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New 2.1 screenshots, a Content Source and important announcements

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I bet you thought there wouldn’t be an update this week, since we were all shaking off the long weekend, huh? Not so!

We’re ecstatic to see that you all seem as excited about the coming release as we are, and so we’re still charging ahead with our work on SlideDeck 2.1. In this week’s update, we have some more screenshots for you, we’ll reveal a new Content Source, and share some of our plans for the new Addons system that’ll really shake things up.

Bring on the pretty pictures

First, let’s take a look at what sparkly treasures our design team has unearthed from the pixel mines, shall we?

Custom Slide editor

Custom SlideDeck editor | Click to enlarge | Compare to the last version

We’ll start with the Custom SlideDeck editor this time, since this one has evolved the most since our last check-in. You can see here that the team has really paid a lot of attention to the slides navigation area at the top – not only with the custom icons to indicate what kind of content you’ve entered into each one, but also with little cues like the grooves to indicate that you can drag and drop the slides to sort them. Now, of course you’re not simply limited to only 5 custom slides – once the total number of slides exceeds the width of this bar, we’re planning to wrap them to 2+ rows. Why not have them slide left to right? Because dragging & dropping an icon to an off-screen area kind of sucks as an interaction. It’s far easier to sort a grid, than a partially-visible row!

You’ll also note the clearly defined content types available for each Custom slide. With just these four options, you’ll be able to create an extremely media-rich and varied experience within a single SlideDeck. Now, of course, each content type has its own particular configuration needs, and there’s no way we’d present you with a giant menu that simply throws them all together. This meant getting a bit clever with our ‘flyout’ menus:

Custom SlideDeck Content Flyout menus

Custom SlideDeck Content Flyout menus (Warning, epic PNG ahead!) | Click to see the full image

Much like the Content Source configuration panels you all know and love, we gave each Custom Slide type its own dedicated menu to streamline the process of entering and adjusting your content. This meant laying out each state and interaction – hence the epic PNG lying just behind that link above. Even though it’s a lot more design work to create multiple menu screens, we took this approach to keep the overall user experience simplified, and focused solely on the task at hand.

Ok, last one for now:

SlideDeck Manage screen

Revised Manage SlideDecks screen | Click to enlarge

The new Manage SlideDecks screen is drastically simplified, to offer users a simple choice: would you like to automatically create your SlideDeck by pulling from dynamic Content Sources, or build it slide-by-slide? Quick, easy and relatively painless. One challenge that we’re on the cusp of solving is the icon that accompanies each SlideDeck in the listing area below – how do we choose which one to show if Dynamic SlideDecks can now accommodate multiple Content Sources? We’ll, uh…get back to you on that one…

A brand new Content Source

Now that we’ve got your attention, let me tell you a story – one slow, lazy Thursday afternoon (that’s a lie, they’re never like that – but it’s good for the story, ok?), our developer Jamie casually sauntered over. “Hey guys”, he said, trying to appear nonchalant, “What do you think about 500px, as a new Content Source for SlideDeck 2.1?”. “Wow, that’d rock – too bad we can’t fit it into our schedule…”, we said.

That’s when Jamie broke into a huge grin. “Oops – I kinda already built it.”

500px is coming to SlideDeck 2.1!

That’s right, folks – as of SlideDeck 2.1, you’ll be able to create awesome image galleries using your exquisite photography on 500px, the hottest new photography community to hit the web since Flickr turned our worlds upside down way back in ’04!

Announcing Addons and other new names

Ok, we saved probably our biggest announcements for last. First, the simple one: our License Tiers are getting new names! We’re on this whole kick to provide more value in the different tiers (more on this in a sec), so we felt we should update their names to reflect the groups that are best suited to them. Everyone, say hello to your new License Tiers:

  • Single-site » Personal
  • Multi-site » Professional
  • Unlimited » Developer

Speaking of adding more value, we’re always on the lookout for opportunities to make things better, and SlideDeck’s functionality is no different. We’ve created new tiers of the plugin so that you can tailor the functionality to your specific needs. As of the 2.1 update, you’ll be able to purchase and install Addons from within the plugin that enhance the functionality of your sliders! Think of them as little plugins within SlideDeck. To begin with, the Addons will simply grant Professional and Developer (Multi and Unlimited) License holders access to the more advanced functions of SlideDeck, but we’re planning to make additional Lenses, Content Sources and other awesome stuff available via this system down the road.

Here’s a quick summary of how it’s all going to play out for the 2.1 update. Important Note: Current SlideDeck 2 customers won’t lose any functionality as a result of this change to the tiers – we promise.

Personal (Single-site) License

  • Use on one site
  • Has access to all Content Sources (except Your Media Library and List of Videos sources)
  • Has access to Multi-source functionality

Professional (Multi-site) License

  • Use on up to 3 sites
  • Includes all functionality in the Personal License, plus
  • Image, Video and Rich Text Custom Slide types

Developer (Unlimited) License

  • Use on up to eleventy-billion sites
  • Includes all functionality in the Professional License, plus
  • HTML Custom Slide type, and the ability to create custom Lenses

Now, you may be wondering how we’ll ensure that no-one loses any functionality? It’s actually pretty easy: all current Single-site License holders will get a FREE upgrade to the Professional Tier, once this update goes live!

Ok, that was a lot of typing, so for those of you who hate reading, here’s a quick sketch summary of what’s about to go down for current SlideDeck 2 customers (hint: basically, everyone wins).

An illustrated guide to the new Tiers for SlideDeck 2.1

An illustrated guide to the new SlideDeck 2.1 Tiers | Click to see the full diagram

 Whew, we covered a lot of ground in this one! Ok, you have tons of questions, I know it, so let us hear them in the comments!

 

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Comments (23) Responses

  1.  

    Jordan

    So the single license is only $49 now? Glad I paid $79 for it a few months ago…

  2.  

    Colin

    Jason,
    You say current Slidedeck 2 customers won’t lose any functionality as a result of the tiers. Does this include Custom Lenses?
    Thanks!
    Colin

  3.  

    paul

    So guys what do you think make some changes let the custom HTML work for pro tier.

    Please

  4.  

    Geert Hakze

    This upgrade also for not Word Press Users, We waiting…..

  5.  

    Cole

    I’m somewhat on Maggie’s train here.

    The reason we began buying Slidedeck for our sites was because it had a nice feature set for the end user and WE COULD CREATE CUSTOM SKINS.

    Without the ability to make a slider, specifically a post slider, look like we want it to – style all of the text, read more buttons, set image sizes, remove or apply specific backgrounds, customize the prev/next, etc – Slidedeck doesn’t do much of us as deisgners/developers.

    I’m primarily a designer, maybe more tech savvy than some, less so than a developer. I don’t want dig into a bunch of javascript and the guts. I want to control the look via CSS and leave the function to rock and roll. I’ve mentioned this before, once a client desires to have the slider look a certain way, Slidedeck2 is toast for us. And that is the norm for our client base.

    I understand catering to the end user, but I don’t think end users are your primary market…are they? I’m thinking it’s designers and developers.

    We’re finding that our end users rarely ever touch the Slidedeck interface within WordPress and they don’t create their own new decks either. I’m sure there are some that will. But, what this means is that if during a project we determine a post slider is best for a client’s needs, we can set one up and leave it until they desire something else.

    With the advent of this no-customization scenario, we’ll end up using others sliders that do one thing at a time. Clients will be happy and we’ll be able to customize.

    I don’t know…Slidedeck seems to be moving away from the reasons we liked it. Right now, I have 4 pending projects with proposed slider features. The design concepts were based on being able to customize the look. Poof! Slidedeck just dropped off the program for all four. A 5th already ended up with a basic vslider instead for the same reason.

    Maybe we’re not your primary target. It sure seemed that you were targeting us designers before. Now it’s “designers in handcuffs.”

    •  

      Jason

      Hi Cole

      We’re not removing the Custom Lenses feature – just reserving it for advanced users who purchase the Unlimited/Developer license. We’re also working on documentation to help explain how to go about creating your own Lenses. There are literally millions of different looks you can already achieve without even touching a line of code in SlideDeck. Finally, we continue to offer the SlideDeck Developers Kit, for those people who need to control the CSS and markup. Given these four items, there’s a lot of customization potential. Can you explain what else you would need in order to get the level of customization you wanted, exactly?

      Jason

  6.  

    Maggie

    Jason,

    Like Paul, I’m surprised you wouldn’t include the Custom HTML Slide to the Professional level privileges. In your May 11 update (why aren’t any of your posts dated?), “Looking Ahead: Upcoming Features In SlideDeck 2.1,” you announced the addition of Custom Slides like so:

    “Even though it’s nice when all the work is done for you, we definitely know that sometimes you want to present your content just so, and it’s times like this when you need granular control to really get under the hood and craft your masterpiece. That’s why we’ve decided to enable the creation of custom slides containing your own HTML in SlideDeck 2.1.”

    Great, super—this function’s absence seems to have been the number one complaint about Slidedeck 2.0 versus the original.

    You then went on to tell us we wouldn’t have to pay anything else on top of the (at least) $80 license fee we’ve already paid:

    “Oh yeah, and did I mention that this update will be free to all current SlideDeck 2 users? (You’re welcome!)”

    Personally, I found this remark to be pretty silly, since frankly, do you know of other developers who charge updates for incremental updates issued two months after initial release? Me neither. Never mind the fact that according to your own terms, a license entitles the owner to “free updates for a year.”

    But now you guys have essentially gone back on what you promised us then: Custom HTML Slides for your existing customers. Your rationale to Paul— only those who manage “a number” of sites will require customization—doesn’t hold water.

    Additionally, current license holders assigned to the Professional Tier will now no longer be able to create custom lenses.

    The more you guys give, the more you take away. You risk, maybe even guarantee, alienating your best marketing tool—your early adopter customers who took the plunge with you on SlideDeck 2.0.

    Existing customers, to whom you’ve promised free updates for a year, should get what they thought they were paying for.

    If you guys follow through with your plan in this form, I’m going to recommend the $25 SliderPro or the $20 uBillboard over Slidedeck 2.0—I won’t have a choice.

    Seriously disappointed.

    •  

      Jason

      Hi Maggie

      First of all, sincerely, thank you. They say that the opposite of Love isn’t Hate, it’s Indifference – so the fact that you care enough about SlideDeck is taken positively.

      Ok, let me address your points here:

      – On the update not being free: despite the fact that some features are reserved for our Developer version, all current SlideDeck 2 customers will be getting massively upgraded functionality with the 2.1 update at no extra cost, so I think that still counts as a free update – as for calling it out, not everyone reads the terms and conditions, so we figured it couldn’t hurt to mention it =)

      – On the Custom Lenses feature: We found that very few people are creating custom Lenses right now (we’re working on documentation to encourage people to take the plunge), and those who do are primarily owners of the Unlimited (soon to be Developer) License anyway, so they remain unaffected. Granted, there will always be outliers, but we’re open to addressing these folks’ needs on a case-by-case basis.

      – On the Custom HTML feature: This is a power feature, so we’re reserving it for advanced users. Like Uncle Ben says, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” – having the ability to enter code is awesome if you’re comfortable with code. If you’re not, there’s not a lot we can do to automatically prevent incorrectly-formatted code from breaking your SlideDeck, which results in us needing to provide a lot more support. We’re a small team by choice, so we always need to carefully balance the need to support the products we build, and actually building and improving the products you enjoy, so we made a conscious decision to reserve this feature for Developers who likely need less assistance with it. We’re also providing Multi/Professional License users who need more control over their slide layouts the Custom SlideDeck function, for which you don’t need to use HTML. So basically everyone wins.

      I hope this helps explain the changes with more clarity.

      Jason

  7.  

    Chris

    Excited for the new features but a little worried too. I really want to use a custom HTML slide as a 1st and last slide for dynamic decks – usually either WordPress Posts or Flickr slideshows. It looks like you’ve separated the custom HTML slides into a manual deck type that will prevent me from using this the way I’d imagined. To clarify – what I’m taking away from this post is that if I want a custom HTML slide then I will need to choose the Manual deck type, and exclude the dynamic content sources. There are already a million other sliders, including slidedeck 1, that allow for a deck made up completely of custom html slides. It seems to me like the most logical reason for anyone to want custom HTML slides in Slidedeck2 is to make call to action slides that are interspersed within the dynamic content to make it more compelling and actionable. So will I be able to use custom HTML slides with dynamic content sources or not? Thanks.

    •  

      Jason

      Hey Chris

      Currently, no, you won’t be able to use custom HTML slides around dynamic sources. We do still offer the Covers feature, which lets you create starting and ending/Call-to-Action slides around both dynamic and custom content, so that’s a start for you. The tricky thing is that if you want to construct a very curated message with your slider, you typically need control over ALL slides, instead of just the first and last one, since the dynamic content is just that – dynamic.

      We’ve had a couple other folks ask about the possibility of custom HTML covers – we’ll look closer at implementing this if it seems like it’s something a lot of people would like.

      Jason

  8.  

    Chris

    Will there be a function to show X number of slides at a single transition. That is, instead of seeing one slide, then sliding to the next, will there be options to show 3 slides, then when you click on the next arrow, ALL 3 slide out, and 3 more slide in.

    •  

      Jason

      Hey Chris

      Hmm, you know, we did prototype out a couple of Lenses that did something similar. If enough people want this, we could take a look back at those designs. I suggest you submit a feature request via our contact page!

      Jason

  9.  

    TheSenator

    Beautiful slider and I will definitely be using it in my coming web projects.

    Are there any plans to make the slider flexible for responsive web designs?

    •  

      Jason

      Thanks, Mr. Senator! =) Yes, we’re looking into making SlideDeck responsive, down the road.

  10.  

    Max Richardson

    Very excited about all this – approx release date? :O

    •  

      Jason

      Hey Max – you and me both! All I can say right now is that the update will be coming in June. I know, it’s torture! =)

      Jason

  11.  

    Paul

    Another request is there an easy way to embed display ads on the new pages?

  12.  

    Paul

    Why wouldn’t custom HTML type be available for the professional level?
    I understand having an unlimited license tier type but why would you hold back a feature that could be really useful? I have bought a couple versions of your product and only use it on one site it seems I have to pay a huge premium for what your license level is directed for unlimited licenses?

    Please provide custom HTML slide type at the pro level.

    Paul

    •  

      Jason

      Hi Paul

      We’re changing things around to create distinct tiers that are suited to different groups of SlideDeck users. At the Professional level, we’re offering up more advanced features that give you control over the appearance of slides in order to curate your message – it’s a pretty good fit for marketers who likely don’t ever need to mess around with HTML code, and only manage a few sites.

      Developers, on the other hand, likely manage a number of sites, which is why we included the Custom HTML feature in that tier.

      Jason

  13.  

    Mike Golding

    Hello,

    Will HTML slide support HTML 5 coding?

    r/
    Mike

    •  

      Jason

      Hi Mike

      Yep, so long as the SlideDeck is embedded in a page using the HTML5 doctype, you shouldn’t have any issues with including HTML 5 markup in the Custom HTML Slide type.

      Jason

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