MyFonts goes abroad
Feb 27, 2014 by Joe Vieira
MyFonts is going abroad, at least in a way. This week we’ve started localizing the currency in which customers from the UK and Eurozone see pricing on the site. We started in Germany, then the UK and France. We’ll be rolling it out to the rest of the countries over next day.
We spent some serious time thinking about how we want our currency localization to work. Because at the end of the day, what matters is that we deliver a great customer experience. We really hate seeing automatically converted prices. Having a font with an abnormal price (23,72 € for instance) or having the price fluctuate a few cents every day with the exchange rate seemed like a poor solution to us. We also didn’t want to force our foundries to reprice each of their items in every currency.
So we came up with a solution which we think offers the best of both worlds.
Our foundries already have a price set in US Dollars, so we convert it, but we don’t update the price again unless the exchange rate changes significantly. Of course our foundries who want to set prices specifically in each currency can.
This keeps our converted prices reasonably consistent, so customers know what they are going to be paying for a product. On top of that we do some smart rounding to make the prices feel a little more natural.
Our goal was to make the experience feel consistent no matter what currency you use. We’ll continue to refine our algorithms and to make processes like these as smooth and transparent as possible to our customers.
From the development perspective
The development team took this project on with a little bit of skepticism, as we have a large application which has quite a lot of information about pricing on top of which are a few layers of caching to contend with.
Caching and the elimination of race conditions is really important in something like pricing. (We’ve got a pretty vested interest in getting it right.) So we took this project very seriously.
We didn’t want to get into the situation where we changed prices on customers (and foundries) on a daily basis. Exchange rates update very often, but don’t often change by a lot, so we assumed we’d be able to smooth them slightly.
We assumed that database views would make sense from an architectural perspective, and would be performant enough for our needs. Views also make it simpler and quicker to implement. MySQL handles the caching and the query optimization of the data behind the view (obviously with a little help along the way). We felt pretty confident it would be more performant to leave all that data in MySQL until the last minute.
Then we analysed how significantly historical exchange rates have changed, and how much we’d be able to smooth them out without negatively impacting our business or the business of our foundries. We did some math, and it turns out that we were able to float the exchange rate by ± 3%, and it would easily average out over time. So we’ve got some cushion in the exchange rate. While prices will change over the longer term, they stay reasonably consistent week to week and more over smoothing exchange rates won’t impact the business in any material manner.
With our assumptions and data, and knowing that the application layer only needs to know about the price in the local currency, we set out to build a view which would roll all the backend data into what the application layer needed.
Our views used:
- Raw price
- Raw exchange rate
- Effective exchange rate
- Rounding rules for local currency
When we analyzed the performance and the scalability of this approach it was a sure win. We had to adjust some of the queries and format tables in smart ways, but once we optimized it, it was nearly as fast as our native database tables with only US Dollar pricing. The differences are only measurable by thousandths of a second. On top of the database layer we have our standard cache layer (Memcached and APC) which we refactored the interfaces for so that we could have geo specificity. Enabling parts of our caching system to cache object for particular geographic regions.
And with that you’ve got the whirlwind tour of our new currency localization system.
We’re really happy with how it turned out. Hope you are too.
Feb 1, 2014 by Brandon Ferioli
In 2014 we’re kicking off a year of big improvements to the MyFonts site. Over the coming months you’ll see many enhancements to the feel and functionality of the site. This evolution is about more than just prettification; our main focus is to make it even easier to browse and shop our collection across devices of all shapes and sizes.
You’ll see these changes roll out gradually over 2014, and periodic What’s Neue? posts here will keep you informed about what we’re doing and why. We have many loyal users who know and love the current site. Therefore we’ve adopted this gradual, iterative approach to ensure that, as we release changes, we get an opportunity to have a dialogue with them.
To kick off, we’ve used January to put a solid global design foundation in place. Simplifying and modernizing the UI elements used across the site will set the stage and give users a taste of what’s to come.
Header & Footer
The header and footer anchor every page on the site, so it’s natural to begin the evolution of the site by giving these a refresh. In addition to a fresh design, the new header and footer drastically simplify navigation options. We eliminated most of the drop-down navigation menus, making it easier to get where you need to, especially on mobile.
At the front and center of the new header is a nice big search box. Beneath we have one line of navigation as a jumping off point to our most popular sections. We’ve also integrated the sign in process into the header, allowing you to access your account without interrupting your flow on the site.
The footer has seen a similar visual refresh, and gained some new navigation items, including links to additional social media.
Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference. One thing that was really dating the MyFonts look and feel was the beveled button style, reminiscent of something from Windows 98. Now in their place is a clean new button design.
One place where this new design really shines is the ever-important Add to cart button. When we modernized this particular button we not only changed the style, but also enhanced the functionality with a couple new features. The new arrow on the right of the button toggles a contextual menu where you can access albums and other functionality.
Old Add to cart
New Add to cart
We’re excited to continue this evolution of our site. We have some really great stuff coming for our users, including a fully responsive homepage which puts our collection of beautiful fonts at the front and center. Stay tuned and we’ll keep you in the loop throughout the process.
The evolution of MyFonts’ brand marks
The MyFonts wordmark was designed in 2008 by Underware, a group of European type designers. Now, 6 years later, we’re pleased to announce a new addition to the the MyFonts logo family.
We worked again with Underware to create this new submark. The goal was to create a mark that would work well at very small sizes, something our nice swashy full wordmark can’t do. We love our full logo and it’s not going anywhere, but there are lots of places it just doesn’t fit.
Before this new mark, we had been using the first two letters off of our full logo as the favicon and for our social media sites. But it was cramped, and didn’t render well at small sizes, since it was never designed to fit in that space. We had been thinking for a long time we needed something simpler that was designed specifically to be used at these smaller sizes. Something which kept the emotional connection to the MyFonts hand but was simpler in form. Through an iterative process with Underware we found that the best approach was to distill down the form of the My hand shape into what you see here. We simplified the M swoosh and shortened the Y to keep the proportions in an aspect ratio that worked for the various required dimensions.
The new submark is drawn to be optimized for small sizes like the browser favicon and social media. You can check it out in the wild on our twitter or facebook. We’re really happy about how this mark turned out.
P.S. – You can check out Underware’s type design work on our site.
New ways to try webfonts before you buy
We’re pleased to announce that we’ve added our entire collection of webfonts to Typecast’s library to make web typography easier and more efficient for designers.
An in-browser design app that allows you to check for readability, rendering, and beauty, Typecast makes it super easy to create web-ready type systems and make side-by-side comparisons that can help you choose the perfect font for your project.
MyFonts customers can now hop straight over to Typecast from any webfont preview page and create sophisticated layouts with their chosen fonts, try out pairings and download kits of HTML and CSS complete with a free thirty day trial to use on their own site.
We’ve added nearly 90,000 webfonts to their library - check it out today!
Attention web designers: we just added a new feature that lets you try any of our webfonts for 30 days on your own site, completely free. Learn how in this video.
Webfonts on MyFonts just got better
Webfonts on MyFonts just keep getting better. Now every webfont we sell has a Webfont Preview tab that lets you play with headlines, subheads, and body copy so that you can see how any of our webfonts actually perform in the browser.
Once you’ve found a font you like, go ahead and grab the embed code to see how it looks on the site you’re building. We’ll let you try out any font for 30 days, and the best part is it’s completely free!
After you buy, you can use our flexible kit builder to set up your fonts just the way you want them. Then, download the kit and it’s all yours! Try it out today! Show Me A Webfont
Will you be at Ampersand NYC this weekend? If so, swing by the MyFonts table and say hi! Our team will be at the conference showing off our newest webfont features & ready to answer questions and chat. See you there!
One-Click Font Installation
We live in an age of ease: one step is a hassle and two steps is a deal-breaker. So, we’re making font-buying simpler than ever with the addition of Skyfonts: an application that automatically downloads your MyFonts purchases onto your computers.
With this application, you can buy fonts on any device and have them instantly and effortlessly installed onto your desktop. That’s great news for those of you that shop for fonts on the go, because now when you buy a font on your phone or iPad and it will automatically be installed onto your computer.
We’ve completely redesigned SkyFonts and given it a more modern look and feel. Download it today and check it out for yourself!
MyFonts’ New Live Webfont Preview Feature
Webfonts aren’t always easy to explain. They’re basically fonts chosen by the website designer and sent along with a website’s HTML and CSS code to the user. When it comes to deciding on a webfont, it can be tough to make a good choice without seeing it live because some fonts look better in certain browsers and on certain devices than others. To make browsing and choosing these fonts easier, MyFonts now offers a webfont preview feature that allows you to play with all available webfonts online, in real time.
Enter your own content into the preview and adjust the style, weight and size of the font to get a realistic preview of how it will look in different browsers in real time. You can find the Webfont Preview tab on the font family page of any font offered as a webfont. Try it out!
Huge Improvement for MyFonts Users With Retina Displays
MyFonts is making browsing and buying fonts easier, and now more beautiful, than ever. With the latest update to our website, view font sample images in a high-density format that looks awesome on Retina displays.
When browsing through fonts our site, you have the ability to type your own text into the sample text bar and see exactly how those specific characters look in a certain font. You can change the font size and color and play with the OpenType options to get a feel for the intricacies of that typeface. With our latest update of this feature, your preview will now load in a high-density format, taking full advantage of the capabilities of your Retina display.
Check it out at http://www.myfonts.com/bestsellers/.