Threadless: Help Decide What Designs Are Out on the Streets

Have you ever given much thought to the designs that end up on a T-shirt? No, not the standard T-shirt that everyone and their dog owns but the unique designs that make you think, “Dang, why didn’t I think of that?” If you have, then Threadless is going to be the app for you.

The app, which allows you to vote on designs submitted by the Threadless community, gives you the power to determine which designs get printed, as well as some of the power. You can also browse the online store, order something from the shop and have a bit of fun with the Doodle Pad and the Festasizer. I’ll cover all these features plus some of the less exciting in-between bits after the jump.

Getting Started

Threadless is a community-based company that prints designs that have been created and voted on by fellow community members. In the past you had to go to the website if you wanted to rate the designs, but with the Threadless app you can now do this wherever you happen to be.

You’ll know the app has loaded when you see the home screen, which features Mr. Milk Carton and Mr. Chocolate Chip Cookie. If you have plans to spend hours of your day scoring designs, then you will also need to create a Threadless account. This is done via the website, and then you can then use the account details in combination with the Threadless app.

The Threadless app homescreen

The Threadless app homescreen

Score Some Designs

One of the core functions behind Threadless is the scoring system. Users submit designs to Threadless, which are then voted on by Threadless community members. The designs that have the highest score at the end of the voting period are the ones that are then printed. You can take part in the scoring process online or via the app. Selecting either the Score Designs icon on the homepage or the Score button on the bottom menu bar will take you to a list of the current open challenges.

Vote in a Threadless challenge

Vote in a Threadless challenge

Choosing one of these challenges will show you an overview of the challenge, followed by the designs that have been submitted. These designs will appear one by one and you use the scoring scale on the right of the screen to score the designs (5 is high, 1 is low). You can scroll down to see extra images of each design.

A submitted design with scoring scale on the right

A submitted design with scoring scale on the right

You will only be able to score a couple of designs before being asked to log in, so make sure to sign up for an account if you want to do more with the app.

Log-in to continue scoring

Log-in to continue scoring

Get Ready to Shop

If you are in the mood to do a little shopping, then you’re in luck because the Threadless app offers you that opportunity. You can either tap on the chocolate chip cookie holding a Shop Our Stuff sign located on the home screen or tap the Shop button at the bottom of the screen to head over to the shopping arena. No matter which way you come into the shop, you will be greeted with a screen that has the shop broken down into a number of categories, including guys, girly, babies, kids, other stuff, the monthly club, gift certificates and art prints.

Browsing for a T-shirt

Browsing for a T-shirt

The actual process of shopping is similar to any other online clothing shop — you find your shirt, select your size, adjust the quantity and add it to your shopping basket. If the size you want is currently out of stock, you can request a reprint directly from the app. To checkout, you select your shopping cart at the top right of the screen and then follow the checkout instructions. The Threadless app does allow orders from international customers, a welcome sight to see.

Going a Little Wacky

Threadless wouldn’t be Threadless without a little fun and that spills over into the app. Under the Wacky Stuff tab on the menu bar you will find a Doodle Pad and a Festasizer. The Doodle Pad gives your inner T-shirt designer a little space to be creative by decorating a template. You can change the colour and equipment via the pen icon to make your masterpiece that extra bit more special. The More button let’s you save your piece of art to your photo album and/or send it via email.

A little design I whipped up earlier

A little design I whipped up earlier

The Festasizer helps you to spice up your photos by adding a number of different funny, quirky and weird overlays to your camera. Each of the photo overlays has a small description accessed via the question mark at the top left corner of the screen.

Example Festasizer overlays

Example Festasizer overlays

The Less Exciting Buttons

I promised you that I would cover the less exciting stuff and I never go back on my promise, so here is all you need to know about the Home, About and Settings sections.

Home

To return to the home screen at anytime, you can just click the house icon in the bottom left corner of the screen. You’ll quickly be greeted again by Mr. Milk Carton and Mr. Chocolate Chip Cookie.

About

The About button takes you to a short, three-screen tour about who Threadless are, what they do and the scoring process. From the last screen you have a direct link to the current challenges open for scoring.

Settings

Less is more seems to be the theory behind the Settings page of the app. You can login using your Threadless ID (if you have one), set-up your sharing settings, view the official challenge rules and keep track of the number of designs you have scored and your average score.

Conclusion

The Threadless app has a simple and fun design. I love that international orders are accepted and that the app continues with the Threadless ethos of supporting designers by ensuring that the designer’s name appears at the top of their design. The primarily landscape orientation of the app does drive me insane and I wish the developers would at least allow me the option to change to portrait view. It saves me from fruitlessly turning my phone around in all directions hoping that it will change.

All in all, the Threadless app isn’t going to change your life but then it wasn’t really built to do so. Think of it as a handy addition to the Threadless community or a resource to entertain you when you just missed the bus and the next one doesn’t arrive for 10 minutes. Plus, it’s free. So, if you end up not liking the app you can always remove it without a twinge of guilt.


Summary

Browse the shop, score designs and doodle your latest design — an entertaining addition to the Threadless package.

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