Since we launched Fusion Yearbooks in 2008, we’ve always focused our efforts to answer this simple question: “How can we make the yearbook creation process easy and fun for everyone?”
Let me tell you one thing: our September 2016 release is a big step towards this goal. If you were a little lost when you opened the yearbook builder for the first time, worry no more: we’ve made it simpler. If the approval process wasn’t crystal clear for you before, you can rest assured: we’ve fixed this.
Let’s see what’s new.
Our yearbook builder… and You
New to the yearbook business? Then, you’ve been looking for a solution to create your yearbook, flipped through several websites and stopped on Fusion (because it’s awesome). Your first thought might have been: “Hum… Let’s signup for a trial and check it out”.
By default, when creating an account, you land on the yearbook builder, which is under Create, in the main menu (on the left of your screen). Here is what you can see (and also the 6 first points of this article).
01. New info available in the upgrade bar
When signing up to Fusion, you start a 14 day free trial allowing you to understand how Fusion can help you with your yearbook project. The counter will go down until you have just 1 day left before the trial account gets deactivated. If you want to go ahead, simply click the Upgrade button and follow the steps. What’s new here is that, once you’ve clicked the Upgrade button, your project status will appear in the top left corner. This should help avoid any confusion.
Of course, if you have any questions, book a phone tutorial or ask us anything via the live chat (the little smiley icon at the bottom right of your screen).
02. New main menu
What to expect when you work on a yearbook project? You want to create pages of course, manage different things (such as a team, quotes, invoices, delivery, etc.) and order your books when they’re ready to go. Anything else? Then, why should the main menu be more complicated than that? That’s the idea behind our new main menu.
Under Create, you (and your team) can create and preview pages. Under Manage, you can access and manage all your project information such as your project status (all the steps from trial to delivery), your yearbook team (you can invite and organize people as you need), your quotes (you can generate as many quotes as you want to make sure your budget stays under control) and your invoices. Under Order, you can… order your books (confirm the amount of books, options, delivery details, etc.).
“A menu is like a GPS. It’s supposed to help you find your way.”
03. New place for your project title
Your project title is now at the top of your screen. You can easily edit it (it’s just a click away). By pressing the same button, you can also add new projects, which can be useful if you have to manage several projects for the same school (especially if you have to do it over the years).
04. New toggle button for Edit and Preview Modes
Wonder what your page really looks like? Choose the preview mode and you’ll see your pages in spreads. You can flip through all the pages in the same place which is basically a way for you to see what your entire book looks like.
On preview mode, you can also add page numbers, a footer and activate/deactivate the Danger Zone. But the most interesting here is that you can download a PDF proof of your whole book. This becomes very useful when the book has to go in the hands of your teammates for proofreading. Remember, two files will be available here: one for the cover pages and one for the inside pages. They are divided like that because they’re not printed on the same paper (cover pages are thicker). Anyway, when you’re done with proofreading, you can press the Order Now button at the bottom of your screen.
05. A few changes in your personal settings
There, you can edit your user name, email and password. You can also access our Help Centre, filled with How to’s, Step-by-steps, updates and any troubleshooting articles you might be looking for. Finally, you can also choose another language (English and French for now) and logout.
06. A new sticky footer
Want to add pages in your book? This is where it all happens. Select a page type and drag it to your book. On the right side, you’ll also find important information such as the number of Free Premium Images you have left and the most important deadline: your final approval due date (we recommend you update it to have a better visibility on all your deadlines). Again, the little smiley icon at the bottom right is an instant access to our Live Chat. If you can’t find an answer to your question in the help centre, shoot us a message here!
Managing a yearbook project is a piece of cake
We were talking about the Manage button a few lines above. We’ve gathered all the project management aspects of your project under the same section and organized them in 4 tabs. Let’s get deeper into it.
07. A new look for our quote calculator
You can use it as much as you want. You’ll always have the flexibility to make your final decision on your order up to the last minute before printing. Good thing here: you can now select your favorite quote. Once selected, this will also populate the same info in the order section.
Note: our quote calculator supports any orders from 30 to 499 copies, soft and hard cover.
Any orders over 500 copies or including any special printing options is subject to a special quote. When you request a special quote, an email is sent to our sales team. They create and upload the quote for you in the same place (you’ll receive an email alert as soon as it’s available – generally within 48h).
08. A new look for your project status
When is your final approval due date? Who’s the delivery contact? This is the kind of info you’ll be able to manage here. As a bonus, you have access to your project’s status on the right side. It will be automatically updated, and each step time-stamped, so you can refer back to when things happened at any point.
“Everyone needs to know where they are at, anytime.”
09. Team management has been moved under the Manage Tab
Remember, under Manage you have all the features related to project management. That’s why we moved the team management tab here. You can involve as many people as you want, you just need to decide on what they can or can’t do.
10. You can now access, download and pay your invoices online
All your invoices will be accessible here to download and pay.
Ready to order? Too easy.
This is the last step. Remember, under Create, you’re able to create and preview your pages. Then, once your book looks finished and ready, you just have to place your order. Here is how it works.
11. A new way to place your order
If you haven’t selected a quote, you’ll be asked to remind us what you’re up to. By default, the number of pages will be pre-populated from the yearbook builder. You’ll have to add the amount of books, the cover type and printing options. You’ll also find a recap about the premium images you’ve used in the project.
“People are used to online photobook solutions. Our new approval process just respects their habits”.
12. A new way to confirm your delivery information
Same thing here. If you filled up your details before in the Manage section, they will be pre-populated. If you didn’t, you’ll have to enter them here.
13. A new way to download and approve the final PDF Proof
In preview mode, you are able to download several proofs of your work. As that stage, the pdf proofs are in low resolution and are still showing a watermark logo on the premium images.
Here, we’re talking about THE final Print Ready High Resolution PDF (you can only generate it 2 times). Download your final proof (2 files again, one for the cover pages and one for the inside pages). If it’s all good, tick the corresponding box and confirm that you’ve checked everything as suggested (you’ll have to tick several boxes that are here to help you review the final proof).
14. A new way to review and submit your order
After having checked everything, you’ll land on this final step. You’ll see a recap of everything and will just have to review or edit it if necessary. When it’s all good, simply press submit order and you’re all set!
“When ordering online, you want a clear and secure process. We streamlined everything to remove any barriers.”
That’s it for today!
To summarize, we’ve just:
> Made page creation and previews more straightforward.
> Simplified all the project management aspects
> Streamlined the approval process to avoid any confusion.
As always, all these changes have been done thanks to your remarks, questions and behavior on Fusion. As we always want to make things easier, please keep in mind that you can be part of our development process – keep sending your feedback! For that, you just have to let us know what you think or what you need here in the comments, or via email at email@example.com
I hope you enjoy all these new features!
Latest posts by Julien Beuvignon (see all)
- How yearbooks are printed - December 1, 2016
- A comprehensive guide to proofing your yearbook - October 25, 2016
- New Features – 14 Tweaks To Smooth Out Your Yearbook Project with Fusion - September 7, 2016