A new way to post images

Hello everyone, since the beginning of NPN 2.0 the process of posting an image or starting a discussion has been a bit confusing, especially for new users. I added features like making the add image button much more obvious which helped, but we still had many new users creating a topic without an image which was very frustrating for them. Not to mention the confusion of where to put answers to the questions in the composer, etc.

I have been developing a tool that will streamline the process greatly by using a straightforward form that is easy to understand and gives helpful hints along the way.

First off, you will notice the New Topic button will be changing today. You will be seeing a button in the same place called ‘New Image/Discussion’ with a dropdown menu:

image

The new menu makes it more clear how to post an image or start a discussion, and the options in the dropdown give further guidance to help the user along. When you select either Post Image for Critique or Post Image in Showcase a new window will open with a form that looks like this:

This has a list of items to fill out, making it quite clear what we are looking for. Once you are done filling out the form just click the Continue… button. This will open up the composer just like you’re used to seeing, but with everything filled out for you already. From here you can still edit the post if you like, add tags, or additional images, or just click create topic and you’re done.

For those of you that have been around a while and don’t like this, I would encourage you to try it first, if you still don’t like it there is an option in the dropdown for ‘Classic Composer’, this will work exactly the same as it always has.

The main intention of this new feature is to get new users more engaged. The software is a bit overwhelming and confusing at first. I hope that this will help them get over the initial hump and start posting images.

Limitations

Currently, there are some limitations that we hope to improve on in the future.

  • You can only add one image in the form currently, but you can add additional images after clicking continue and add them in the composer the traditional way. I would say 90% of new topics only contain one image anyway.
  • If you leave a field blank, for example technical details, the title of this field will still display in the composer. But, you can still delete it after clicking continue if you like. Which is really no different than what we have now. In the future, these will not display if left empty, but there’s some work to do there.

Feedback

Please let me know what you think of this and if you have any ideas to improve it. I’ve been working hard to make it simple and clear but I know the real test is when it’s unleashed to all of you. I will continue to evolve this to make it better based on your feedback. Thanks!

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David, I just used it to post an image in Macro, and it worked very nicely. Thank you for all of the wonderful improvements that you keep adding to this site.

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David. I just used the new system and I had a couple of glitches with it. When I clicked the Continue button and it took me to the traditional screen, the category (Avian Critique) wasn’t automatically filled in. Also, I had entered information in the section for technical information on the image and processing and it didn’t come through.

I just had my computer updated to the latest version of Windows 10 (version 1909) and Firefox updated to 78.0.2 (64-bit).

Sorry about that Dennis, it has happened to a couple of people and I’m looking into why this may be happening, thanks for reporting!

David - I just had the same experience as Dennis. I filled in the form and after clicking continue, it took me to the standard screen, but hadn’t carried over everything I entered. I tried it twice, to make sure I wasn’t doing something wrong, but it happened again. I’m using Firefox 78.0.2 (up to date) and I have Windows 7 (with whatever was the last update).

Thank you both for letting me know. I have reverted back to the old way until we can resolve this. I apologize for the inconvenience, I tested pretty thoroughly but you just never know what will happen when you release it into the wild!

I am still getting “+ New Topic or Image” on my screen. Thanks.

Hi Larry, I had to revert back to the old way due to some problems that were discussed in this thread. Hope to get it working again soon!

I just used the new system for the first time and in general it seems to work fine, though I thought it was a bit slower than the old system. The one thing I did notice is that it asked what area and even though I selected Avian, when I hit the “continue” button at the bottom it took me to the old screen and avian was not selected. Also I saw no place to include tags until that point. It would be nice if it could all be done on a single screen-not sure if that’s possible.

Thanks Dennis, that is odd that the category wasn’t filled out. If you or anyone else sees this again please let me know, I can’t seem to reproduce that. It is a bit slower to load and I’ll look into that. The tags are the biggest pain point and the reason why the compose dialog comes up, so you can select tags. I’m brainstorming ways to get around this, but it’s what we have for now.

I just used it to upload to the Landscape - Critique category. That category was filled out properly when it took me to the standard screen. I did have to add the additional tags, but that wasn’t that onerous.

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David, I agree with Dennis that the new approach seems slower. There’s notable time lag in opening the new upload page.

I ran into a couple of issues. I uploaded an image in the upload segment but then when I got to the conventional segment the upload button was still there…so I uploaded the image again. That may be a learning curve issue. I’m not a fan of the software adding all of the descriptors if I don’t put anything in a box, that seems like adding extra words when they’re not needed. If I want to remove them, then I have to spend extra time deleting them. The system also INSISTED that I answer the composite (yes/no) question. I had already covered that in my description. Like Dennis the system didn’t track my category, I had selected Macro, yet it then showed no category, so I had to enter that info again.

I’d agree with this sentiment. Not only did I need to move everything around (I prefer to have my image shown first, before any text, which in this new system gets inserted above the photo), but I had to delete all the placeholder text that automatically showed up.

I just uploaded an image via the new form. The slowness didn’t bother me much and I think the new form is easier for new members. When I clicked “continue” I clicked right through the 2nd screen as I didn’t have anything to add and I wanted to see how it worked directly from the new form. The text in areas I left blank in the new form did not appear in the posting, so I view that as a success. There is one thing I noticed missing - when I began typing in a member name it did not auto-fill as the old form did. That leaves room for mistyping the name. Not a major issue but I did not see this mentioned in the other comments.

I am not a fan of the new method either. I have to work around the pre-labeled boxes, then go back and delete them in the final step. I find it slower and more cumbersome.

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Thanks for the feedback, I am looking into the slow loading problem and I have moved the description so the image is the first thing that shows in the post.

For those of you that like the old way, it’s still there. Just use the classic composer in the dropdown menu.

Hello David,
I just used the new form for the first time and something went astray; probably just me. All of the description did not load and only the small version of the image. I had everything filled out and clicked continue and what you see is what came up.

Not sure what happened there Ed, but I’ve fixed it up for you!

Thanks for all you do David.

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