This is the first in a series of posts concerning a survey that I conducted among some digital sewing pattern testers a few weeks ago. The initial post is here: https://fruitfrommyhands.com/2016/04/14/a-survey-for-sewists There was another post that prefaced this whole journey here: https://fruitfrommyhands.com/2016/04/11/what-digital-pattern-customers-want/.
As I embark on this research about digital .pfd patterns, my first thought is about printing. My first question was “How do you use .pdf patterns?”. It was a multiple choice question, as were most of my questions. The possible answers to this question were “print the pattern”, “view the pattern completely on a device”, or “a combination of both print and view on a device”.
I personally do not own a home printer. It has been an exercise in futility to maintain an inkjet printer in my house. The ink never lasts longer than the few days after it is put in and that cost is much too steep for the few pages that I would print. I’ve spent many hours working on aligning the print head, etc. No. I do not own a home printer. When I purchase a pattern, I instantly print the pattern in its entirety at the library and take it home to peruse. I was curious if I was the only one who does that sort of thing. Lately, I’ve been saving my knitting patterns to a cloud storage area and viewing them when I need to use them. So does that behavior carry over to sewing, I wondered.
Only 32% of respondents print the pattern. A whopping 60% or respondents use the pattern by both printing and viewing the pattern on some form of technology.
It appears that not everyone is like me. A majority of pattern users are not printing the entire pattern. Almost no one is viewing the pattern completely online. Sewists are viewing the patterns on a device or pc of some sort with selected printed pages in hand. So why are pattern designers not keeping that in mind when they design patterns?
Points to ponder: I know in my day job, many hours and dollars have been spent in the world to make all webpages mobile-friendly. So why aren’t we? Has anyone thought of designing for mobile or pc screens. Screens display differently. It is different than designing for print. The aspect ratios are different. The screen format is different. Has anyone thought of that?
Knitting hobbyists have an app that stores .pdf patterns and allows a user to view and annotate them. Why have sewists not thought of this yet?