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 Suggestions for future release
 More basic display templates
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Starting Member

4 Posts

Posted - March 19 2004 :  12:49:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
For the non technical users, having more display templates to plug in would be a big help.
I had Shopfactory for a while, and their (non) handling of product features made me switch to you, but they have great click to choose display templates.

VP-ASP New User

United Kingdom
72 Posts

Posted - March 28 2004 :  11:25:51  Show Profile  Visit jackbox's Homepage  Reply with Quote
From my own experience of VP-ASP, too much of the code is given over to formatting of information. I'm using it on a live site but still find its such hard work (so does my programmer) to get the shop to look the way I want. If anything I've learnt how NOT to build a shop. Its not a gripe as such but as is often the way, developers are rarely designers too and unless a cart is built to give a designer real flexibility at the outset, you can get bogged down with functionality and end up with an unweildy beast to say the least.

Having spent many months with VP-ASP and become very familiar with it, I decided the only way to get what I want is to build a cart from scratch in a JAVA environment and so get back control of aesthetics. Its one thing to have a highly functional cart but its VITAL to look at things from the buyers perspective or you won't sell. A cart is much like a high street shop - you need to present things well. Many of the carts I've seen using VP-ASP are the equivalent of keeping all your wares in a cardboard box - you can't get at them.

Whilst I accept you CAN get some degree of acceptable formatting, it takes MANY MANY hours to get to that stage and is my biggest gripe with this cart. Templates are probably the way forward with VP-ASP but I'd like to see at least 20 or so. Yes you can get this app running very quickly but it can take weeks if not months to get it looking even half reasonable and before you add even more features, it seems a mighty good idea to take stock of just how a designer can work with it before it becomes even more complicated.

As I say its not an attack on VP-ASP since it is better than many, but there are some real flaws in terms of aesthetics that haven't been addressed even in the latest version....

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VP-ASP New User

74 Posts

Posted - March 29 2004 :  14:28:11  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
There are companies who sell VP-ASP templates, and I'm sure they'll jump in here pretty soon. Even so, perhaps some additional template options would be nice in the default package to help demonstrate how versatile the template display method can be.

I also agree that a lot of coding is devoted to formatting and layout in VP-ASP -- I'd like to see a standards-compliant version so I could stop looking in places like shop$colors and tearing out all the hard-coded formatting. I think the VP-ASP folks are trying to move in that direction, but it's quite a project to convert all that code.

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VP-ASP New User

United Kingdom
72 Posts

Posted - March 31 2004 :  06:30:13  Show Profile  Visit jackbox's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yeah you're right. As I say I'm not knocking VP-ASP as it has some wonderful features but it would make things a great deal easier if formatting templates were all kept in one folder for instance? You tend to find that one page is linked to another and so on which makes it infuriating to edit at times.

All the files sit in one directory which is a bit much when you're trying to figure out whats doing what. I note that the VP-ASP guys have recently created a page on this site specific to formatting which is very helpful. Postage would be cool too - lots struggle with that one. On the whole the help guide is ok but perhaps a 'breezier' language style would unlock the often cryptic paragraphs - just a suggestion. After all, there are many who adopt the cart that are more design focused than programmers and (like I did initially) had to read the bit on shipping OVER and OVER again and still felt none the wiser :) More examples would help.

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