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[IP.Gallery] Selecting Images to Move

Joel R

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When I am in a category and need to individually select images to move to other albums, I've encountered multiple difficulties that I hope IPS will address.  This one goal has revealed multiple workflow and UIX difficulties in IP.Gallery.  

Where shall I begin:

  • When I select an image to move, I can't move into a new album.  I can only move into an existing category / album.  This, by itself, brings up a workaround that I need to create an album in advance - but oh wait, in order for me to create an album, I am forced into another workaround to upload a token image.  These token images, upon creating multiple albums, start to fill up the Activity Stream.  My users, bless their hearts, gave me 3 "likes" on these token images before they started to become bewildered on why I was uploading blank images en masse.  XenForo Media Gallery allows images to be moved into a New Album as part of the move process.  IP.Gallery, on the other hand, requires 2 workarounds to accomplish the same end result.  There is a workflow issue to address here.  


  • When I select an image to move, the listing display of albums is both slow and overwhelming when a user has hundreds of albums.  Really.  It takes a long time for the modal window to appear, and it's sorted chronologically ascending by Most Recently Created.  Your engineering team is more than welcome to test on my community.  So not only do I need to wait for the modal window to appear, I then need to scroll through hundreds of albums to get to the bottom of the album list.  I have two suggestions on this: 1) Sort albums Ascending by Most Recently Created; 2) Even better, allow a tree structure of both categories and albums which is a far more elegant and structured approach for complex galleries.  There are both performance and UIX issues to address here.  


  • When I select multiple images to move, the selection process becomes difficult for large-scale moves.  I think I know why: unlike a traditional gallery where every thumbnail has the same max dimensions which means every thumbnail is the same distance from each other, IP.Gallery uses a masonry style layout.  That looks nice and modern, but it also means every image is a different height and width from the next image.  In turn, that means the distance to selecting the next checkbox is a different height and width.  There's no muscle memory.  I know this seems like a trivial concern at first ("why Joel, you need to click better"), but when you've selected 30+ images on a page and accidentally misclick on the next image's checkbox (which therefore redirects you to the Image details page, which WIPES OUT all prior selections when you go "back"), this can truly be problematic.  The checkbox is very, very small.  Now imagine that you go back, and try again for a second time, and -- whoops -- another misclick, so you start all over yet again.  My patience has been rubbed raw by this problem.  I have two suggestions on this: 1) The most elegant solution I've brainstormed is to offer an "edit mode,"  which turns the entire image into a clickable interface.  That makes it easy to select the entire image to move, instead of only the tiny checkbox.  One click to select the image, two double-clicks to redirect to the Image details page.  2) Another solution is to remember prior selections, in case you redirect to the Image details page and then return to the category page.  There is a UIX issue to address here.  


To let IPS know the scope of my recent experience on moving images, I went through 26 sub-categories containing 4500 images to be moved into 350 albums.  I challenge IPS' Management and Developers to re-organize a single category of only 220 random and mixed images into 12 new albums.  Try it.  Really.  

I continue to assert that IP.Gallery is appropriate for micro-galleries, where each user has a handful of images in a handful of albums / categories.  When you have such little content, any management tool more than suffices and IP.Gallery could be an appropriate solution.  But for large-scale galleries, it becomes evident that IP.Gallery lacks the thought and deep understanding for efficient and large-scale administration.  I ask that IPS explores the concerns for large-scale galleries, since getting it 'right' with the appropriate tools and processes at this level means getting it right at all levels.

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