Rich Media Strategies

Below is a list of strategies to help you optimize the way you manage images in the Rich Media Product..


Consider adopting these strategies for success:

Reviewing and Updating Associated Product Images

In order to get a good idea of how a product will be represented in the Rich Media viewer, the product images can be displayed together. The best way to see all of the Images that are associated is by using the filtering feature in the Image Library

Images can be associated and filtered using many different methods. The most common way a group of images is associated is through the itemID. This piece of data connects images that share the same itemID value and allows for different views and colors to be associated and displayed together in one viewer.

  1. Preparing Image Library Views
    1. Make sure that there is a column with the heading for the data you want to filter, in this case itemID.
    2. If this column isn't visible, click the dropdown arrow next to one of the existing columns and select the checkbox next to the column you want to see.
    1. Underneath each column heading there will be a place to enter a value. To show only the images for a specific itemID, type in that value and click Enter or the Search button.

The list of images will be updated so that only the ones using that specific itemID will be visible on the grid.

  1. Reviewing Records
In this filtered list, it is possible to see at a glance all of the images that can be displayed in a viewer if the images are called by this itemID. You can see the following Core information in the List View:
    • Status - the status of each item tells whether it is in Preview or Live (or neither)
    • Default - which item is the default, or first to display, for this specific group
    • Swatch - swatches for items are displayed if present
    • Metadata - columns can be added to see all metadata associated with each image
    • Uploaded Date - the date and time when the image was uploaded to the product.
    • Modified Date - the date and time when the image was most recently updated
This list view allows you to see if there are any Promises for this group of images - this lets you know if there are any images missing that need to be uploaded to the product.

The 1st column on the left of the grid contains a '+' button which when selected displays all versions uploaded for each record and the uploaded/modified date and additional information. In this view, the status of each version can be updated to Preview or Live based on what is needed.
  1. Updating Records
Once all image records are reviewed, if changes or updates need to be made they can be done so in the detailed view for each item. To enter the detailed view for an item, click on its ImageID and the Image Detail view will pop up over the List View. 
The Detail view allows you to make updates to all of the information and data that was reviewed in the List View, except for the ImageID which is non-editable

Creating Optimal Dynamic Image Parameters and Recipes

There are multiple size, quality and format options that should be considered when creating a path to rich media. Based on the size of the image, how often it will be used and what context it is used for is very important to consider. Some examples of image use and related qualities:

  • Gallery Page Image - This image is seen often, as a customer is browsing the site and it’s categories. Visibility and therefore bandwidth use is higher for this image so finding an optimum file size to quality setting is important.
  • Main Product Image - This is usually a larger image, with a higher quality settings because it is meant to show off the product and it’s details. It takes more clicks to reach this image so it is not visited as frequently and therefore can be higher quality.
  • Cross sell image - This images is smaller, but does not offer much detail but is meant to entice the customer to click and visit the Product image.
  • Thumbnail Image - This image is usually small and can be lower quality, used in checkout lists or other areas as a reminder.

Creating File Paths for each image

When creating the file paths, there are parameters that set the image size, format and quality. The size and format are often requirements that do not have any flexibility. However, quality settings such as compression, sharpness and contrast have flexibility and are important to review before deciding on a final setting.

  • CompressionCompression values, used by the RecipeQuality parameter, can be applied to images that are displayed in the JPG format. 
Using the compression values, the image can be full quality (100) or lowest quality (0) and this is based on standard JPG compression. Although using a full quality image would give the best result, this is often at a high bandwidth cost and often a slightly compressed image is almost identical to the human eye.

The suggested Recipe Quality value for most images is 90%. This will give a very high quality image result while significantly reducing the size of the file. It is recommended that during testing, this setting is the baseline and then using the subjective image quality and objective file size as a guide, making slight adjustments in either direction until the desired result is achieved.
  • Sharpen and Contrast- Using Sharpen and Contrast is almost like a cheat, it allows for improvements in quality without increasing the file size and can be very useful if applied correctly.
    • Sharpen - If an image is slightly blurry when it is viewed at a smaller size, either because of the nature of the product or the way the image was photographed, the Sharpen parameter can be applied to increase the sharpness value of the image and reduce blur. This can give a better effect than increasing the quality without increasing the file size of the image.
    • The Sharpen values range from 0 - 100 and allows for either drastic or subtle changes.
      • ContrastSome images appear to be low contrast when resized because of the colors used in the photography. Applying a Contrast parameter will add contrast to the image without the need to increasing the quality.
      • The Contrast values range from 0 - 5 and allow for subtle changes
    • Application to Recipes - Recipes are a collection of these parameters that are pre-set in the Rich Media prodcut and when called upon will return an image from Rich Media with the specific set of parameters applied.

Once the setting values for each image size have been decided and tested, those same settings can be applied directly into a Recipe with in the Rich Media product. This allows the image to be called with the same size, format, and quality settings without having to include them in the URL path. Instead, only the Recipe name needs to be added.


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