Deke McClelland has built a custom panel for Photoshop CS4 (you’ll have to register on his site to get to it), and the Configurator team has written a user guide you can download from John Nack’s site (PDF). There is a lot of potential for the Configurator to be not only a useful tool for end users, but a marketing channel for those who would otherwise not have access to massive online campaigns.
Those of you who have spent any time with me in any public place, or watching TV, or pretty much at all will know that I am not a fan of advertising in general. I think the concept is needed, but the execution by most companies leaves a lot to be desired. I’ll rant about that some other time, but in summary I don’t like invasive advertising.
So, why do I think Configurator is a good thing? Because it lets unknowns and independents like myself have an opportunity to create advertising that is affordable, has the potential for a much higher return on investment (ROI), and most importantly, is useful. The devil, says you. It’s true, says I! Anyone can build a Configurator panel with a little practice, and you can include branding and streamed information right to the user’s Photoshop work area. If you are really tricky and creative, I bet you could even target advertising and instruction based on what the user is doing right now.
Let’s say you have built a tutorial that includes video instruction. With some fancy scripting, you can tie video clips and other information to the buttons on the Configurator panel, allowing a video tutorial to be interactive – that lets the user proceed at their own pace, advancing the tutorial along with the actual clicks. Or, you could use a toggle to include helpers and descriptions on tools in the panel, so that a user can see why you chose a certain set for some particular operation.
With any luck, I’ll be able to play with this in the near future, but if anyone out there has the chutzpah to move forward, please do!