Scaling Interactive Content Creation: How to Create a Brand Template in 5 Easy Steps
October 27, 2017 | MattDerman
One of the advantages of the SnapApp platform is how customizable every content experience can be. No two SnapApps (interactive content expereinces) need ever look quite alike — they can have different page sizes, layouts, color schemes, what have you. But at times, this customizability can feel a little unnecessary or even overwhelming.
What if you’re looking to create a whole collection of SnapApps with a similar look and feel? What if there are some brand elements that you know all of your SnapApps need to include, regardless of the design details? What if you just don’t want to build every new peice of interactive content from scratch?
In those cases (and many others) one option that several of our customers have found useful is creating template SnapApps that can be copied and transformed into full interactive experiences on a repeatable basis.
Here’s an example template you can click around with to see what we’re talking about.
(or other closing and follow copy)
These SnapApps are never published and don’t contain any real content, but are instead created with placeholder content that can be swapped out for specific questions, results, and so forth down the line. Essentially, these template apps become the starting point for any number of future pieces of interactive content.
There are many reasons why having one or more template SnapApps in your account can be helpful, but the most important are that it shortens the time required to build new content, and it allows you to have consistent aesthetics across your SnapApp content with minimal effort. By taking the time upfront to apply your brand guidelines to the placeholder content in the template SnapApp, you avoid needing to do so for each individual SnapApp you create in the future.
Create a Brand Template in 5 Easy Steps
In many ways, creating a template is the same as creating interactive content you intend to publish, only even simpler because the specifics of the content won’t matter so much.
Step 1: Start a New SnapApp
First, you’ll create a new SnapApp. While the content type (assessment, poll, calculator, etc.) you choose isn’t too important—you can always convert future copies of the template to any content type—our recommendation is to build your templates for whatever kinds of apps you expect to use most frequently.
Alternatively, you could create a different template for each content type you use, since each one has its own kinds of pages, questions, and functionality.
Ensuring that every piece of the template is in line with your brand will be essential to get the most value and save the most time when using the template for future SnapApp creation.
Step 2: Add Pages, Text, and Questions
Once you’ve created a new SnapApp and are in the Builder, you’ll add whatever placeholder content you want the template to include. Typically, this means creating a sample title/intro page, perhaps with a text box that simply reads, “Title Text Here.”
Placeholder question pages are definitely key, and it’s best to create at least one question of each available type. For instance, having one single select question, one multi-select, one slider bar, etc.
You can fill out the question and answer text in the same way as you did for the title page: “Question 1” or “Single Select” for the question itself, with answers like “Option 1” and “Option 2” or the like.
Repeat this process for whatever kinds of pages you want handy in your template. Create a placeholder lead form, results pages, thank you pages, and other content pages between the questions, and so on.
For any page you create, add some text boxes and/or other content that serves to remind/instruct anyone who might later copy this template as to what content belongs on each page.
Step 3: Apply Brand Style
Make sure to also keep your branding in mind and apply that along the way. So every text box or question you add to the template should be in your brand’s fonts and colors, and be sized in accordance with your brand guidelines. The same goes for background colors or images, buttons, and other such elements, up to and including adding your company’s logo on one or more of the pages.
Ensuring that every piece of the template is in line with your brand will be essential to get the most value and save the most time when using the template for future content creation.
Step 4: Naming and Saving
Be sure to give the template SnapApp a name that will let everyone know what it is, such as “SnapApp Template—Do Not Publish.” This will help you avoid making the mistake of transforming the template app itself into other content, rather than copying it to use as a jumping off point. Also, as with any SnapApp, make sure you save the template as you go.
Now that you’ve got all the placeholder content and brand decisions in place and saved, all that’s left is to make copies of the template to use for new interactive content moving forward. To do so, click the Copy button that shows underneath the title of your SnapApp from the My SnapApps screen you see when you first login.
You can then rename the copy to be whatever title you want the new content to have and, if necessary, even convert it to a new content type (so if, say, your template is an assessment, you can still use it for the creation of calculators, polls, or any other interactive content type).
Step 5: Start Creating
The new, copied SnapApp will have everything you added to the template, so all you should need to do is swap out the placeholder content with the content you want for this new SnapApp. Using the examples above, you could edit the textbox that says “Title Text Here” to be the actual title of your new content.
You can insert the specific question and answer text for this experience into each placeholder question. If you want multiple questions of the same type (e.g. 3 different slider bar questions) you can copy the appropriate page as many times as needed, then enter the correct copy for newly created page.
If there’s anything from the template that you don’t need in the new SnapApp, simply delete that element or page completely—they will still be present in the template SnapApp even if you remove them from the new copy.
As you swap out the template’s content, all of the branding will stay in place, so you shouldn’t need to do much editing of the fonts, colors, and/or sizing of any given object. You may find you don’t even need to reposition everything if your new SnapApp is going to match the layout of the template.
Basically, if you get the copy and functionality of the new SnapApp set up the way you want, most if not all of the design should already be done for you. This will get you to a fully built interactive content experience that much faster, and ensure everything you create in SnapApp has a consistent and cohesive look.
Creating template SnapApps is a great way to equip yourself to produce interactive content that looks and feels the way you want it to consistently, scalably, repeatedly. The templates provide you with pre-branded pages and content that can then be copied and edited as many times as needed on an ongoing basis to allow for faster, simpler, easier app building for anyone and everyone on your team.