really just a technicality to them.

For people to easily find these templates, it seemed like we would have to flip the current workflow on its head, so our users could open up the Template Library, search for A4 Poster templates in Outfit and easily find the one they want to use.

And so that’s what we ended up doing.

Introducing our new and improved Template Library.

The Template Library is, once again, a massive improvement on the last. It is built upon the traditional concepts that people associate with a template. Users can simply search for A4 Poster and all the A4 Poster templates that are available, will appear, no matter the style or the editable inputs available. They are still variations of an A4 Poster template, but they now have the context they need to find their way into a users project when needed.

Beyond this, we have some really cool features that will make adding documents a lot easier.

Template Tray

Users can find the templates they need and drop them into the Tray as they go. If you need multiples of the same document, click the + Add button multiple times.

Template Tags

We also have add our tagging system to the Template Library (similar to how tagging works in the Asset Library). Admins can now create a tagged group of templates that could form a campaign, event kit or group of web ads as a few examples.

Refined Template Information

Beyond that, users can now see more information on each template. This means that the right decision can be made, the first time.

Find out more information on the Template Library here, in our Help Section. Alternatively, if at any time, you are having a little trouble with the Template Library or have any suggestions to make it even better, drop us a line via Intercom. Click on the In-app help button in the bottom right hand corner and then click Talk to Someone.

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