How to test your printer-friendly pages

16Sep08

I’ve noticed something funny about printer-friendly pages. Whether they’re created with separate templates or simply generated on the fly with CSS, they don’t always print very smoothly. In fact, some of them crash my browser every time. This raises the question: why aren’t these problems being caught in the testing process?

Even if printable pages are being tested, they probably aren’t being tested the right way. To do this properly, you need to try several different options for each page:

– Print scaling: 100% vs. 80% (or smaller)
– Background images: On vs. off
– Color space: Full-color vs. black-and-white
– Destination: Physical printout vs. PDF file

Regardless of how you generate your printer-friendly pages, the extra testing will make things a lot smoother for customers. Remember, printing a receipt or confirmation page is often the last step in a transaction. Making that final experience a good one will help customers come away satisfied, rather than upset about why their computer keeps crashing.



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