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Our smarter, better download experience and some lessons learned

October 2, 2009 - 0 Comments

A few days back we rolled out a new download experience on This new experience is generally a real plus, especially if you routine download multiple images from us.  But we learned some lessons along the way, too.

The new experience features a download manager, and some of the popular benefits include:

  • Ability to add up to 25 images into the download cart and download them in a single transaction.
  • Standard download manager across the supported browsers that is integrated with the download cart allowing multiple image downloads.
  • Reducing the number  of  legal agreements customers have to accept by accepting  one per transaction as opposed to accepting per image.
  • Allows you to provide a destination location once for all images,  instead of having to select the location for each file .  
  • If your connection  drops,  the download manager will restart  the software file you were downloading and continue  instead of requiring that you renavigate through the site and reselect the file(s) to download.

Many of you sent in rave compliments about the new download experience. But, we also saw notes from folks who have previously automated downloads using the old HTML pages (and couldn’t do so any more since we changed the pages), and also from a few people who were having trouble with the Java-based download manager (which works well and cross platform for most people, but not for everyone).

To accommodate folks in this situation, we have now included an HTML alternative to the download manager, which is available now as part of the standard download path. This new capability was released a just week ago and we’re happy to report the feedback has already been very positive.

A good lesson learned is to pilot even the most positive improvements — there may be someone on your site who is dependent on the old interface.

By the way, we posted an online demo of the new functionality in the download manager:

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