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KitFox
12-27-2012, 10:17 PM
Thumbnail - n. A reduce-sized version of an image useful in helping to recognize or identify the full image content while taking less resource to display.

Weasyl has provided an excellent example of applying fancy tech to a thing in a way that breaks the primary purpose of the thing. The thumbnail creation system slices and dices and has all sorts of fancy stuff. The one thing it does not do is make good thumbnails. It gives a tremendous amount of control (sans some important control) to the creators and provides a severe disservice to viewers. That disservice to the viewers ends up being a bane to the site and creators as a result.

Issues:
Size.
Thumbnails are reduced to 120x120 pixels at their largest. How long ago did FA figure out that bigger thumbnails was better? Thumbnails are a bandwidth control item. Bigger thumbnails cost more traffic when they are all loaded, but allow a viewer to make an informed decision on whether they want to view the full image or not. Without enough size to have some detail, there is no informed decision. Then special Javascript tries to fit thumbnails well and will make them -even smaller- in some cases.

Forced square.
As a viewer, I want to see an overview of the picture. That is what a thumbnail is. An overview of the whole picture to try to get a feel for the content. The system forces all non-square images to be cropped into a square thumbnail. This is data discarded and in some cases could be important data to help the viewer decide whether they want to look or not.

Easily-implemented over-cropping.
They are supposed to be thumbnails. Not "teaser crops". Other sites make teaser crops possible, but force the creator to work for it. Creators who work for it know how a teaser crop should work and are doing it intentionally to the best effect, or end up losing views or getting pissed-off viewers. The thumbnail system is nice and fancy, but it is a system that strongly encourages teaser crops made by people who have no idea how to. Thus the end results are uninformative and useless at allowing the user to make a decision about the whole of the picture.

Combined with zero descriptive information other than the base rating on the page or on mouseover, thumbnails as they stand make this place a minefield to navigate at times.

I wanted to give a good bunch of examples, but unfortunately "Random Art" on the front page is very broken at the moment and I am getting more broken submissions, music, and literature than art. But I do have a few examples at least.

The wonderful world of Uninformative Thumbnails. Unless you have seen the full images these are from, I guarantee you couldn't tell me from the thumbnail what the general content of the art is.

https://www.weasyl.com/static/submission/84/e5/c0/99/54/02/76448.thumb.jpg (Explicit)
Is it...
A: Hot luvvins with a purple wolf guy atop a blue and white guy?
B: Topless female cheesecake?
C: A blue and white character licking an ice pop, some of which has dripped on her uncovered breast, as she gives you bedroom eyes while a shadow in the background of the beach scene has an exclamation point over their head and big white eyes as a beach ball is sailing straight towards their head and their distraction will likely prevent them from catching it?
D: A herm with a bulge the size of Manhattan down below and three blimps on her chest (figuratively-speaking)?

https://www.weasyl.com/static/submission/9b/24/47/5e/58/a6/24130.thumb.jpg (Explicit)
Is it...
A: A guy in a cowboy hat in orgasmic bliss as he is licked by his lover, whose face is covered with the creamy results, a campfire in the background with the cows snoozing with little zzz's over their heads except one cow who is staring and has a little thought bubble with a bottle of milk and a question mark?
B: Topless female cheesecake?
C: A brown-colored frog with a slime tentacle sounding him and shoving something the size of his head in his rear?
D: A chained, Nazi cockroach being raped until she bleeds by a disembodied manhood larger than her waist?

https://www.weasyl.com/static/submission/7d/cf/0c/68/2e/38/76454.thumb.jpg (Tame)
Is it...
A: Some flowers on the wallpaper behind a photo of a cat looking bored?
B: Fully-clothed female cheesecake?
C: A Windows 8 lock screen graphic of a brown canine in a kimono licking his lips as he ushers you through a Japanese-style printed rice paper doorway that he is sliding open, where in the shadows beyond is a sharp-toothed monster smile just below a smoking yellow eye and scary-looking red symbol on a beast waiting to make a quick meal of you?
D: Two bird bards in a flowering tree playing panpipes for the raccoons and squirrels below?

Needless to say, I made it easy by giving multiple choice. Without those possibilities, trying to discern the content would be nearly impossible.

The answers are B, D, C, by the way.
I skipped one I found that was extreme fetish because I couldn't find a suitably non-super-graphic way to describe it.

TL;DR version:
The thumbnails don't do their job because the tech to make them is too fancy and lets people screw them up too easily. Make bigger thumbnails of the whole picture be the default and have people upload from their system if they really feel they have the skill to create a decent teaser.

Thank you.

(In other news... If thumbnails stay the way they are now, maybe we should have Weasyl Thumbnail Roulette. Slightly more dangerous than the Russian version because once you see, you cannot unsee...)

Aden
12-28-2012, 02:46 AM
Hey KitFox, greatly appreciate the input. We're going to have The Big Discussion soon amongst the technical staff about revamping our thumbnails, and I think most of us agree that non-square thumbs are going to be the better path going forward. I'm already planning on ripping out and replacing how thumbnails and their tooltips are handled on the front end, but there will likely need to be a good amount of rewrites on the back-end thumb stuff as well to accommodate better overall thumbs. The bad news is that it might be a little while yet; the good news is that it's definitely a planned item.

Thanks again, and if you have any additional ideas or wants relating to this, please share!

Hlavco
12-29-2012, 12:29 AM
I've seen lots of posts about this, but this one was by far the most entertaining.

KitFox
01-03-2013, 12:39 AM
I've seen lots of posts about this, but this one was by far the most entertaining.

Thank you. I try. ;) I guess I could reveal my cause for my writing style by griping that the site doesn't really handle written work very well, but that would give away the fact that I write, which would be bad.

I like to give excellent supporting evidence for my cases. Hmmm... Just looking at the front page now, I could get some delightful "What Thumb Is That Anyway?!" content. I should start a thread that just contains the referenced thumbnails and guessing-game style stuff. XD

Spotz
07-07-2013, 05:12 PM
We're going to have The Big Discussion soon amongst the technical staff about revamping our thumbnails, and I think most of us agree that non-square thumbs are going to be the better path going forward. I'm already planning on replacing how thumbnails and their tooltips are handled on the front end, but there will likely need to be a good amount of rewrites on the back-end thumb stuff as well to accommodate better overall thumbs. The bad news is that it might be a little while yet; the good news is that it's definitely a planned item.

Thanks again, and if you have any additional ideas or wants relating to this, please share!


Any News? I would love to make better use of Weasyl, but the Force Cropped, Square Thumbnails just make for an extremely frustrating experience as there is NO way to tell what the full image will contain.

KitFox
07-31-2013, 09:36 PM
Seven months later. No change. I don't think we should hold our breath. Either the site has enough good to make you want to use it despite the way thumbnails work, or it doesn't. I come back to peek and see every once in a while, but I can't really be considered an active user because I don't. The thumbnails make the site too unusable for me, so I stick to FA and IB for viewing and SF for posting.

Fiz
08-05-2013, 12:11 AM
Sorry about the late reply. Unfortunately there's going to be further delay with the thumbnail system overhaul; Aden has been quite busy lately with other matters. Last I heard it's still being worked on, it's just going to take a while longer. Thanks for being patient.

Ben
08-18-2013, 03:25 AM
To be fair, it is entirely up to the user whether or not they want to make a thumbnail that close-up; if they want to make just about the whole picture visible, they're certainly allowed to. After all, even if we didn't have such a system in place, people can very well just do that same crop-job on Paint, and upload the thumbnail.

The reason people usually crop things like that is to entice you to click them so you can see the full thing. Yes, you might not know what the full piece will look like, but if it's something that offends your sensibilities, then one can always use the tag filtering system. However, people do not tag their things correctly all the time-- As such, I'd say a much more dire solution needed here would be a system to ensure the proper upkeep of tags, so filtering actually works. As it is, the way the thumbnail system works now is most ideal. From what I can gather, the real concern is not wanting to click a thumbnail, and see something triggering/horridly offensive to your tastes that shouldn't have ever been visible in the first place, and that's probably what should be focused on.

xarg
12-17-2013, 10:45 PM
Seven months later. No change. I don't think we should hold our breath. Either the site has enough good to make you want to use it despite the way thumbnails work, or it doesn't. I come back to peek and see every once in a while, but I can't really be considered an active user because I don't. The thumbnails make the site too unusable for me, so I stick to FA and IB for viewing and SF for posting.

Pretty much registered on the forums just to say "this". I've been popping on and off the site since it was invite only, and for a long time I had hope that something would come of it. Over the whole time I've been here the issue outlined above is pretty much the main thing killing the site for me and many others. It's just not fun to browse art when the thumbnails are the equivalent of a misleadingly typed out text link in regard to their informational value. They hardly give out any clue about the contents of the image and even when they do, it works rather poorly.

The tag filter doesn't have anything to do with this issue. Users like me aren't afraid of seeing something they don't want to see, we're afraid of wasting our time having to click on everything just to see what's going on in the image. Navigation should not be blind especially when you are browsing artwork to skim for things you might like.

This is very closely related to what was said about "mystery meat navigation" in another thread here.

Hopefully this issue will be taken off the back burner and finally resolved, since it is a major usability and user experience problem. It shouldn't take an year to tackle something like this. Not if you want to fulfill the site's promises as being a worthwhile competitor to a certain other art site.

Ransom
12-21-2013, 04:23 AM
I'm glad to know I'm not the only person who's had a problem with the thumbnails. As it stands, Weasyl's thumbnail system is a hinderance to the site. Just earlier today, I wrote a journal about the major issue (https://www.weasyl.com/journal/21243/stop-making-bad-thumbnails), before deciding to look for threads here.


Weasyl has a lot of cool features, including the ability to easily create a thumbnail on any of your visual submissions. The downside, however, is that a lot of people use that feature very badly! I see it all over the site: submission after submission with a poorly-cropped, super zoomed-in thumbnail that makes it hard to tell what the full picture is about. I think that's about the only thing Fur Affinity's got going over this place — I can tell what most of the submissions are at a glance while browsing that site. Here, when you've got a thumbnail that just shows a face, or a shoulder, or a foot, the submission becomes a mystery.

When you take your image and turn its preview into a tiny, select part of the submission, it's like trying to figure out what image is on a jigsaw puzzle by only looking at a single piece. Consider the importance and all of the effort you put into your image's composition. That quality can still be eye-catching even when the image is scaled down very small, but by cropping it, you're betraying your own work. There are so many submissions on this site, and a passing glance is the chance that you get to draw someone to your art. If nobody can tell what the submission is because of a bad thumbnail crop, it isn't likely to get clicked. And that's a shame; people here are making really cool art, but I fear I might be overlooking some quality work due to short-sighted thumbnails that just do not draw the eye!

So, next time you submit an image, and it comes to that thumbnail cropping page, consider this: just because you can do something doesn't mean you should!

Ben stated that the reason someone makes a cropped thumbnail is to entice the viewer into clicking and viewing the full image. If that's the intent, it's a complete failure. Compare these, and tell me which of the two would you be more enticed to click on:


http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c385/ransomdracalis/weasylcropped_zps001b9d38.png

Do you see what I mean? Everything in the left column is cropped, giving you very little idea of whether or not the image is something you'll like. Everything on the right column is as zoomed-out as it can be, within the square frame that's standard for the site, and offers a way better idea of what's in the picture at just a glance. You immediately know if it's something you like, and also, you'll know if it's something you dislike and can thus avoid it.

Now take a look at the recent uploads of the site (https://www.weasyl.com/search), and see just how many are in the style of the left column. It's out of control.

This is a problem not just for the individual artists, but for Weasyl as a whole. It makes a single submission ambiguous, but collectively, it makes Weasyl harder to browse than other galleries! That's a significant problem! Ease of use is crucial if Weasyl is not only to thrive in the long run, but to avoid ending up on the scrap heap with all the other abandoned galleries, while FA continues to reign in its mediocrity.

The thumbnail cropping feature should be removed. I know Weasyl takes pride in being a sleek site with a lot of cool features, and so some people might gawk at the notion of removing any of them, but for the reasons we've all just listed, I believe this is one feature that is hurting the site far more than it is helping.

Additionally, allowing rectangular thumbnails would be nice, but it's the plague of zoomed-in, cropped thumbnails that are the biggest problem with browsing right now.

I've been a fan of Weasyl since it was new, and contributed to its crowdfunding; I hate to see it not meet its potential. So, I hope the staff here gives these issues serious consideration.

coyttl
12-23-2013, 11:02 AM
I actually like 4 out of the 6 left-side crops.

Sorry. :)

chrisgoodwin
12-26-2013, 02:20 PM
1. Hi there! I would very much like to consider joining Weasyl - are the problems with the thumbnail system, as clearly stated in this thread, with examples, going to be resolved any time soon?

2. The ambiguity of the examples shown in this thread, along with what's currently on front page of the site, are reasons against the usefulness.
What are the reasons for this current system? Is there a plan to make it better?

3. Right now, I don't have an account, so I can't rely on settings/tags/filtering. If all I have to go on is a thumbnail, and that thumbnail is not actually a thumbnail of the whole image, but a cropped depiction of some arbitrary portion - then what options do I have for knowingly viewing what I want to see? Am I missing a display option toggle somewhere?

Thanks!

Ziblie
12-29-2013, 11:55 PM
I don't know if users commenting on this atm are taking into account that if you don't specify a thumbnail, the system will upload a small version of as much of the image as it can fit in the square.

I mean, that said, large thumbnails like FA has would be really nice to see!

KitFox
01-03-2014, 05:51 PM
The only reasons I have found "for" the current system is feature creep. "Look! We have a feature that FA doesn't have!". One could also say that about an ejection seat for the driver of a car if the driver rolls down the window lower than one inch from the bottom. "Look! It's a feature that Ford doesn't have!" "Feature" does not necessarily mean "Good" or "Wanted".

And yes, if you don't specify a thumbnail, it will upload a square-cropped version (so highly-long images are OOL). Sadly, the upload process makes it FAR too easy for the amateur artist to make bad thumbnails and implies that people SHOULD make bad thumbnails. Even something as simple as changing the upload flow from mandatory thumbnail assignment to "Click here to modify the thumbnail" and take them to an out of the way, inconvenient page to do so, would make a major improvement in discouraging people who have no idea what they are doing from messing with the thumbnail.

And as a "business" that has taken in a tremendous amount of money, Weasyl is doing a very shoddy job at fixing major design problems like this in a timely manner. No other good art site does it this way. That's not because they CAN'T or just didn't think of it. It's because it's a bad idea.

They went from BBCode to Markdown, which affects text. But BBCode doesn't affect basic site usability. The thumbnail issue does. And the further they get without fixing it, the more reprocessing they have to do to fix it if/when they do.

No offense to a massive number of talented folks out there, but this is a great example of the sort of thing that makes a person want to say "FFFFffffffff***ing furries". *Sigh* Stop giving the fandom a black eye guys. Sheesh.

Fiz
01-03-2014, 05:57 PM
The only reasons I have found "for" the current system is feature creep. "Look! We have a feature that FA doesn't have!". One could also say that about an ejection seat for the driver of a car if the driver rolls down the window lower than one inch from the bottom. "Look! It's a feature that Ford doesn't have!" "Feature" does not necessarily mean "Good" or "Wanted".

And yes, if you don't specify a thumbnail, it will upload a square-cropped version (so highly-long images are OOL). Sadly, the upload process makes it FAR too easy for the amateur artist to make bad thumbnails and implies that people SHOULD make bad thumbnails. Even something as simple as changing the upload flow from mandatory thumbnail assignment to "Click here to modify the thumbnail" and take them to an out of the way, inconvenient page to do so, would make a major improvement in discouraging people who have no idea what they are doing from messing with the thumbnail.

And as a "business" that has taken in a tremendous amount of money, Weasyl is doing a very shoddy job at fixing major design problems like this in a timely manner. No other good art site does it this way. That's not because they CAN'T or just didn't think of it. It's because it's a bad idea.

They went from BBCode to Markdown, which affects text. But BBCode doesn't affect basic site usability. The thumbnail issue does. And the further they get without fixing it, the more reprocessing they have to do to fix it if/when they do.

No offense to a massive number of talented folks out there, but this is a great example of the sort of thing that makes a person want to say "FFFFffffffff***ing furries". *Sigh* Stop giving the fandom a black eye guys. Sheesh.

I'm sorry but we have a lot more backend coders than we have UI coders (a total of one), which is why it's taking a while to get it fixed.

So, believe me, we're aware the square small thumbnails piss everyone off. It's going to change, just be patient.

charmander
01-03-2014, 05:59 PM
They went from BBCode to Markdown, which affects text. But BBCode doesn't affect basic site usability.

Yes, it does.

FancyOwls
01-04-2014, 04:46 AM
I don't know if users commenting on this atm are taking into account that if you don't specify a thumbnail, the system will upload a small version of as much of the image as it can fit in the square.

I mean, that said, large thumbnails like FA has would be really nice to see!

I'm personally a fan of the square thumbnails. I quoted this because I wanted people to read this again, specifically, "if you don't specify a thumbnail, the system will upload a small version of as much of the image as it can fit in the square" which was already the suggestion. Artists are choosing to crop them in this close when they do it and they are choosing it because they like it. I'm not entirely sure what the browser to artist ratio is when it comes to complaining about this, but obviously if artists didn't like it they wouldn't choose to do it. Myself included.

I like it because I am a fan of having a neat and tidy gallery and it gives me more control over what I am presenting. As an artist keeping a gallery, this is a thing I like having. I like that my gallery doesn't look like a disorganized cluster-fuck of shapes, I like that the squares don't waste precious space. While we're comparing Weasyl to FA in this matter, I would also like to remind people that FA ALSO gives you the option to make square, custom thumbs for your submissions. Which many artists do, especially for their adult work or for their lit submissions. The square thumbs make the site cleaner and easier to look at and I like that they are the way they are from a visual standpoint. Sites with a ton of wasted space to show hundreds of oddly proportioned images just don't look good. This is a thing artists like and are clearly using. This is a thing artists do with their portfolios and personal websites, it is a thing that professional use websites like cghub and conceptart.org do with their artist galleries. It's a feature we like. Otherwise they are free to let the site auto-crop the fuller version of their picture to show everything like in the first post. This is already a feature.

All that said, I don't disagree with the problem from a casual browser's standpoint. I get that a "drive-by" viewer doesn't care about the artist's choices or presentation, that they want to be in and out as fast as possible with the least amount of effort, especially if they are here for porn. I think the easiest compromise would be to have a mini preview (say around 300, large thumb size on the longest dimension), appear upon mouse-over of a thumb. This is something a lot of shopping sites do and I think it works really well. The site gets to keep looking clean and artist get to maintain their galleries to look how they like, and browsers can easily hover and see if they give a shit or not without having to click on everything.

edit: VIEW EXAMPLE OF THIS HERE (http://sta.sh/0pk2i7d9a0d)

Sax
01-04-2014, 07:33 AM
A mini-preview would be a fair compromise for me too.


"if you don't specify a thumbnail, the system will upload a small version of as much of the image as it can fit in the square"[/B] which was already the suggestion. Artists are choosing to crop them in this close when they do it and they are choosing it because they like it.

Not necessary. I use it now to do a better crop imo than what it would automatically do, not because I particularly like it.
About half of my drawings can't fit easily in a square and so the system seems to center the thumbnail in the middle of the drawing. When I do a drawing too wide or tall, it then doesn't looks right for me.
And for those drawings of mine that can somewhat fit in a square, they look ugly (still imo) with the drawing being chopped off a bit on the sides.

FancyOwls
01-04-2014, 07:50 AM
A mini-preview would be a fair compromise for me too.



Not necessary. I use it now to do a better crop imo than what it would automatically do, not because I particularly like it.
About half of my drawings can't fit easily in a square and so the system seems to center the thumbnail in the middle of the drawing. When I do a drawing too wide or tall, it then doesn't looks right for me.
And for those drawings of mine that can somewhat fit in a square, they look ugly (still imo) with the drawing being chopped off a bit on the sides.

Assuming you are the same artist by the same name on weasyl, I have noticed that you do the "zoom out" option, trying to fit as much of the image in the square as possible, NOT croping it to the shot of a character's face or eye or whatever else shows very little of the image's actual content. The OP's complaint is how the "zoom in" cropping isn't letting people see what images are about. I can tell very clearly from your standard "zoom out" cropping exactly what is in your image, even if small parts of the edges get cut off. It is functioning as a preview, even if it's not to your tastes. I am not dismissing the "I don't like squares" argument.

I agree, the drawings do look weird zooming out as much as possible, which is why I, and many other artists choose not to use the "zoom out" option. We want to make nice thumbs and we choose to do it because we like nice looking things. You choose to crop yours by hand because you want it to be nicer than the default as well, even if you do it differently, we both like our cropped version more than what the site makes for us.

I personally prefer the solution of being able to make nice square thumbs and have a really nice, pro looking gallery that allows quick hover over to show a full preview rather than making randomly sized images spattered throughout my gallery like a messy tumblr layout. You are free to disagree, as I am sure many others do as well.

Sax
01-04-2014, 10:41 AM
The OP's complaint is how the "zoom in" cropping isn't letting people see what images are about. I can tell very clearly from your standard "zoom out" cropping exactly what is in your image, even if small parts of the edges get cut off. It is functioning as a preview, even if it's not to your tastes. I am not dismissing the "I don't like squares" argument.

Ooh I understand now what you are getting at! Thank you for having explained further.

As a sidenote, I'm using for presenting my drawings in a neater way a tumblr blog with a theme (http://hasaportfolio.com/) which uses fixed size thumbnails, not squares but almost, and I do agree that I find this kind of look to be more professional.
I still have the dilemma that I can't let people see the whole pic before clicking, but since I give my tumblr url to people who aren't usually used to see anthro porn pics, I kinda prefer they aren't shown a page full of dongs when they first visit it.

FancyOwls
01-04-2014, 06:33 PM
Ooh I understand now what you are getting at! Thank you for having explained further.

As a sidenote, I'm using for presenting my drawings in a neater way a tumblr blog with a theme (http://hasaportfolio.com/) which uses fixed size thumbnails, not squares but almost, and I do agree that I find this kind of look to be more professional.
I still have the dilemma that I can't let people see the whole pic before clicking, but since I give my tumblr url to people who aren't usually used to see anthro porn pics, I kinda prefer they aren't shown a page full of dongs when they first visit it.

I love how neat and tidy this look is on tumblr layouts but I hate that I can't choose what my preview is. With these kinds of forced thumbing layouts I always get a ton of empty space or like, the top of someone's head or something, since I do a lot of long compositional stuff. I do like the ability to make my own thumbs, I'm super anal about keeping my galleries looking nice. I keep my tumblr as a "blog" type layout (it's not my portfolio but rather just a sketch blog), but I have found some nice grid themes for portfolio presentation. Grid layouts can be easily cluttered and hard to look at, very easy to skip over stuff, but I prefer them to the alternative. Here's a really nice one I've had my eye on for a while: http://fixie.precrafted.com/ though I haven't had any real need for a proper portfolio on tumblr since I already have a website. It's a shame though, I really like this one.

Sax
01-05-2014, 04:11 AM
I love how neat and tidy this look is on tumblr layouts but I hate that I can't choose what my preview is.
Yes, I thought I could position which part of the pic the thumb would focus on, then after having posted my message, I had a look at my blog and realized that, no, it wasn't possible, I had spoken too quickly. (And I remembered I only got a genital-less main page because I carefully chose the posting order of the drawings)

(and...I'll stop drifting too offtopic)

Ziblie
01-05-2014, 04:59 PM
All that said, I don't disagree with the problem from a casual browser's standpoint. I get that a "drive-by" viewer doesn't care about the artist's choices or presentation, that they want to be in and out as fast as possible with the least amount of effort, especially if they are here for porn. I think the easiest compromise would be to have a mini preview (say around 300, large thumb size on the longest dimension), appear upon mouse-over of a thumb. This is something a lot of shopping sites do and I think it works really well. The site gets to keep looking clean and artist get to maintain their galleries to look how they like, and browsers can easily hover and see if they give a shit or not without having to click on everything.

edit: VIEW EXAMPLE OF THIS HERE (http://sta.sh/0pk2i7d9a0d)

I think this is a really great idea for in-gallery!

Amber-Aria
01-06-2014, 02:16 AM
All that said, I don't disagree with the problem from a casual browser's standpoint. I get that a "drive-by" viewer doesn't care about the artist's choices or presentation, that they want to be in and out as fast as possible with the least amount of effort, especially if they are here for porn. I think the easiest compromise would be to have a mini preview (say around 300, large thumb size on the longest dimension), appear upon mouse-over of a thumb. This is something a lot of shopping sites do and I think it works really well. The site gets to keep looking clean and artist get to maintain their galleries to look how they like, and browsers can easily hover and see if they give a shit or not without having to click on everything.

edit: VIEW EXAMPLE OF THIS HERE (http://sta.sh/0pk2i7d9a0d)

I agree with FancyOwls and Ziblie! I know that thumbnail fixes are in the works right now, but I still support this suggestion. :3

Aster
01-09-2014, 02:40 AM
I am also going to pool my support for the preview-on-hover idea. I was going to suggest that showing the artist's description on hover would encourage me to click the poorly-zoomed images more, as it would give me more context, but not all artist descriptions are helpful, and FancyOwls idea is far better (if more bandwidth intensive).

I also would like to state that—as both an artist and a browser—I love the square thumbnails. They keep things nice and clean, and as long as they're used right, they look way better than having randomly shaped thumbs scattered across the page. It would be nice if they were a bit bigger though. But a larger-version-on-hover would fix the need for that as well.

I'm interested in seeing how the thumbnail "problem" will be dealt with, whenever it is.

xarg
01-12-2014, 11:50 PM
This is a thing artists like and are clearly using. This is a thing artists do with their portfolios and personal websites, it is a thing that professional use websites like cghub and conceptart.org do with their artist galleries. It's a feature we like. Otherwise they are free to let the site auto-crop the fuller version of their picture to show everything like in the first post. This is already a feature.

The grid on CGHub's front page is made up of squares, yes, but it supports images taking up more than one square as either horizontal or vertical rectangles. In addition to this, not all images in the grid are squares of the same size. On other parts of the site, browsing for example, the square tumbnails are huge compared to what weasyl has at the moment, with the additional option to still browse them as sized down non-square versions of the original image instead. Taking all that into account, the concept of FORCING people into square thumbnails on the basis that "it's more professional" is quite moot.


I also would like to state that—as both an artist and a browser—I love the square thumbnails. They keep things nice and clean, and as long as they're used right, they look way better than having randomly shaped thumbs scattered across the page. It would be nice if they were a bit bigger though. But a larger-version-on-hover would fix the need for that as well.

The problem is not as much the squareness of the thumbnails anyway, it is the poorly cropped thumbnails. This would be easy to address by for example increasing the thumbnail size to something reasonable for an art site such as 150x150. Another way to aid people who dislike being mislead would be to implement an user option to mute custom thumbnails, using an automatically generated one comprising the full image instead, much like the option on InkBunny for example.

Also keep in mind that the more information that you hide under hover gestures on the site, the less usable it inherently becomes on a mobile/touch interface device. It is extremely annoying to try to browse a site that relies on hover menus or other information hidden behind hovers, essentially crippling any usability for people browsing on phones and tablets.

I would personally much rather see the UI being developed into a direction where things like the submission title and artist are not hidden behind a purely cosmetic wall of modal hovers, placing fancy glitter ahead of actual usability. Instead of only having the option to preview the image on hover, why not let the user decide what kind of a preview they want? Be it a square thumbnail, a sized down thumbnail made from the original image or something else. Just look at CGHub... In the browse mode you have not one, but FOUR different choices of preview in the listing.

Tayruu
01-13-2014, 06:27 AM
I'm probably in a minority of designer-types that actually like the way thumbnails function (both in terms of hover and how they're cropped), but I don't think I would be too bothered by having the system restricted to square full-image thumbnails.

An idea that comes to mind is that if an image is at least twice as long/high as it is high/long, that the user is only then given the custom thumbnail page. They wouldn't be able to control the size, only the position. On a long image, a square thumbnail would be locked to the height and be able to be positioned horizontally. On a tall image, the thumbnail would be locked to the width and be able to be positioned vertically. If the image is not-so 2:1, then the system does the full-image thumbnail automatically.

This doesn't/shouldn't stop people from using custom-made thumbnails, as sometimes they can be informative, like a list of tags. I suspect a fair number of people are just using the cropping system though, like myself.

KitFox
01-19-2014, 02:39 PM
I personally believe that "Give the artist choice" as it works on other sites is perfectly fine. If you really want to make a custom thumbnail, then work on your computer and make a custom thumbnail. The bells and whistles here make it too easy to allow (encourage) artists to screw up.

This isn't meant to be mean to the people who say it makes it look better professionally. Furry commissions doesn't really count as "Professional" in the sense they're trying to use. There are still a lot of people who think that the Photoshop "lens flare" filter should be liberally applied to everything. People who work in the professional field now the difference between "thumbnails" and "teasers".

I think what a lot of people don't realize is what their target audience is. Let's take my entire paragraph above away. Then just consider this: No matter how good it looks artistically to you, your audience dislikes it. Thus you only get fewer views overall, more people who feel "tricked" by the thumbnails, and thus fewer people who are likely to pay you for all this professional effort you are putting in.

The main thing all the artists types are forgetting is that the thumbnails are not for you. They are for the viewers who outnumber you by a large factor and who you are trying to entice to view and -like- your art. Most of the viewers will not complain. They will just not look, not view, feel tricked, and thus not buy (if getting buyers if your goal) or not be happy with your art (if that is your goal).

Thumbnails are not there for the artists. They are there for the viewers. Having a way for artists to upload custom thumbnails is fine. But stop making it so easy for everybody who throws a picture up on here to mess it up. It does the vast majority of the site's users a major disservice and remember: Those eyes, those happy viewers, are what the site is "selling" to artists. Lose that and you have a site that has a lot of art and no viewers, which is pretty hopeless for an art site.

The longer they wait to fix it, the more existing data they need to re-process and the more complicated the fix becomes. Bad design from the start. Bells and whistles at the cost of usability. A very common mistake of web design.

scarp
01-19-2014, 10:46 PM
The only arguments I've read here in favor of the square thumbnails are essentially "they're pretty and I like them," with no thought given to functionality or ease of use. Textbook case of bad design.

Yes, the square thumbnails are neat and pretty and line up in visually pleasing rows and columns, but users (both artists and consumers) have been very clear about the challenges they pose to site navigation. Did you ever stop to think about why every good art site defaults to using uncropped thumbnails? It's not because the designers have poor aesthetic taste. It's because they are the most effective at doing what a thumbnail is supposed to do -- provide an accurate preview of the full piece.

Hover images would not adequately compensate for the poor utility of square thumbnails. It should not be necessary to hover over every single image (row by row, column by column) to get a feel for all of the art on a given page. In addition to being tedious and annoying, it would make mobile browsing difficult. Fancy mouseover effects should be kept to a minimum. Sometimes they are useful, but there shouldn't be a million different things jumping out at me every time I roll my mouse across the page.

coolcat007
01-23-2014, 09:59 AM
I think that when the site is changed so the enlarged images will appear on hover, I think that people should consider what has to be changed about the mobile site. In this thread (http://forums.weasyl.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?3396-issue-Submission-title-not-showing-on-the-mobile-site) I described that the titles weren't visible because you can not really hover if you have no mouse. The same aplies to enlarged images on hover. There are several possibilities:

- Single tap on submissions to "hover", double tap to open the submission.

- Tap and hold to "hover", tap quickly (less then half a second or a second) to open.

- "Hover" on the image in the middle of the screen, tap to open.

Runefox
01-23-2014, 10:42 AM
I'm a proponent of having a fixed size in one dimension - Height being the most obvious - to allow for multiple aspect ratios while remaining mostly organized at a uniform size (unlike a certain other art site). It's the best compromise between layout legibility and thumbnail quality in my opinion.

TalasAF
01-23-2014, 11:47 AM
Heh, this thread sure put a smile on my face about an issue relevant to me.

KitFox
01-25-2014, 02:48 PM
Notably, other sites will allow custom thumbnails, but for the most part you have to create the correct file on your local computer.

Just like making a flare looks better when done by hand for the image instead of using the lens flare filter - primarily because if done by hand and it looks bad, it's generally not done - custom thumbnails work better when done by hand in very specific cases. And just like the lens flare filter's ease of use created a massive overdose of horrid lens flares, the thumbnail cropper's ease of use here does the same. They should call it a "teaser generator" or more accurately an "Icon generator", because it makes it look like all the art will be just icons of heads more often than not. :(

The thumbnails here are 125x125 forced ratio. FA picked up 150 max and all thumbnails are still contained inside a space that ensures they will all center with each other in rows and columns regardless of their size.

"Thumbnails are reduced-size versions of pictures, used to help in recognizing and organizing them, serving the same role for images as a normal text index does for words."
Teasers are heavily-cropped versions of pictures meant to force the viewer to click to see what the full content is and should be enticing in their limited content to encourage further examination.

The current common content of the small images here are neither thumbnails (they don't show an accurate depiction of the whole image) nor teasers (the red or yellow edges will do more to get people to click than the random O face head will).

Fiz
02-23-2014, 08:16 PM
I'm just gonna pin this and make this the designated "scream at our tits about the thumbnail system" thread, since we really, really don't need any further singular threads about this issue.

QT Melon
02-24-2014, 11:26 AM
I will say that square thumbnails are detrimental to widescreen aspect ratios, especially with art.

lorenith
03-09-2014, 06:51 PM
Thumbnails that posses blacklisted tags are appearing on the front page.

Although it may be a special case, so far it's been things that either weren't tagged fully yet (and I added a tag), or they are things that I decided to add to my blacklist cause I was tired of seeing them.

So it may just be my browser cache? I don't really know, either way things with tags that are blacklisted still appear on the front page under certain situations.

Fiz
03-10-2014, 04:31 PM
Thumbnails that posses blacklisted tags are appearing on the front page.

Although it may be a special case, so far it's been things that either weren't tagged fully yet (and I added a tag), or they are things that I decided to add to my blacklist cause I was tired of seeing them.

So it may just be my browser cache? I don't really know, either way things with tags that are blacklisted still appear on the front page under certain situations.

Do they eventually get blocked by your blacklist, like a few minutes after you properly add their tag?

If so I think that's normal, since submissions cycle every few minutes.

If not, there might be a bug happening.

lorenith
03-10-2014, 05:11 PM
They do eventually get blocked by the blacklist yes, although I can't say for sure if it's just after a few minutes, or because new images pushed them off the front page.

Sorry I can't give much more information on it.

weykent
03-11-2014, 02:26 AM
Thumbnails that posses blacklisted tags are appearing on the front page.

Although it may be a special case, so far it's been things that either weren't tagged fully yet (and I added a tag), or they are things that I decided to add to my blacklist cause I was tired of seeing them.

So it may just be my browser cache? I don't really know, either way things with tags that are blacklisted still appear on the front page under certain situations.

it takes two minutes for attributes of frontpage images to update. the frontpage is requested often, so this is an optimization thing.

Firehazard
06-05-2014, 08:09 PM
Now that the system is set up to skip the thumbnail creation screen by default, things have gotten even worse. I'm seeing mainly thumbnails that are painfully obviously snipped from the middle of a tall or wide image, frequently of a character's disembodied torso. There had really, really better be plans to not only overhaul the system but discard all existing thumbnails in favor of whatever the new system generates. Like what FurAffinity did when they went to large thumbs.

Zalcoti
06-19-2014, 04:30 PM
The front page is too horizontal. Dividing the page vertically could be an option and won't leave the critique section below the fold. It might also help the thumbnail problem. Instead of rows, have them "stack" against each other in a visually pleasing way. You can have all the different ratios out there and still look good. This probably means making the thumbnails bigger.

Spotz
11-05-2014, 01:33 AM
Hey KitFox, greatly appreciate the input. We're going to have The Big Discussion soon amongst the technical staff about revamping our thumbnails, and I think most of us agree that non-square thumbs are going to be the better path going forward. I'm already planning on ripping out and replacing how thumbnails and their tooltips are handled on the front end, but there will likely need to be a good amount of rewrites on the back-end thumb stuff as well to accommodate better overall thumbs. The bad news is that it might be a little while yet; the good news is that it's definitely a planned item.

Thanks again, and if you have any additional ideas or wants relating to this, please share!

12/28/2012 - approaching 2 years ago.

Any news or ETA for this....I still find Weasyl effectively useless as a site to browse artwork due to the thumbnail system. I check back in every few months hoping to see something new and functional or at least to find a setting somewhere in the control panel to let me see minature versions of the full, uncropped images.

I haven't given up...but I can't use the site as it is because of the thumbnail system.

KitFox
12-24-2014, 04:58 PM
Four days to two years and this is still an issue.
I would LOVE to see this site succeed.
I would love to see the "Users active in the past day" even meet the "Users currently active on FA".

With things like this driving people away for now two plus years, I don't know if my desires will ever be filled.

Fiz
12-24-2014, 05:59 PM
Changing thumbnails requires a massive amount of backend coding and UI changes, as well as other things as needing to generate new thumbnails for every submission. It is being worked on, we just ask that people be patient. We know it's extremely frustrating and we apologize for that. We just want to make sure it's done the right way.

Noxid
12-24-2014, 06:04 PM
in the meantime.. if you don't think the thumbnails provide enough information for you, then you could use my Weasyl Enhancer extension (https://forums.weasyl.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?6690-Weasyl-Enhancer-extension) for chrome/firefox. It provides description previews when you mouse-over the thumb, and shows tags. I'm also planning to add a medium-view image preview option like some people have asked
[/shamelessplug]

TealMoon
05-07-2015, 05:37 AM
I've encountered a thumbnail bug.
I have my filters set so I can't see explicit art. But I am able to see the thumbnail on an explicit piece in the submission notifications.
I clicked on it and I got the "you aren't allowed to see this because filters" message.
Not seeing this anywhere else on the site.
Here's a screenshot: (NSFW) http://i1231.photobucket.com/albums/ee508/TaelMoon/weasylbug_zpsz07bcfu9.png

Fiz
05-07-2015, 08:22 AM
I've encountered a thumbnail bug.
I have my filters set so I can't see explicit art. But I am able to see the thumbnail on an explicit piece in the submission notifications.
I clicked on it and I got the "you aren't allowed to see this because filters" message.
Not seeing this anywhere else on the site.
Here's a screenshot: (NSFW) http://i1231.photobucket.com/albums/ee508/TaelMoon/weasylbug_zpsz07bcfu9.png

Do you have your filter set to see Mature art though?

I misclicked while uploading that and made it Mature initially, fixed it to be Explicit a while later.

If so then it landed in your inbox as Mature and it didn't remove when it got a rating change, which is a known issue I believe.

TealMoon
05-07-2015, 09:06 PM
Do you have your filter set to see Mature art though?

I misclicked while uploading that and made it Mature initially, fixed it to be Explicit a while later.

If so then it landed in your inbox as Mature and it didn't remove when it got a rating change, which is a known issue I believe. That must be it then, as I can see all but Explicit art.

Fiz
05-08-2015, 10:52 AM
That must be it then, as I can see all but Explicit art.

Yea it's that known issue then. If a submission lands in an inbox and has it's rating changed to something a user doesn't have enabled, it doesn't update the inbox since it's already landed in there.

Sorry about that though, my bad with the misrating.

Selkiegal
05-27-2015, 09:27 PM
I would think that this issue would have been prioritized so that it wouldn't take several years before it was fixed, considering how big a deal thumbnails are to an art gallery site.

piñardilla
05-28-2015, 01:43 AM
I would think that this issue would have been prioritized so that it wouldn't take several years before it was fixed, considering how big a deal thumbnails are to an art gallery site.

It is a priority. It's also a substantial overhaul on the backend. Add in that Weasyl was never in a finished state to begin with, having been and still being in the beta phase that whole period of time, and there has been plenty for the devteam to do, especially with the marked rise in traffic due to the events of the last year and a half. Those devs are also all volunteers with day jobs; the time they put in on Weasyl comes out of the remainder of their personal lives.

We are taking the need to change the thumbnail system seriously, but it's a big change and it takes time.

Token
07-07-2015, 05:43 PM
I am not sure if this is considered a feedback thread for the thumbnail system. Apologies if I hijacked it :/

First of all, the new system is a lovely feature. It might need tweaking, but nothing to bang you head about right away. One random suggestion from me:

Submissions with the image smaller than the preview itself are centred vertically and horizontally only take up the space needed. This squishes them rather small and even breaks the 'continuous horizontal flow' layout. See in my example picture the story submissions by Amethysi. A very crude quick gimp mockup of my suggestion:

http://pania.tigress.com/~token/weasyl_thumb_token_suggestion.png

Giving submissions a minimal width (eventually equal to the defined height) will improve this. On very slender submissions, this might also give back a bit of the 'grid'-yness that some people miss. On the image I only mocked up the first submission, you have to imagine it for all of them.

[edit]
Toyed around with some CSS hacks. Adding 'min-width: ###px' for the .thumb-bounds class did already wonders.

The 'thing' thumbnails improve in size we we go for 124px - which would be the golden ratio for the image alone. But that still drowns the smaller images some. I tried 200px for 'at least squared', which gives back a lot of the grid'yness but moves back to wasting more space. A tradeoff… like 140px… see the picture for yourself: :3

http://pania.tigress.com/~token/weasyl_thumb_token_width.jpg
(sorry for the lack of censoring)

Sincerely
Token

KajTaotsu
07-07-2015, 07:31 PM
The midwidth 200px looks really good there! I could definitely see that being an improvement for the submissions that are a bit narrow

Therion
07-26-2015, 03:36 PM
Just kind of wanted to add my two cents as a mobile user. ^^ (It'd a copy paste. XD)

I really love this jumbled look. They are quite big but they get the job done. So many wanted a thumbnail big enough to judge the art without clicking. XD Think they got what they wanted. Lol I kind of like the border less look on them. XD They look quite clean and cut, nothing to pixelly. I'm speaking as a mobile user as my laptop is broken currently (Also speaking as someone who wasn't bothered by the old thumbs but imma keep an open mind!).

Ok for my main complaints:

1. The journals are a bit of a nightmare on mobile. Very close together and weird borderline. Also can't even read half of the title. I like reading journals but this will make it very unbearable and not so fun. D:

http://i1171.photobucket.com/albums/r544/NightMother-NiMo/Temp/Screenshot_2015-07-06-23-55-09.png

2. Character Thumbs seem to be unaffected by the change. It's a little bleh. XD Both character search and characters in your personally gallery.

http://i1171.photobucket.com/albums/r544/NightMother-NiMo/Temp/Screenshot_2015-07-06-23-56-25.png

http://i1171.photobucket.com/albums/r544/NightMother-NiMo/Temp/Screenshot_2015-07-06-23-55-59.png

DrunkCat
11-16-2015, 03:03 PM
We're going to have The Big Discussion soon amongst the technical staff about revamping our thumbnails

"We're" ?

Fiz
11-18-2015, 10:51 AM
"We're" ?

It was just one of those spambots that copies peoples posts to bypass spam blocking measures.

DrunkCat
11-18-2015, 01:30 PM
You could've deleted mine too in the case. :p