New smugmug - simple previous / next photo navigation gone?

alienmuppetalienmuppet Beginner grinnerPosts: 3Registered Users Beginner grinner
edited August 30, 2013 in SmugMug Feature Requests
I'm on the fence at the moment about the changes. I tend to use "smugmug" mode for the gallery style, and the one thing so far that is annoying me is that the previous and next arrows for flicking through the photos in the gallery has gone. This might seem trivial, but when watching people flick through my photographs on the old smugmug, that is what they tend to use - and is also what I tend to use. Without that, you have to keep finding where you are in the collection of thumbnails on the left, and watching people do that, it seemed a little haphazard as they'd sometimes miss a photo or 2.

You could argue that people will just click on the thumbnail of the photo they want to see, but for some galleries I have the photos in order of taking and I'd like it to tell the story of the event the gallery represents. A lot of people just want to "look through" a gallery one by one.

I tried to customize the site and assumed there's be a "photo navigation" drag and drop, which seems a really obvious option to have, but I couldn't find one.

Am I missing something?

I know there is a previous and next when you click on the photo and go into full screen mode, but for some reason I prefer not to do that.

One other thing; I do miss the old "info" box that came up. It was far less intrusive (semi opaque), and easier to open as the little semi-opaque toolbar appeared over the photo just near where your mouse would be when using the previous / next navigation buttons...

PS - having said all that, great job on the writing of the new site; I'm a software engineer myself and can see a lot of work has gone into it, and I know how hard it is to please everyone..
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Comments

  • jasonscottphotojasonscottphoto (I'm not Jason...) Posts: 920Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 31, 2013
    I agree, this has me perplexed as well. Those arrows should have stayed...
    Posts by Allyson, the wife/assistant...

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  • afxafx Major grins Posts: 102Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 31, 2013
    Another vote for giving the users arrows. Most of them do not expect the cursor keys to work and are looking for the arrows.

    cheers
    afx
  • anglotexiananglotexian Big grins Posts: 51Registered Users Big grins
    edited July 31, 2013
    +1 The loss of these arrows is really frustrating and a pointless economy.
  • paulbrockpaulbrock Major grins Posts: 515Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 31, 2013
    yup me too. The obvious way to navigate the Smugmug style.
  • GaryBakkerGaryBakker Major grins Posts: 266Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 31, 2013
    I agree with the OP. Using the arrows is how I used to view my galleries too.

    However, with the new site I found that the arrow keys on the keyboard accomplish the same result. But I don't think that will be intuitively obvious to the casual viewer.
    SmugMug site => The Bakker Chautauqua
    "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits." (Einstein)
  • picturebikepicturebike Major grins Posts: 133Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 31, 2013
    yes this has me stumped now, ive put together a new site and am using old smug gallery style but the pref/next arrows are gone along with the first and last page jump, and also the page and picture numbers are now tiny and at the bottom of the pictures where they simply will get missed. This is very important to me as my clients almost always contact me to purchase giving page and picture numbers so this is stopping me going live with my new site..

    to me a client could enter a gallery now and think there is only one page of pictures, i cant not understand the reasoning behind this, i also have no idea how a client can download a photo as the download image tab is as far as i can tell no longer supported.....
  • glammanglamman Big grins Posts: 26Registered Users Big grins
    edited July 31, 2013
    I agree with everyone.
  • richWrichW SmugMug QA Southern CaliforniaPosts: 2,558Registered Users Major grins
    edited July 31, 2013
    I'm on the fence at the moment about the changes. I tend to use "smugmug" mode for the gallery style, and the one thing so far that is annoying me is that the previous and next arrows for flicking through the photos in the gallery has gone. This might seem trivial, but when watching people flick through my photographs on the old smugmug, that is what they tend to use - and is also what I tend to use. Without that, you have to keep finding where you are in the collection of thumbnails on the left, and watching people do that, it seemed a little haphazard as they'd sometimes miss a photo or 2.

    You could argue that people will just click on the thumbnail of the photo they want to see, but for some galleries I have the photos in order of taking and I'd like it to tell the story of the event the gallery represents. A lot of people just want to "look through" a gallery one by one.

    I tried to customize the site and assumed there's be a "photo navigation" drag and drop, which seems a really obvious option to have, but I couldn't find one.

    Am I missing something?

    I know there is a previous and next when you click on the photo and go into full screen mode, but for some reason I prefer not to do that.

    One other thing; I do miss the old "info" box that came up. It was far less intrusive (semi opaque), and easier to open as the little semi-opaque toolbar appeared over the photo just near where your mouse would be when using the previous / next navigation buttons...

    PS - having said all that, great job on the writing of the new site; I'm a software engineer myself and can see a lot of work has gone into it, and I know how hard it is to please everyone..

    Sounds like a great feature request... I'll pass it up the line.
    Thank you all for your feedback.. wave.gif
  • pbandjpbandj Major grins Posts: 238Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 1, 2013
    Just adding my voice to the chorus here...I use the "previous" and "next" photo buttons to navigate in smugmug gallery style, and not having them in the new design is baffling...
  • HamsterHueyHamsterHuey Big grins Posts: 73Registered Users Big grins
    edited August 1, 2013
    Frankly, I think the entire navigation UI has gone several steps backwards. Sure, it looks nicer, but from a functionality and usability standpoint things have gotten worse. Obviously the lack of Next/Prev buttons is one big issue. The other is that they have chosen to replace all text based buttons with tiny icons. While the minimalism looks nice, it is really really unintuitive for non savvy users. There is absolutely no chance that my parents would ever find the tiny download icon and realize that they need to click it to download the original size images when I share a gallery with them to view. I share a lot of images with family members and the old Smugmug layout was simple, elegant and very functional. Not sure I can say the same about the new SM layout. It's all form over functionality.
    Unhappy SmugMug beta tester - http://smandal.smugmug.com
  • GrumpybeardGrumpybeard Beginner grinner Posts: 2Registered Users Beginner grinner
    edited August 1, 2013
    Agree with all above, its going to frustrate my family trying to navigate from one pic to the next (depending on theme used).
  • HamsterHueyHamsterHuey Big grins Posts: 73Registered Users Big grins
    edited August 1, 2013
    Agree with all above, its going to frustrate my family trying to navigate from one pic to the next (depending on theme used).
    I'm sure you'll get lots of questions about how to download images as well. Clearly "everyone" knows that a tiny icon with an downward pointing arrow and a line below it is the universal symbol for download image ne_nau.gif
    Unhappy SmugMug beta tester - http://smandal.smugmug.com
  • picturebikepicturebike Major grins Posts: 133Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 1, 2013
    Frankly, I think the entire navigation UI has gone several steps backwards. Sure, it looks nicer, but from a functionality and usability standpoint things have gotten worse. Obviously the lack of Next/Prev buttons is one big issue. The other is that they have chosen to replace all text based buttons with tiny icons. While the minimalism looks nice, it is really really unintuitive for non savvy users. There is absolutely no chance that my parents would ever find the tiny download icon and realize that they need to click it to download the original size images when I share a gallery with them to view. I share a lot of images with family members and the old Smugmug layout was simple, elegant and very functional. Not sure I can say the same about the new SM layout. It's all form over functionality.

    i totally agree with you, im now warming to my new look site ive been playing with but i have a high volume turn over of pictures that when sold go in clients own galleries where they then click to download. the silly tiny icons will just not be seen.

    same with the numbers, there now much smaller and hidden at the bottom, most of my clients look through my galleries then contact me with page and picture numbers they want, they now wont see then unless they scroll up. i use the smug style galleries with the thumbs on one side and big pic on other, it now can seem as if theres only one page of pictures when on average there dozens.

    this is now the only sticking point thats going to stop me unveiling my site.

    i understand the sleek look but even on my 27 inch screen i can hardly notice the icons :/
  • HamsterHueyHamsterHuey Big grins Posts: 73Registered Users Big grins
    edited August 1, 2013
    And it would still have been fine if we had javascript to inject custom buttons for downloading images (this already exists for legacy SM), but obviously that isn't happening either. I'm really not sure the consumer won when it came to this rollout. Maybe I am ignorant of Smugmugs primary target audience, but it looks like they are trying to go the way of Wordpress meets photo hosting, but their main market seems to be folks who use smugmug solely to sell prints or to host their photographs and share with friends and family. I'm not sure if either of the latter 2 are going to benefit from the update. As far as friends and family go, I don't even want to think about the number of questions I would get when they are trying to navigate the new Smugmug interface. And for selling prints, etc, there really seems to be no additions in features that actually makes that easier or things more intuitive for users to place orders. You'd think that they would have a whole bunch of features aimed at their "Pro" customers, but the entire update seems entirely focused on skinning/theming and prettying things up, while taking away functionality (intuitive UI, javascript, etc).

    I'm just massively disappointed, and I'd still be okay with it since they tried to leave legacy smugmug untouched as an option, except that the migration process actually messed up a bunch of things on my legacy site when it shouldn't have if this was really sandboxed.

    Trust in Smugmug is currently at an all time low...this after I've been raving about it to friends and family for the past few years.
    Unhappy SmugMug beta tester - http://smandal.smugmug.com
  • picturebikepicturebike Major grins Posts: 133Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 1, 2013
    i just know if i go live ill will end up with endless calls from existing clients returning to there galleries and suddenly the download tab has gone and they wont know how to get there pictures.. im a big smug fan but im having this feeling that they have gone all new flickr style and will just ignore us and march on regardless, what i dont get is theres the option to have the galleries in old smug style which im using so why change that as well, its gives us no options..
  • paulbrockpaulbrock Major grins Posts: 515Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 1, 2013
    Maybe I am ignorant of Smugmugs primary target audience, but it looks like they are trying to go the way of Wordpress meets photo hosting, but their main market seems to be folks who use smugmug solely to sell prints or to host their photographs and share with friends and family. I'm not sure if either of the latter 2 are going to benefit from the update.


    Correct, there is definitely a section of the market that would love to change the design of their site every week. For them, new smugmug is understandably awesome. A focus on the aesthetic suggests they are competing with flickr as somewhere for people to upload and show off their photos.

    Back to the OP, this has been done at the expense of usability. Great for holiday snaps, but for people using it as a shopfront? I'm not so sure.
  • picturebikepicturebike Major grins Posts: 133Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 1, 2013
    please take notice of this smugmug, dont be another Flickr!
  • JBHotShotsJBHotShots Major grins Posts: 456Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 1, 2013
    Mine seems to have the navigation arrows.

    Arrows.jpg
    Jamie
    JBHotShots.com
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  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Major grins North Andover, MAPosts: 9,958Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 1, 2013
    Mine seems to have the navigation arrows.
    Those arrows are to go to the next page of thumbs. The arrows to go to the next photo are gone. The next photo arrows are present in lightbox but at the level up, the smugmug-style gallery.

    I think viewers are going to want those arrows; it's easier to click on an arrow that is in the same spot on each screen than it is to need to move the mouse to click on a thumb to move to the next image.

    --- Denise
  • JBHotShotsJBHotShots Major grins Posts: 456Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 1, 2013
    Those arrows are to go to the next page of thumbs. The arrows to go to the next photo are gone. The next photo arrows are present in lightbox but at the level up, the smugmug-style gallery.

    I think viewers are going to want those arrows; it's easier to click on an arrow that is in the same spot on each screen than it is to need to move the mouse to click on a thumb to move to the next image.

    --- Denise
    HEHE...my apologies. 11doh.gif
    Jamie
    JBHotShots.com
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  • GaryBakkerGaryBakker Major grins Posts: 266Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 1, 2013
    Fortunately, I suspect that some of these design decisions (next photo arrows, larger/labeled download icon, larger thumbs up icon) are pretty easy to change.

    I am sure right now they are spending 100% of their time on investigating bug reports and fixing true bugs. As long as things like these don't get lost in the shuffle and get changed as soon as the big problems are resolved, I'll be OK with that.

    Gary
    SmugMug site => The Bakker Chautauqua
    "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits." (Einstein)
  • HamsterHueyHamsterHuey Big grins Posts: 73Registered Users Big grins
    edited August 1, 2013
    GaryBakker wrote: »
    Fortunately, I suspect that some of these design decisions (next photo arrows, larger/labeled download icon, larger thumbs up icon) are pretty easy to change.

    I am sure right now they are spending 100% of their time on investigating bug reports and fixing true bugs. As long as things like these don't get lost in the shuffle and get changed as soon as the big problems are resolved, I'll be OK with that.

    Gary
    While that's true Gary, what is alarming is the fact that it seems like no user/usability testing was implemented when determining the new designs and features. The new smugmug seems a big step back in usability even if it has a whole lot more of eye candy. That just leaves very little faith in smugmug to actually get things right because it does not seem that they have focused on making their sites have a seamless and easy user experience. Instead, the focus has been on the visual appeal at the expense of usability. It is mind boggling that a feature as basic and necessary as buttons/arrows to skip between images was left out in their galleries. Similarly the minimalistic design of the icons, etc in the galleries all make for snazzy looking pages, while simultaneously making them a lot less easy to use for non savvy users.
    Unhappy SmugMug beta tester - http://smandal.smugmug.com
  • GaryBakkerGaryBakker Major grins Posts: 266Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 1, 2013
    While that's true Gary, what is alarming is the fact that it seems like no user/usability testing was implemented when determining the new designs and features.

    Certainly, whatever usability testing was done was insufficient.

    As someone who has spent over 35 years in software development, I can tell you that this is the result when too much power is put into the hands of the software developer, and not enough power in the hands of customer facing people.

    I can tell that the software engineering that went into this new system is terrific. The human engineering that went into it is not.

    Gary
    SmugMug site => The Bakker Chautauqua
    "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits." (Einstein)
  • picturebikepicturebike Major grins Posts: 133Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 1, 2013
    its like opening your garage one morning and finding a lambo sitting there, only to find you havent go a key for it. looks great but dosent work....
  • HamsterHueyHamsterHuey Big grins Posts: 73Registered Users Big grins
    edited August 1, 2013
    GaryBakker wrote: »
    Certainly, whatever usability testing was done was insufficient.

    As someone who has spent over 35 years in software development, I can tell you that this is the result when too much power is put into the hands of the software developer, and not enough power in the hands of customer facing people.

    I can tell that the software engineering that went into this new system is terrific. The human engineering that went into it is not.

    Gary
    Couldn't agree more. For another example I just stumbled upon, I give you http://www.dgrin.com/showthread.php?t=237100
    Unhappy SmugMug beta tester - http://smandal.smugmug.com
  • Soul Gaze PhotographySoul Gaze Photography Photographic Artist United StatesPosts: 286Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 1, 2013
    I also agree that there should be additional consideration given to the photo navigation. Those who I've tested the gallery on have said the same things as those posting here. The thought the next page arrows were for the next photo. Could there be instead next photo and next page instead of the arrow? Same location, but two different options in the same simple place? Also, the download feature would be nice to optionally have text instead of the minimal buttons for those who prefer a less minimalist appearance.
    Photographic Artist Amber Flowers of Soul Gaze Photography, LLC.
    SmugMug setup & customization services. Contact me! :D
    Proud & helpful Smugger since 2009. Please hire me for Support Hero!!
    I first contacted Jill V. in April 2011 & I even wrote a poem.


  • picturebikepicturebike Major grins Posts: 133Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 1, 2013
    the more i look at it the more i fail to see the logic behind the arrows moving from page to page and not picture to picture. if you have to click on the thumb to move to next image will just forget where you are, crazy...
  • picturebikepicturebike Major grins Posts: 133Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 1, 2013
    perhaps someone from smugmug would like to comment on this thread and enlighten us as to the thinking behind these changes ?

    i will not be going live until its changed i simply cant as will not work with my clients, if its not going to be changed then ill stick with legacy until renewal then ill have to look at jumping ship, will be a shame as im liking the overall look of my new site but looks and usability currently are not working together ...
  • GaryBakkerGaryBakker Major grins Posts: 266Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 1, 2013
    Couldn't agree more. For another example I just stumbled upon, I give you http://www.dgrin.com/showthread.php?t=237100

    Whoa. That is particularly egregious. All my galleries are Travelogues with substantial caption content. (Unlike a professional site, people come to my site more to read the captions than to see the photos.)

    I just will have to hope that everyone stays in Smugmug style and no one clicks an image to make it larger. rolleyes1.gif
    SmugMug site => The Bakker Chautauqua
    "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits." (Einstein)
  • HamsterHueyHamsterHuey Big grins Posts: 73Registered Users Big grins
    edited August 1, 2013
    GaryBakker wrote: »
    Whoa. That is particularly egregious. All my galleries are Travelogues with substantial caption content. (Unlike a professional site, people come to my site more to read the captions than to see the photos.)

    I just will have to hope that everyone stays in Smugmug style and no one clicks an image to make it larger. rolleyes1.gif
    Gary, even if you are in Smugmug style it doesn't work as well as before. I've noticed that for some screen sizes, especially on widescreen monitors the caption section gets pushed down "below the fold". A big issue is that there is a significant amount of unnecessary whitespace between the bottom of the photograph and the caption line. This makes it very easy to miss the captions completely even in SmugMug mode. Of course this only gets worse in full screen mode.

    I'm really trying to like the new SmugMug, and I'm sure my site will look better, but I just cannot accept so many downgrades in the actual viewing and browsing experience. The entire reason I justify spending the money I do on my SmugMug account is the ease with which I can share albums with friends and family and not have to worry about them having difficulties in viewing the images and/or ordering prints.
    Unhappy SmugMug beta tester - http://smandal.smugmug.com
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