I still don't trust Weasyl enough to use it... by Kree

Once or so every month I've been checking in briefly to see if Weasyl has become easier to use. I've been purposefully avoiding uploading anything onto it because of how badly the thumbnails inhibit the browsing process. The amount of extra legwork I would have to do to make real thumbnails for every upload would be a huge headache.

I wish I could stay in touch with the people who have chosen to move their art life to Weasyl-only, but I just can't put any faith into a website with such terrible usability, and no desire at all to fix the problem. The latest "response" to the venerable 2012 forum post about Thumbnail system failures was to do this:

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.

This thread is now 2 years old.

I'm starting to honestly think it would be a more worthwhile investment to start uploading to deviantART again. Or I don't know, start a tumblr...?

Edit: I just remembered, why is it that so many people completely ignore SoFurry? Why this site over that one?

I still don't trust Weasyl enough to use it...

Kree

2 May 2014 at 22:16:05 MDT

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  • Link

    Seriously? You hate this site because of the thumbnails? Is cropping an image into a thumbnail really that difficult? I really don't understand people that bitch about this. I know some people crop images badly but actually doing it is seriously not that hard.

    This site is 100x better than FA and has all the promised features FA never delivered. That and it actually looks somewhat modern, unlike FA's 1990s era coding.

    • Link

      I don't "hate this site", I find this key failure frustrating, and I've lost trust in the site owners because they've decided to just let this problem sit there untouched for over 2 years.

      Headshots, or just completely nonsensical zoomed in areas of the image. Every thumbnail becomes a mystery "teaser" instead of a real thumbnail. You can't properly browse and appreciate people's art without taking blind stabs in the dark. The thumbnail tool actively encourages these kinds of bad zoom crops. On the off chance the thumbnails aren't like this, they're still forced into square shapes which chops off the top/sides of the image. Very few drawings are naturally square. The whole thing is a bad fit for the sake of looking pretty that really hurts usability.

      The OP on the forum thread from 2012 probably articulates these problems much better than I can.

      • Link

        It's just a thumbnail -_-

        Whatever.
        So why stay if you don't "trust" the website?

        • Link

          "Stay" isn't really the right verb. I have this account, but I have no opportunity to actually use it. This UI problem makes it extremely difficult for me to comfortably browse anything. Everyone's interesting content is being locked away behind unhelpful teaser crops masquerading as "thumbnails".

          It's like wading through a briar patch, it's not impossible to get past but it's incredibly unpleasant and time consuming. It creates a really bad experience that doesn't at all encourage me to want to upload art.

          I don't trust them because this thumbnail system was chosen purely for the sake of looking cool and added a new whizzbang feature, without considering how it would impact usability. Since it's been sitting unaddressed for 2 years, they obviously don't consider it to be a big enough problem.

      • Link

        Also if you use the filter feature correctly you shouldn't run into undesirable images. cough cough
        Something that no matter what, you can't do on FA.

        • Link

          My problem is that these crops make all the images undesirable.

          A headshot crop, or other kinds of zoomed in crops, tells me very little to nothing about what the actual entire image is like. I'm sure it doesn't look too bad to the author, because their brain remembers the full image and will automatically fill in the rest when they look at the crop. For someone who already knows their own art, their brain has a better thumbnail already.

          But to me, a stranger, I have absolutely no idea what to expect. At least with a normal zoomed-out thumbnail, it works similar to a real life art gallery. I can appreciate a collection of images "at a distance" and then choose to "move in closer to get a better look at the detail" by opening up the image's page.

          These crops... it's like an art gallery that locks all their art away in little boxes (with no titles either), and you've either got to rely on previous knowledge of the artist or other legwork before you can find the image itself to finally get a chance to appreciate it. It's secretive. It's closed. You're not allowed to browse it like other galleries do, because we're edgy and modern. It's a very unpleasant way to experience someone's art.

  • Link

    All you have to do is widen the bounding box when you come to the thumbnail generator page. 0.o

  • Link

    The logical fix for them would be to change the default thumbnail to letterbox the image instead of zooming into it. I don't know why they haven't done that already.

    At least on this site you don 't get a picture and a journal entry in your inbox EVERY TIME someone starts streaming. And don't get me started about how annoying it is to try browsing art on Tumblr.

    • Link

      Actually, I wonder if one could make a browser plugin that sees every thumbnail (recognizing it by the URL structure), fetches the page it links to, and gets the URL of the full image? Then it could cache that for a period of time.

      • Link

        It's technically possible, but would require a lot of work and would be really slow because it would have to download and reprocess each of the originals.

  • Link

    They've tried to make some changes, but I think they just don't see what people find to be wrong with it. That or their original designer isn't letting them change his/her design; I've seen that happen before.

  • Link

    There's a box you can untick when you upload something, it says something like "use Weasyl to create a custom thumbnail". Once you click it, that's the new default, it'll skip the thumbnail process and make the thumb the entire image. I don't much care for the zoomed in thumbnails for the same reason, so I don't use them. You don't have to either?

    • Link

      The forced square shape still does a nasty crop to the sides or top/bottom of the image. And that wont solve the problem where that zooming tool encourages everyone else to make really bad crops that remove large portions of the image.

      The entire "thumbnail" creation process on Weasyl revolves around removing content, and that is incredible unpalatable to me as both a viewer and as a content creator.

      • Link

        I'd love a hovering 150px thumbnail on mouseover. 200px would be even better. That'd be sweet.

        • Link

          I agree!

        • Link

          While hidden content would be slightly improved over removed content, it's still hiding away a useful thumbnail behind a bad one. Adding bigger or multiple thumbnails would add more storage & bandwidth costs for Weasyl's owners, so if a bigger thumbnail got made, why waste that on a hover effect when it could be the main thumbnail?

          I've seen something like that done on SoFurry, but it's irritating when it gets triggered accidentally just from idling your mouse cursor, and sometimes even covers up a thumbnail you were looking at. It's also pretty redundant as they already have normal thumbnails there.

          I used to do a lot of web design, so too much use of hover effects is a bit of a pet peeve of mine. A light touch can be helpful to highlight things to click on, but menus or other hidden content have always been a huge pain in the neck, both to build and to use. Using hover for major features often always falls apart and ruins the experience for users on touchscreen devices.

          I'm sorry to get so ranty about this, but bad UI design is really irritating, especially when it makes the user experience so painful :(

          • Link

            I dunno man it's not that painful to me, it's a free website.

  • Link

    So you're sticking to a service that barely works, ancient coding, and I'm sure you can think of more. =p
    The only positive thing about FA is the size of its community, so it's an evil ring.