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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Lightbulb E-mail Product Quote - Usability

    I'm not sure where to post this, because it's more of a UI design question.

    I'm working on a site for a client that involves e-mailing price quotes to their customers. Each price quote can have several products, each of which can be customized with engraving.

    My question is how should I organize the information. Do I set it up just like any invoice or shopping cart view with rows, columns, and borders on the rows? Should I use thumbnails of the unmodified products? I just don't know if this is the best format for email.

    I know the solution seems obvious, but I feel like a web site or an email can present information better than paper. Figuring out how is always the hard part.

  2. #2
    Resident Grump BillyParadise's Avatar
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    Have you considered generating a PDF and sending it as an attachment? Sort of like what you can do in Quickbooks.
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Addict rochow's Avatar
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    I'm a tad confused. If it's just a quote, wouldn't it be all plain text? For instance:

    Code:
    Item                    Price
    Computer Case            $50
    CPU                     $100
    ------------------------------
    Total:                    $150
    For emails just use tables, inline styling and nothing fancy and you'll be fine.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    The products also have customization (engraving) applied to them. I need some way to show how each item is customized in the price quote. It just seems that there might be a better way than just adding it as a description in invoice style tables.

    So far, that's the only idea I have.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Addict rochow's Avatar
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    An image that's left aligned or something?

  6. #6
    SitePoint Evangelist Scott.Botkins's Avatar
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    I use 2checkout.com which sends out invoices by email.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Zealot
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    What you can do is send an email with the invoice attached as a PDF, along with a link to a web-based version of the invoice. That way, they can print the PDF if they wish, and also view a prettier version of it online.

    You can use something like FPDF to generate the PDF on the fly, and insert images etc. It is quite involved to set up the custom invoice layout using FPDF, but once it's done, you're good to go.

    As an example, WHMCS uses this type of system.

  8. #8
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    Wouldn't it make sense to email them and let them know there invoice is "now ready", and make them click a link to view it. That way you can better track who viewed their invoice, etc.


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