Reader Redesign Survey Results

Discussion in 'News' started by carashilaire, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. Hello members! Thank you so much for completing the redesign survey. We even had responses coming in last week still! You are a dedicated bunch. You went above and beyond and provided really helpful feedback on many different things you feel passionately about regarding your site, photo.net.

    As we work through the redesign, your feedback is critical. There were very powerful themes that came up throughout several of the questions. First, you want change! You feel the site needs a reorganization, redesign, and more streamlined functionality. You would like the critiques system changed, a better photo upload process, you'd like to have the option of opting out of viewing nude photos, and you would like to feel less discouraged by the lack of civility that is happening in the forums. You'd also like a better mobile experience, a better and less cluttered home page, video tutorials, more software tutorials and a forum for various types of software, and the list goes on. These suggestions are fantastic and there are more within the survey. Many of the suggestions are truly critical for the health of the site and our future at photo.net.

    Thank you again! The entire survey was approximately 85 pages, so instead I've summarized in the first few pages. I also provided the most common themes within the comments section rather than every single comment.
    Click HERE to view the survey results.


    Thanks again!
     
  2. Fair enough as I read through the data. Cara, I think you and Glenn have your work cut out for you. Just gathering the information is a big step forward. The big gain for me would be in posting photos of better resolution, more automated upload and larger images. I join with those who would like to keep the site civil. I think you are on the right track. You have my support. Dick
     
  3. The survey result appears to mirror sentiments expressed in forums in recent days. My only comment is that I hope the redesigned site/software will be able to respond to, and accommodate, changes down the road.
    There have been a number of "frequently requested" site features that were never implemented over the years, which I believe are still of value, but unfortunately gets lost in describing ones most recent site-experiences. Example: the ability to search for members by geography so we can network with local photographers.
     
  4. Sounds like some good things are coming. I will appreciate seeing larger photos, one of the things I like on 500px is the large photos. Ever since I got a new notebook with 17.4 inch display at 1920 screen res, the old 700 pixel wide shots are like looking at small baseball cards. Kind of nice seeing shots full screen, a little like viewing photos in an old Life or Rolling Stone Magazine. Also cool being able to navigate using arrow keys and a simple "like" and "favorite" the shot by hitting L or F. I wouldn't want to see PN be a copy of 500px, but moving ahead with the times will be appreciated. So it will be interesting to see what Photo.Net comes up with.
     
  5. Cara - thanks for posting this. It's unusual for a site to report back on a survey, and it's good to know that thoughts are going somewhere! I look forward to what gets implemented. (Especially if the requested "new to photo.net" page explains some of the forum rules, that I've never seen fully documented.)
     
  6. Thanks for posting the result and best of luck with implementation.
     
  7. I am so proud for being a member from 2007 with you, I am eager to see changes and redesign of this such a respected site. Thank you very much for trying to be fresh and give us so much perspective, no matter the academic or non-academic knowledge about photography ;)
     
  8. It would certainly be interesting to see the site redesign. I took part in the survey and feel vindicated that so many of my opinions are shared by others.
     
  9. Good stuff. Observations:
    • I had no idea the largest age demographic, site-wide, is 55-64. I frequent the Classic Manual Cameras forum where the demographic may trend about 70, but I expected that there. I figured it was much younger on the rest of the site but apparently I'm wrong. The site is in trouble if it cannot attract a younger demographic soon. Apparently we all need to recruit our 20-something children!
    • The nudes thing -- if it's not already obvious: Many of us are not prudish and do not personally object to nudes; free speech advocates on the site need not worry that this is censorship. It's just that many of us could be sacked if a manager should walk by when we're reading PNET over lunch at work if an unexpected nude loads in a thread that we thought was innocuous (for example about developing a certain film emulsion). Some way to retroactively label threads (etc.) "NSFW" if a nude gets added would be a boon.
    • I do not envy you the task of managing the image size challenge. It used to be all monitors were about 1024 x 768 or 1280 x 1020. Now you've got a dichotomized world with gonzo large 1920 x 1080 HD monitors and tiny little phone screens. I'm glad you did this survey to uncover hard challenges like that, and published the answers. Very brave.
    Keep up the good work...
    --Dave
     
  10. Hi,
    reading the summary I note that the difference between technical and artistic quality was there at the begin.
    And yes, automatic resize would be great. Resizing with Fireworks makes my exif data vanish ...
    thank you and kind regards
    Maria
     
  11. This sounds like a monumental undertaking but it is nice to see the site is striving to be better. I was pretty active here from around 2004-2007 and then I took a hiatus from photography due to work and relocation. When I recently started visiting photo.net again it did seem to me that activity and posting had slowed down somewhat. (Just an impression and I have no data to support that) I actually think that the civility has improved. Years ago it seemed like there was more bickering (usually about the "fairness" of rating photos) Either it has subsided or is being screened today. I really don't mind the simple layout of the site. I guess I don't feel the need to be entertained by elaborate web design but rather by content. I would like to see something that allows for the uploading of larger, high resolution photos but I'm sure there would be complications doing that. One thing I saw in your survey that I hope never gets implemented is the removal of older, less frequented forums, dated reviews, older threads, postings, topics etc. The absolute best thing about photo.net is the wealth of information in the forums that goes back further than just about anything on the web. You may be surprised to learn of how many people here get something useful from a thread dating back to 2001. To me that is one of the things that makes photo.net unique and valuable.
     
  12. So, at last you decided to change this lovely site to a better format with higher pixels image which is excellent toward a new rejuvenation of this lovely site.<br>
    I read thru the data and it was interesting to know what members would like to have.<br>
    I hope you are going to present this new format soon.<br>
    Keep up with good work <br>
    - kombizz<br>
     
  13. I participated & it is very nice to see the results & 'discussion' about things from the survey & what it means to the future.

    The one thing, I don't think I addressed in the survey (sorry) is probably covered in generic terms. It is the scenario when wanting to submit a comment regarding a particular photo in the Photos of the Last 24 Hrs Gallery. Right now, after you submit a note, you cannot just go to where you were & keep going. Have to return to the Gallery & then work (click) your way back to where you were. But, you have indicated navigation will be improved and I'm sure that would fix this issue.

    Really appreciate the great photos w/in the site. Glad I joined, way back when.

    Oh, and super glad the recent IT (load balancing) issues have been rectified. The past few days of sluggishness... well, let's just say, nice to have it loading properly.

    Cheers,
    Drew
     
  14. Hello everyone!

    I just saw the result of the survey, and I regret that the classic nude is still pointed (for porn I agree, this is not art !)

    The classic nude has always been part of the arts painting, sculpture, and for a long time in photography !
    I see regularly that nude photos are visited more often than portraits or landscapes !
    Why the ban, and do the "poor relation" of the site ?

    Regards
    Jean Louis Cambon
     
  15. Hmmm...
    I find it very interesting that q. 10 of the survey - "...Have you encountered any unpleasant situations..?" - has an 80%/20% result in favour of this not being an issue, yet every one of the quoted comments supports a perception that the site is full of vindictive, mean-spirited trolls.
    They can't both be right. This doesn't look remotely like an accurate reflection of the results of the survey, and it makes me doubt that the results of its implementation will reflect what the site's users want.
    Some clear "reporting bias" here. If the survey was worth the effort of users completing it, what follows from it has to reflect the actual opinions it gathered, and not the (pretty clearly unrepresentative) personal agenda of whoever compiled the report.
    In my experience the lack of civility in the forums is directly proportional to the nature of the post that provokes the reaction: it's almost always the case that where a poster is pontificating about something they obviously know nothing about, they'll be given short shrift.
    Sounds reasonable to me - some of us take seriously the idea that this site is intended as a valuable source of information going forward, and some of the claptrap on here needs to be shot down: and sometimes it need to be done robustly because of the attitude of the person who made the post in the first place.
    But "toxic"? Not PN - especially not in the "Beginner's Questions" forum.
    Of course, sometimes things will get heated - but a forum is just a microcosm of the real world, so why shouldn't they?
     
  16. @ Keith:
    "...that made you want to leave photo.net?" This makes it a narrowly defined question. I've encountered plenty of unpleasant situations that made me wish for change but they did not make me want to leave.
     
  17. It's narrowly defined and self-selecting - and obviously the respondents didn't leave, so it's also contradictory, if we want to focus only on that part of it.

    My point still stands: if there's an 80/20 result suggesting that this this isn't a problem, it's disingenuous and clearly biased to quote only comments that suggest the site is an analogue of (say) DPR in terms of overall tone and friendliness.
    Assuming that those who voted no to the question didn't also add a comment, it would have far better reflected the actual result if Cara had provided no quotes at all - but she felt the need to colour and reinterpret the result for some reason, and that's something I'm uncomfortable with.
     
  18. Thanks for making the survey results available. I like the idea of a "like" button that would allow us to show appreciation without the repetitive "good job" and "Wow, great image" comments. The rating system allows for a more nuanced feedback though. Putting the ratings selector right on the initial image page, maybe right under the image, would result in more people leaving ratings. Not that I put much value in them, but increasing the number of ratings would help balance out the odd troll in the ratings.
     
  19. I wasn't aware that there was a survey (my bad) but one thing I have been asking for YEARS is that when a forum thread is responded to, it pops to the top. Of the 40 or so forums I frequent, PHOTO.NET is the only one that doesn't pop to the top. Makes it hard to follow a thread.
    Thanks!
     
  20. I get more and more intelligent feedback on posted photos on Flickr, than I do here. I've pretty much stopped using Photo.net. I just don't see the point any more. It certainly isn't worth $25/year to me.
    As far as the 'recent' incivility we see, It has always been sort of unfriendly to all but a few insiders. (It was downright awful when you had that popularity contest thingy where people could vote on the PEOPLE who subscribe) It's really just the the things that the curmudgeons are curmudgeonly about that has changed.
     
  21. Thanks for conducting the survey and summarizing our comments. Change is always good for progress. I look forward to opening the new site.
     
  22. brf

    brf

    I missed the survey, but reading some of the comments intrigues me. Complaints about nudes - there is a very clear option of all-no nudes. I do agree that nudes should tend more to the artistic and less to the abusive. This has been better recently. I do find more comments on pn than other sites, a good thing. We visit everyday and look forward to any upgrades.
    Greg and Verena Sava
     
  23. I wish I would have participated in the survey. If I had, my main improvement request would have been to upgrade the presentation feature. This feature is potentially valuable for sharing content with professional editors who are considering work for publication. Currently, you can only navigate by image name, which makes it very cumbersome to select among hundreds of photos (in my case). Next, when viewing in presentation mode, it defaults to a certain size. If that size is larger than the native image size, then it appears to have poor sharpness/resolution. In summary, the presentation feature is not very practical to use in it's current state.

    As for comments about upgrading the "look", sometimes simpler is better. Consider the example of Google!

    Other than that, I'm pretty happy with the site.
     
  24. I responded to the survey and am glad we have been given the results. I for one would LOVE tutorials on
    Lightroom as I don't use Photoshop.

    As far as the incivility, I have seen it in some of the forums although I personally have been given thoughtful
    advice, but some others in the forums have been the recipient of some snide remarks.

    Thank you for taking this on.
     
  25. Just wanted to thank you all for the comments of support and additional suggestions. We are also really excited and working hard on the redesign. Really appreciate the notes here. I wanted to reiterate that there were lots of other suggestions throughout the various questions that we'd love to implement and we've taken note of. For the sake of summarizing, I called out the most common/frequent responses. Once we have screenshots to share, we'll do that as a next step so you can see what the look and feel will be.
     
  26. I too responded to the survey and am glad to have been given the opportunity to view the results.
    Looking forward to some refreshing changes, especially in viewing and uploading photos as well as the critiques and ratings.
    Hopefully the overall tone of many of the forums will change and eliminate the feeling that they are solely for the purpose of a "few insiders," and can attract new participants, their questions, opinions or expertise on any given forum thread without feeling belittled.
    I am glad to see that the Nudes will remain but, also the extended effort to seek them out and not have to worry about them popping up for any reason unexpectedly for those that are fortunate enough to browse the site in their work day, and, those with concerns about the site being left up and the unexpected visitor to the computer.
    Best wishes on the redesign all along the way!
     
  27. There are not many companies that ask their customers what they want. This survey is excellent; thanks! I saw excellent suggestions, things I had not thought about. I like the tutorials idea.
     
  28. I have been on this site for maybe more than 10 years. Thanks for publishing the survey results. As for the conclusions of the survey, just my comments:
    - I don't feel this forum is too old-looking (and i'm a software engineer, by the way). However, the forum needs a tool for searching inside a topic. This is important whenever one has a multi-page topic, like this one.
    - I have never found any aggressive or uncivilized conversation in the forums.
    - I do think that the rating system can be improved. I remember when we had the "originality" and "aesthetics" independent ratings. I think that was a better way to rate a pic.
    - Yes, we do need the ability to upload larger photos. But you know what would be a killer feature that would set this forum apart? Automatic digital watermarking of the uploaded pics, so we can upload our high-res pics without worries.
    Congratulations for years and years of great work!
     
  29. Garret

    Garret amateur wannabe

    I just recently renewed my subscription to photo.net after going inactive for some years. I didn't see much change from what I remember. This is really a wonderful site 'as is'. Any improvements are just more megapixels and better resolution.
    In looking at the demographic here, I wonder if it might be a good idea to canvas the younger members, say 30 and younger. Ultimately, they'll be the future of the site. There's a generation or two that will be going away soon for one reason or another. Seems like cell phone snapshots might be replacing the art of photography. I'd be interested to know for sure how the younger-than-thirty folks see the future of photography.
    Thanks again for your efforts.
     
  30. Cara, Thank you for your excellent and concise compilation of the results of the survey. It's interesting to hear what other comments people had. Though I filled out the survey, there were some aspects I frankly didn't think about, but they were covered by others. Thanks for all your hard work!
     
  31. Amazing and very interesting, thanks.
    Looking good, hopefully executing any changes won't be too painful for you folks behind the scenes.
     

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