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Profile Photo uploads should be redone

KT Walrus

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The UI for uploading and cropping a photo for your profile/avatar is very limited and should be improved. Currently, when you save the uploaded photo, a cropper dialog pops up with a very small version of the photo with a cropping rectangle meant for selecting the portion of the photo to crop for the profile/avatar. The current UI might have been acceptable a few years ago, but these days it just isn't what most users expect.

I believe this page could be greatly improved from the user's point of view.

Here are my suggestions:

  1. Allow uploading of high resolution photos like your smartphone takes by default.
  2. Cropper page should show a much larger view of the photo (e.g., 640px at least).
  3. The cropper page should have a preview area that continuously updates as you move the viewport of the cropper around. The preview area should show the profile photo as it will be seen as an avatar (i.e., either rectangular or circular avatars depending on the current IPS4 theme setting).
  4. The cropped photo should be resized to the resolution according to the ACP setting (e.g., 400x400). The preview area should ideally display the cropped area using this resolution inside a div that is sized to the current theme's Large Avatar size (so the user can tell if the avatar will be blurry due to insufficient resolution for the selected cropping area).
  5. Ideally, I would like to see the cropping process involve 2 steps:
    1. Initial crop is for a rectangular photo on the Profile page (usually, I want a head and shoulders photo that is 400x400). The preview area would show the 400x400 rectangle preview.
    2. After cropping for the Profile page, a second dialog would allow positioning of the profile photo (400x400) inside a preview area for showing as an avatar (circular with only the face showing = head and shoulders photos don't do so well in a circle if not positioned and resized to show as just the face). The repositioned avatar photo should be a second crop of the original high resolution photo rather than just resizing/cropping the already cropped profile photo (400x400) so the avatar photo is as high resolution as is possible.

So, I am suggesting that IPS4 don't keep the full size original around after user cropping and possibly keep two versions of thumbnails, one for display on the profile page and the other for display as an avatar (by content posted by the user). That means the the members record would have an avatar photo path and a profile photo path with the profile photo defaulting to the avatar photo if no profile photo has been created by the user (for backwards compatibility with existing profile/avatar photos that haven't been processed with the new cropping UI).

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