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Bad Web interface tricks #42

I got a press release about it and I like the sound of Unibind's new DIY photo album that turns a bunch of printed pages into a bound book, so I went off to http://www.unibind.com/Basic/home.html to see if I could see a picture that would make the description a little clearer. viz: "My Books makes instant hard-cover 8 ½” x 11” personalized photo albums without the need of expensive binding equipment, glue or mess.  To use, a consumer simply inserts their stack of pages with the provided front and back cover sheets.  Then he or she staples the stack of pages; places the pages in the spine of the album; pulls the yellow strips off the front and back of the album and closes the cover, which seals the albums to the pages.  Then he or she simply tears off the extra paper on the inside cover sheets at the perforation for a final beautiful customized photo album keepsake."

The site has four competing navigation tools: the buttons across the middle, the buttons up the side, the buttons across the top of the page and the scrolling images of products above them. Except that when you click an item in the scrolling images, while that item does change from wireframe to photo and a pointing finger cursor does appear, you can't actually click to make anything happen. It's Flash to make things pretty, not Flash to make pretty things an interface. And I still don't know what the yellow strips look like.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
21st Feb, 2006 19:25 (UTC)
And I still don't know what the yellow strips look like.

I suspect that they look remarkably like the waxed paper you get on double-sided adhesive tape. I'm more curious about the perforations on the inside cover sheets - if the binder is designed for US letter paper, why not manufacture the cover sheets to that size? What are you supposed to do with the bit that you've torn off?
21st Feb, 2006 19:50 (UTC)
maybe they're only there as some kind of spacer for the binding to make the pages fit snugly in the spine? You see why I want pictures!
22nd Feb, 2006 11:51 (UTC)
Current mood: Problem solving

Hi Mary,

Sorry to populate your blog with PR clutter, but I feel I have the solution to your DIY photo album. Unibind all seems a bit too complicated. Why do it yourself when you can get somebody else to do it for you?

Thomson Holidays has launched an online photo album (www.thomson.co.uk/myphotos) so that you can edit your photo album online, press the order button, sit back and wait for the final printed product to arrive through the post. It takes out all the hassle.

Hope that this helps take the stress out of it all. And yes, I can send you the press release if you want me to.....
22nd Feb, 2006 12:14 (UTC)
Everyone's welcome!

Online photo services are the GALMI approach (Get A Little Man In, as Honor Blackman used to put it) but DIY is good when you want that instant gratification. Or when you want a template that's a little different from the standard - I recently turned the diary of my New Zealand travels into a 20-page document with lots of photos for my mum and I wanted a fair amount of text as well as the photos.

Fascinating to see someone like Thomson offering a service like this; it's hardly their core business but it's going to attract visitors and make the site much more 'sticky'.
24th Feb, 2006 13:33 (UTC)

Another recommendation, I used MyPublisher.com after a recommendation in PC Pro by Lord Honeyball. I have to say the results are excellent; whats slightly annoying is that about three days after I hit the Order button (thus sending the order to New York) I found out that the firm had set up in Bedofrdshire.

It worked a treat with the IPR wedding photos we had :-) The only downside is that the UK operation doesn't appear to produce the very large photobooks that the US operation does.

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


full steam ahead
Mary Branscombe
Simon & Mary

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