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ePz Profile and Gallery Upgrade - Status Update

Find out the latest news on the much anticipated profile and gallery upgrade.

|  ePHOTOzine
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As it's been just over 3 months since we last posted an update on the upcoming profile and gallery upgrade, we think it's about time for another status report. Rick and David have been hard at work upgrading and improving every detail of the profiles and gallery.

 

User Profiles - Easier for Everyone

Along with a number of 'under-the-bonnet' upgrades, Rick has concentrated on making many profile actions simpler and quicker. 

The 'About' area of the profile has been improved and now includes new 'following' and 'followers' information which makes it easier to view and interact with other members of the community who you are interested in or might be interested in your photography. We've opted for the following/follower terms as they are more standard language for these types of features online. However, it's still 'connections' as everyone currently knows them, just with a different name.

Albums have had a complete revamp which means that it's now much quicker to create and manage your albums. No more going from page to page to create and edit albums. Almost everything is done on the same page, saving you time in the long run. Furthermore, we've introduced a requested feature that allows you to re-order your albums.

While working the blog part of the profile, Rick has decided to go ahead and upgrade the entire 'Members Blogs' area of the site at the same time which will be launched with profiles and galleries.

The account settings (aka 'My Settings') is now logicially grouped into a small number of easily manageble sections on one page. This allows quicker updates to any account setting within a couple of clicks of the mouse. We've also introduced a new cropping tool to make it easier to make your profile photo, profile header and avatar look perfect.

Here are a few screenshots of some of the progress so far in profiles:


About Page

Account Settings

Awards Manager

Blog

Create an Album

Activity Page

Profile Photo Cropper

Profile Header Photo Cropper

 

Gallery - Bigger is Better

David has been concentrating on improving the photo page, the page which displays an individual photo. Along with a number of performance improvements, there have been a few interface improvements too.

The biggest update to the photo page is how we display the photo. When viewing a photo, most people want to view the photo in all its high detailed glory. So we've started by displaying larger photos which fill most displays. We've re-designed all the different options and buttons available on the page and placed them in easier access areas, also ensuring that they don't distract from the photo.

Much like profiles, many features have been simplified to make it quicker and easier to do. For example, modifications and versions can now be uploaded and managed directly on the photo's page. No more jumping back and forth between version upload and management pages. Furthermore, uploading versions is now iPad and iPhone friendly. No need to install Adobe Flash Player anymore either.

Users can also follow other users directly from a photo. So if you find a photographer and you like their style, you don't have to go to their profile to follow them. It's just another way we are making things quicker and easier.

Here are a few screenshots of the new photo page:


Viewing a Photo

Follow a User Button

Upload a Modification

Upload and Manage Versions

 

It's Kind of a Big Deal

This upgrade is quite possibly the biggest change to the gallery and profiles that has been done in a very long time. Along with all the added interface and design improvements, Rick and David are also concentrating a lot of time on page speed performance to ensure that everyone's browsing experience is faster and more enjoyable than ever before. We've already found a number of places where we have shaved off .5-1.0 second in some cases.

Despite what appears to be relatively simple features, the gallery and profiles are at the heart of the entire site. We are laying a lot of ground work (in code) for the rest of the site and we want to make sure it's done right the first time, before launching it to everyone else. With such a big task, it takes quite a lot of time to dig through the old code with a fine-tooth comb, analyze and improve. However, we do feel we are now on the latter part of the project and things are starting to move much, much quicker than at the start. Big and exciting things are coming very soon.

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Comments


StuartAt 16 1.1k 8 United Kingdom
16 Jun 2015 2:04PM
Looking good, and I can see a lot of work has gone into the changes. As someone who works in the development industry, I know how time consuming it can be to get the code to a good place. Keep up the great work - hopefully a good platform for years to come!
saltireblue Plus
11 12.2k 76 Norway
17 Jun 2015 3:50PM
Hi Dave & Rick - great work!
Do you have a projected 'release date' for the improvements?

Malc
davidburleson 14 3.0k 3 United Kingdom
17 Jun 2015 3:55PM
With this one, we don't really have a release date in mind. We're trying to avoid rushing this one out to ensure everything is carefully thought through and improved in every way we can. But as mentioned, we're over the hill in regards to this development. I'd expect a user beta will be available within the next few months.
bricurtis Plus
16 2.5k 51 England
17 Jun 2015 8:15PM

Quote:We've also introduced a new cropping tool to make it easier to make your profile photo, profile header and avatar look perfect.

Will there be a cropping area on gallery uploads to enhance thumbnails. ??
davidburleson 14 3.0k 3 United Kingdom
18 Jun 2015 8:17AM

Quote:Will there be a cropping area on gallery uploads to enhance thumbnails. ??


At the moment, no. But it may be something we will consider in the future.
bricurtis Plus
16 2.5k 51 England
18 Jun 2015 10:11AM
OK - thanks.
pink Plus
18 6.8k 9 United Kingdom
18 Jun 2015 5:42PM
All going in the right direction, good work.
One point I would like to make is that the photo gallery (thumbnail) page/s are viewed at a very small size compared to most other photo sharing sites. I find it hard to judge an image from the thumbnail (particularly the more subtle images) so I move on to the next page.
I also find that the more punchy graphic images do well as they shout at you from the thumbnail and invite you in for a better look, I have tested this theory myself and it does happen.
Just a few small points, keep up the good work
Ian
davidburleson 14 3.0k 3 United Kingdom
19 Jun 2015 8:37AM
Hi Ian,

Thanks for your feedback. You'd be pleased to know that one of the primary goals for the upgrade is to make the gallery and profiles more visual. This means bigger photos, biggers thumbs and less distractions.

In the meantime, It might be worth checking that you have set your thumbnail size to large on your gallery filter.



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