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WHY - WHY - WHY...??

By Walter Schoeffthaler

- Why on earth is the User Interface of this site in constant change?
- What is "better" now than it was one week ago?
- Why was the last change (before this one) necessary at all?
- What is urging you to make this total upheaval and completely change of how the user i meeting his / her photo-site - time after time?

This is NOT a question of whether I personally like the change or not. This is a question of where you want to go with this site, Jorge - before I invest any more time and more uploads of pictures here - and before you might just close down the site suddenly, just as you did with the micro4/3 -site and with the NEX-site - both of which I uploaded pictures to, just to find out that one day both of these sites were gone, pictures and all. Just like that! How serious is that?

The question is, if users here want to stay and upload pictures to a site that is uncertain about it looks and UI, and have to get used to new structure of menus and have to search (and guess) where to find what.

I am worried, Jorge, nothing else. After all, i have uploaded "tons" of pictures, and included the URL of this site in all my mail-transaction with other photographers, locally as international, and on my Twitter-account as well. I have even published links (URL) to this sites very good "Lens Browser" menu, on my local, Norwegian Photo-site [url=address https://foto.no/cgi-bin/index.cgi - https://foto.no/cgi-bin/index.cgi - where most of Norwegian professional photographers are members. If these contacts (which I distribute) meet a "new" site here ever week, I will have to scrap these URL's as this is not serious enough for me and will back-fire on my self.

I think you are trying too hard, Jorge. You have also neglected NikonImages for some time now and probably been busy managing other sites that you have, and this is not good for a forum that wants to address serious photographers.

I do not consider this site as a popular "place to be" as there is no communication, what so ever, in the forum. The forum is "dead" and is not frequented at all by members her. You can count interesting threads in the forum, on one hand. The rest are just "announcements" by the owner of this site.
Comments on pictures consist of 99% "likes" where one conveniently presses a button, and has no intention of telling WHY one likes someones picture. This would be welcomed as one can learn a lot of just HOW others "see" your own picture and exactly WHAT has triggered this person to react to your picture.

All this is the result of a "shallow" site, where nothing spectacular og interesting happens, which has no stable structure and on top of that, both members AND visitors (who in time are potential new members) have to get used to a new UI every time we log on.

Such a site needs involvement and enthusiast willing to create a "good vibration"-environment, mainly by uploading interesting and high quality-pictures - AND - have a lively and community-building FORUM, where one can interact and communicate with fellow photographers, reflect on new technologies, discuss problems and exchange experiences. This is what makes sites, such as this, popular and solid, and attracts new members to join in, when visiting here.

It would not surprise me if I get expelled because of this expression of meaning, and I am prepared for that. But most of all, I would like to "belong" to a community that takes photography serious and is happy to do so in a friendly and STABLE environment.

Best wishes for the future of this site,
Walter (a frustrated member).
:o/

Replies

Reply from Walter Schoeffthaler on 05-9-14 2:07 AM
Very good, Jorge!

This new action when ticking off "LIKE" and nothing more, resulting in a suggestion with the wording:
[b] [i] "You have chosen to like this photo. It would be beneficial for the photographer to understand what it is you like. Please provide a short comment." [/i] [/b] - on the next page is good. Very good in fact. This will remind members that one actually has to think about the picture, and think about WHAT it is that one liked about it.

Thank you for that. It would be a good idea (if it is technically possible) to also add a "BACK"-button underneath the sign, a button that brings the user back to the entry-box (don't know the right name ) on the comment-page where he/she than can enter these thoughts in words, otherwise people will not know WHAT to do next. I didn't the first time, so I left...

Best regards!
Reply from John Birmingham on 04-28-14 5:13 PM
[quote]torralba wrote:
I applied some minor bug fixes. the default thumbnail should stay to what you set it to if you are allowing cookies. I just tested this and it works for me.


That seems to be working.
Thanks, John
Reply from Jorge Torralba on 04-27-14 8:07 PM
[quote]qbert wrote:
"I'm still getting the square thumbs by default both before and after login.
The previously selected background color and portal home page are retained but he thumbs are not.

Is anyone else experiencing this?"[/quote]

I applied some minor bug fixes. the default thumbnail should stay to what you set it to if you are allowing cookies. I just tested this and it works for me.

JT
Reply from John Birmingham on 04-25-14 6:45 PM
"The default is the portal view with the smoke color theme. If you have something different set it now and it will stay. Even if I change the default view to something else, once you set your pref it should stay."

"Should", being the operative word.
I'm still getting the square thumbs by default both before and after login.
The previously selected background color and portal home page are retained but he thumbs are not.

Is anyone else experiencing this?
Reply from Jorge Torralba on 04-18-14 12:14 PM
Walter,

Just a few things then I will follow up with more detail later.

I have tried to make things like they were with a few additions. After you read this and set your preferences, they should stay. No more changes coming for a while that are not bug fixes.

The default is the portal view with the smoke color theme. If you have something different set it now and it will stay. Even if I change the default view to something else, once you set your pref it should stay.

I have been working on SEO tactics to increase traffic and get more activity. Lets see what happens over the next month or so.
Reply from Walter Schoeffthaler on 04-18-14 5:39 AM
qbert wrote: [quote]...I would like to see this site flourish with new talent, and have an open dialog with each and every one of them. Wishful thinking maybe, but we can hope...[/quote]

Hi, John! Hi Jorge.
Thank you for your thoughts and for taking the time to comment on my frustration-thread here.

I feel that we as members of this site ARE allowed, to some degree, to be able to complain and bring our thoughts forward - because, we - the members - ARE what makes NikonImages.com, and without us there is no site. Jorge / the owners of this site, just provides a place for us to be and upload our pictures. They do not do this out of sheer kindness. It is the advertising space (top, left- and right-side of the UI) which is the end-goal, for the owner to sell for money. Fair enough, i don't mind. This is how the Internet works.

So far, so good. This is a win-win situation for all involved - if it turns out to become at popular and busy site. So far (from the little I have seen) it is a slow site. Nothing much is happening here, except some uploads from a dozen or so enthusiastic photographers. Activity is, at times, not good enough to attract newcomers and / or advertisers!!

I myself do NOT have a recipe of how to turn this around, but changing the UI ever week (almost!) is not going to help any, either. I never thought that the UI was so bad to begin with, that it HAD to be changed.

Stability is one of the ground-rules of a forum / site, such as this. Erratic behavior on the owner side is not doing any good. I felt that this site was very nice to look at, to find you way around and to navigate the menus. Until the last change (the one before this last one now), when the "home page" suddenly became overcrowded and "busy" to digest - especially seen from a newcomers view. I had my say, when Jorge invited us to give our views, but gradually accepted the home page, as it was, even so I switched to another page, right after entering here.

I am actually proud of being a member here, and i am fronting the URL of this site on every occasion I have in communication with other photographers, friends and family, because this site gives me ample opportunity to display my pictures in a good looking portfolio of my works. I link here on my Twitter account on the first line of my Twitter-profile (before my own Norwegian Portfolio!!), because the Dark Gray screen is a perfect (for me) background to complement the many colorful pictures that I have and I love the "My Film Roll"- function, to be seen by friends and clients, and would-be clients!!.

But I am also concerned about the slowness and lacking activity here, concerned that one day it might just close this place down, and where does that leave me then?
In the void, with hundreds of uploaded pictures and thousands of already published links / referring to this place, that might not be there when a client of mine looks for my portfolio. Not a good prospect.

In my humble opinion ( and I am member of 3 active photo-forums, worldwide - one of which also has seen a sharp decline lately), I see 2 issues that are partly to blame for the lack of involvement and the lack of activity by members here:

1) - The FORUM is dead. Nothing interesting is EVER published there. Nothing exciting to look forward to read there, to participate in. No ongoing discussions to follow, no personal exchange of opinions on matter photography og life in general, for that matter. This absence of direct communication with fellow photographers, which a lively Forum would have, results in a sense of "not belonging" , and a sense of "I just upload my pictures, and scarp..." feeling about this place. Such a site NEEDS BOTH - PICTURES AND FORUM, and a platform to discuss and communicate with one another!!

2) - This "damn" 'LIKE'-button gives people more a sense of being on Face-book, where shallow friends "like" each other, without the willingness to GIVE something of ones own - rather than a personal photo-site where community spirit and involvement is necessary. I hate this button, because it is a hindrance of exchanging views on a particular picture. It's so easy to just press the button, and leave it with that. Given the choice - people will ALWAYS chose the easy way out!

Just my 5 cents on this matter.

Sorry about the length of this post, and the fact that my English is rather childish at times. It's not my first language and I do not communicate in English on a daily basis.

I had to take a few days off from here to think about whether I want to continue here or not...... And I am "pi**ed off" again when coming back, because none of my "preferences" that i always choose / had chosen (dark gray background, and the portal settings) are i place when logging on. I am tired of changing this back to what I want. Either do NOT give us these choices or get i right).

With best wishes from Norway,
Walter
Who is "Still a bit frustrated"
;o)

B.T.W.: The text-box / reply-box of this page, when writing a post, should be able to open up more / give more space. It is almost impossible to keep track of what I am writing when the post is getting large - as this one has.

:o)
Reply from John Birmingham on 04-17-14 6:23 PM
"Nothing has really changed much other than th menu on top having larger fonts."

Yet every time I visit the site now Im welcomed with a white screen, square thumbnails and the purported portal is set to off.
Sure, I can change these, but every time I visit??
None of this would be a problem if my preferences would be retained for my next session.

If Im the only one complaining, and the majority of the members are content or even prefer this arrangement, just say so and I will be happy to delete my photos and disappear without a second thought.

Instagrams have no place in my life.
Reply from Jorge Torralba on 04-16-14 3:29 PM
See my new post regarding this.
Reply from John Birmingham on 04-16-14 1:26 PM
Walter, I feel your pain.
Let me begin with saying that I dont feel like I have earned the recognition, or status that would give me the right to complain here, but I do share the same frustrations.

I believe the interface, as of last week, had evolved into a very appealing, easy to navigate, functional site. The Home page contained a comprehensive sampling of new offerings, recent forum posts as well as the HOF photos. All in appropriate portions.
The menu items and font size was perfectly functional and did not take away unnecessary real estate from the photos. The recent login relocation and the larger fonts do take away from the main content.

My biggest complaints are the background color randomly changing, and the use of square thumbnails.
I personally like the smoke theme as it is neutral and contrasts well with both lighter and darker compositions ... Just my opinion.
Resizing or cropping any aspect ratio to a square, grossly takes away from the original image. Im not even sure why this would be an option.
Early on, Before I realized I could change them back to original, I passed by many excellent images simply because they were not appealing in the square format. Squares belong on Instagram sites only, Unless that was the photographers original crop factor.

Where I am as guilty as most concerning the "Like" button, I always appreciate actual comments much more, even when they are negative. I am not a professional photographer, I joined this site feeling my work was average at best with hopes that some of the talent here would rub off, and it has. Reading comments left for others really helps us understand how our images are interpreted. These comments should also open up dialog within the forums. Sadly it doesnt. Although I find it difficult to express myself in writing, I pledge to make a conscious effort to 'Like' less and 'Comment' more.

I would like to see this site flourish with new talent, and have an open dialog with each and every one of them. Wishful thinking maybe, but we can hope.

John
Reply from Jorge Torralba on 04-16-14 10:00 AM
I sent you a message. Nothing has really changed much other than th menu on top having larger fonts.

If you like the older home page, Go to settings and click on "Portal on" then things will look like they did before.
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