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Some observations about Photo Albums

Discussion in 'Feedback & Suggestions' started by Todd Nilson on Oct 24, 2021.

  1. Todd Nilson

    By:Todd NilsonOct 24, 2021
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    To begin with, I'll cop to being relatively new to Clubrunner sites. I've recently inherited responsibility for my club's site. I work with lots of different site builders. This one has so far been... eclectic. That being said, and because of the way the back end experience is organized, I will freely admit that there's probably stuff I don't know about the dev history of the platform that might mitigate some of the views I'm about to share.

    I'm going to get a little "ranty" here. Apologies in advance.

    The notion of photo albums for events is fine. It's a bit old school, but we've got a proportionally older crowd of people who use the Clubrunner sites (me included).

    However, the user experience of creating and displaying albums? I feel that it could be better.

    Uploading a new album is pretty easy. However, there's no warning that any vertically oriented photographs will be turned on their side. That was a bit of a surprise. And it became an annoyance when I discovered that there's no way to fix that orientation post-upload. If I am to use original photos from an event and those photos are vertically oriented, then I'm stuck doing photo editing to fit that vertical photo into a horizontal frame. That's a pretty poor user experience and, frankly, I'm surprised that a platform that's been around as long as Clubrunner hasn't addressed it.

    Secondly, and I've noticed other posts about this, its mind-blowing that uploaded photo albums are stored "elsewhere" than the images library. What's up with that? Last post I saw about that was from a while back. Any updates?

    Third, the widget for displaying photo albums feels very phoned in. Seriously, I get a link? We're talking about photo albums here. They are supposed to be visually appealing. I don't even get a preview of my lovingly crafted thumbnail image in this widget? Not feeling the love here, guys.

    Could I trouble someone from your dev team for an update on where improvements to the photo album user experience falls on your product development roadmap? Thanks in advance for the reply!
     
    Mats HÃ¥kanson likes this.
  2. Todd Nilson

    By:Todd NilsonOct 26, 2021
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    Pinging this back to the top since it has been over a day since I posted it. @Mickey since you were so kind as to respond to my last post, are you comfortable chiming in here, too? Sorry to put you on the spot, but I can't be the only platform subscriber reacting in this way.
     
  3. Mickey

    By:MickeyOct 26, 2021
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    Hello Todd,

    Thanks for posting.

    Before I address some of your points, please see the new updated process with our newer dynamic carousels. Dynamic carousels have no need to use the Photo Album process, you can upload/re-order/label images directly into dynamic carousels:
    https://www.clubrunnersupport.com/kb/articles/widget-dynamic-carousel

    You may find the dynamic carousel process more to your liking. To go over your points -

    1. Photo orientation: we generally don't recommend doing "mixed orientation" photo albums, that is, generally "wide" photos mixed with generally "tall" photos inside the same standard carousel. This is because carousels "fit to fill" wherever you put them. Let's say you put them in a narrow column on the left/right side of a webpage for example. The carousel will fit itself to the width of that column - but if the photo height changes, the vertical size of the carousel will "fit to fill" and, as in our example, "tall" photos may push the rest of the content down in that column section.

    Your solution is valid - create a vertical photo inside a horizontal frame. In other words we recommend all photos be the exact same width and height:
    https://www.clubrunnersupport.com/kb/articles/carousel-best-practices-images

    2. Image Library: the Photo albums are not technically stored in your "My Images" section in Image Library due to the nature of what they're meant to be. For example a in a non-carousel example, a club might upload 50-100 images into one photo album to show a club event/party/etc. We didn't wish to mix all those images into your general Image library.

    In many cases if you go to your Image library - you'll see your photo albums running down the left side, below your "My Images" section.

    3. Visually appealing: as mentioned please try our newer "dynamic carousel" as it has more visual options, like more enhanced transitions and the ability to include hotlinks on each slide.

    Please post again if you have more questions.
     
  4. Todd Nilson

    By:Todd NilsonOct 27, 2021
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    I will check out the dynamic carousels and let you know what I think. It wasn't immediately obvious how to set them up but I'll delve back in and will see what I can do!

    I have a follow-up question about dynamic carousels, @Mickey. Is this widget more forgiving about "mixed orientation" photographs? Or do you recommend following the same guidelines as the regular photo albums? I wanted to be sure I was understanding you correctly.
     
  5. Mickey

    By:MickeyOct 27, 2021
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    Hello Todd,

    We'd recommend that same "exact width x height" guideline for dynamic carousels too, that is, keep all images in a carousel the same exact width and height if possible. And if possible (depending on where you put the carousel) - please use wider images if possible rather than tall images.

    Whether a standard or dynamic carousel - they both have the "fit to fill" feature meaning we'll use the width and height of the images and fit the contents of each image to fill the section it's in.

    Please post if you have more questions.
     
  6. Mark WILLIAMS

    By:Mark WILLIAMSOct 29, 2021
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    "What this country needs is a really good five-cent cigar"
    --Thomas Riley Marshall
    The problem with being a dev for a system like Clubrunner is that your users range so widely in capabilities. If all clubrunner admins were web natives then the choice would be easy. Don't even bother with the web page part of Clubrunner. Concentrate on improving the club management side of things and export widgets for display as a wordpress/drupal plugin and javascript applets.

    For all its faults, I am still convinced that Clubrunner is easily the best solution for Rotary club management and it is cheaper than the inferior products out there. Relative to the competition, it kicks butt and takes names.

    On the website side, well the late 2000s what their look and feel back. Actually, this is a little unfair because the responsive design works well and that's a 2012 thing. This is not surprising because with the best will in the world, it is unreasonable to expect a small development team to keep up with the rapidly changing web technologies even in things behind the cutting edge like Wordpress because they have literally thousands of people coding away on a daily basis.

    But you are selling to Rotarians. Rotarians want a "website" and it is hard to explain that the applications behind the website are the difficult and important thing when just registering a domain gets you 2 phone calls a day from people promising to give you a flashy website for $1500 and $100/annum hosting fees. The Rotary world is full of websites that looked good for 6 months and now are no longer maintained.

    You and I might like the idea of being able to build a website to the look and feel du jour and have it auto-update through plugins that pull data from the club management backend. But I can hear the board conversation in my mind's ear now: "You mean we need to buy a website *and* a management system? Let's just go with the website for now."

    It's perfectly possible to build a reasonably attractive and highly functional website using the Clubrunner front end. But I'd still prefer it to come as a wordpress plugin. Are we ever going to get a Trybooking/Eventbrite integration for Clubrunner? Not likely. But it's right there for Wordpress, along with Woocommerce and a host of other things.

    And you could have whatever media library you wanted.
     
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