(Update 2, Friday Friday, fun fun fun)(Update with link to mock up site) Complaint Department/Suggestion box is Open: Give our Web Developer Complaints/Ideas in comments below

We’ll be down Friday Friday, the day after Thursday, gotta beta test the API, fun fun fun partying partying. Yeah.

Outsider_art - Louis_Wain

Friday, Friday, fun fun  fun (for those who don’t know the cultural reference. . . well, never mind).  We’ll be down tomorrow, Friday Friday migrating to a new site, fun fun. Yeah and all that.  Plus it’s April Fool’s day. We hope that’s not an omen. Anyway, paraphrased from our web team:

Update 03.31.11: Updated timeline based on new features, added project scope, and additional coding:
March 30 – Thursday March 31 – modifications to the Google API search code – ALPHA COMPLETE
Friday April 1 – BETA LAUNCH – we will begin the transfer and integration at 10am and will go until 6pm
Saturday April 2 – Sunday April 3 – full review of the site from you and your followers (hopefully with a fun blog post inciting comments)
Monday April 4 – new gallery discussion and implementation
Tuesday April 5 – Friday April 8 – new gallery implementation on some of the recent galleries/pages

Update 03.05.11: A mock up site can be found here: http://vintageprintable.makeitworkweb.com./

Vintage Printable users, we hear you. You’re frustrated. We’re frustrated.

And we’d like to give you a voice.

We’ve gotten a lot of comments, and they sound good to us but some we don’t understand because we’re simply not tech folks, and frankly, we have a day job and have to get going. So we’re going professional and paying people to handle this.

Would you put any non-obscenity laced comments in the comments below? If you have explicit technical problems, can you be sure to be clear?

That way we can point or web developers directly to your comments.

What we think is reasonable to expect:

  • A free image bank of vintage images that are sized to be printable on your printer at home.
  • The site should be navigatable and the image-searchable.
  • Images should be downloable with a right click and a save, with no sign up, registration or fees.
  • We would like to create a place where Vintage Printable users can interact if they desire (we have a small users gallery so far, and a links page — what else could we do? Should we leave that to Facebook?)
  • We appreciate users supporting our sponsors

Thanks to all who have already given us suggestions — and we appreciate any additional advice/complaints/suggestions below.

36 thoughts on “(Update 2, Friday Friday, fun fun fun)(Update with link to mock up site) Complaint Department/Suggestion box is Open: Give our Web Developer Complaints/Ideas in comments below”

  1. Just a shout out to thank you for asking for input. I love the Google image search – images are easy to see and easy to scroll through.

    Love your site and appreciate all that you do for it.

    1. Thanks TG
      For those who want to search by image, go to Google Image Search and type in site:Vintageprintable.com for a site restricted search of the images here.

  2. Hi I appreciate the cleaner look. All that background noise was so hard to look at.
    I’m not a huge fan of the moving images flying under the cursor. I find it annoying. I think it would be better to have “thumbnails” that aren’t floating around.
    Since most of my time on this site is spent “sorting” and looking at image after image,, the easier it is to flip though images the better. Like a card catalog versus a collage. A card catalog helps you tackle an enormous amount of info. A collage makes you look but not really focus.

  3. One other thought – how about a place to “hold” your images while searching around? My personal gallery.

  4. The Flash galleries are a real problem for me and several others has spoken about it as well. They are very, very slow to load and move so quickly that it is like a carnival game to click on the image you want or are even curious about. They are also frequently overlapping one another. Once the lucky click happens, the image selected is once again, very, very slow to load and I have found does not always save off properly — or even obviously in terms of how to do so. I disable the Flash Gallery and frankly, prefer the thumbnails. One change that I have noticed is that I no longer seem to be able to open the image in a separate tab at the correct size. I liked this feature because it allowed me to gang up several images for download. Now, I have to click on each image individually, download it, and go back to the thumbnails for the next image. A bit slow, but functional as I am at least taken back to the portion of the page were I left off. The current clean look is excellent.

    The fact that you persevere in spite of these issues has been deeply appreciated as this is truly an outstanding site, and one that I frequently recommend. I hope my comments have been useful to you.

  5. Terrific! Many thanks for the thoughtful comments.

    We hope to address everyone’s suggestions, and we so appreciate your advice (see? we’re now a big fan of crowd sourcing).

  6. Eh, the flash galleries aren’t my favorite. It’d be a ton easier to browse the site if you used an image gallery script like Gallery:

    http://gallery.menalto.com/

    But I’m not frustrated. The images you choose are amazing, and a free resource like this? A priceless labor of love. Keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks Austin Storm – we’re definitely exploring all our options on the galleries.

      But.

      In defense of flash walls — these are great ways to see all the images at once with a glance.

      This also, it seems to us, is a little more honest for page view analytics — it doesn’t artificially inflate page view count (in our opinion) by forcing users to click through images. We also wanted honest analytics, without any gimmicks, mostly for end-user ease.

      What we’re learning is that maybe people want to look at each image.
      So — (and maybe this is pre-emptive defense against those who say “Swivelchair just put in click through slide shows just to inflate page views” — we want to say that we’ve tried to not inflate page views unnecessarily.

  7. I loudly second the comments made by Jeneen. The Flash Gallery is like trying to catch a fish. Thumbnails are the best. Can’t the page-view count only tabulate what thumb I select for a closer look? But what do I know?! Well, I do know that you all are great here, and thank you for asking for our input. The look on this page is far better than the previous mash. Please, whatever you do, never go back to that format!!

  8. Love this site and have found many wonderful images here. I agree about the carnival/catching fish thing. Anything you can do to streamline this site would be appreciated. The old format was hard to use and took forever to load even tho I am on a fairly fast connection and reasonably new computer. Thanks for having this site.

  9. I’d recommend saving image file names in a database, and just using simple small thumbnails for browsing & viewing purposes. The important part will be categorizing images with multiple keywords. Why not let your users add tags describing image content?
    Please add a search bar at the top of each page for image content keywords.

    The way things currently are, you have to randomly click on one generic topic and end up in a maze of flash… trying to search through one tiny window that’s too small to fit enough thumbnails at a time…

  10. I have looked at your test site and it is behaving rather strangely. For example, the Indian ferns, when looked at as a Flash Gallery, are moving so fast that they are just eye blinks — you can’t really see them. When you disable the Flash Gallery, some of the images are coming in at full size, while others are remaining as thumbnails. Opening the image in a separate tab only gives you the thumbnail, not the full sized image.

    The overall site look is clean and attractive, just behaving oddly. Keep up the good work!

  11. Don’t know how much of a pain this would be to do; but, if you could take the thumbnail images out of the random images… don’t feel like clicking on the random image any more, cuz I keep getting those thumbnails… don’t think anyone has much use for them. Wonderful site !!!!!

    1. MB-C, we’re trying to figure out how to do that — it’s an off the shelf plug in that goes through all the images. When images are uploaded onto WordPress through the media interface, and then put into a gallery, they are automatically resized. Then the random image widget goes directs from there (and we like random images, so we totally agree).

  12. I have to say … I just found this site a few days ago – so maybe there were larger issues before – but it works just fine for me. In fact, I think the whole concept is awesome, and the content even moreso. Thanks for creating such a cool resource!

  13. I think this site is wonderful. However, the first time I visited (before I saw that I could disable the Flash animation), after a couple of minutes trying to look at images I became dizzy, started sweating, and then actually threw up. There are plenty of images on the internet worth vomiting over, but I never thought 19th-century bird engravings would be one of them.

    I’m sure that with a little tweaking your programmer(s) can remedy this. Until then, I’m visiting on an empty stomach! :^D

  14. Just found your web site, absolutely love the content and I would gladly kiss your feet for making it available … but when I open a gallery, the flash slide show gadget is way, way too slow to load. It may simply be that you’re putting too many photos on each page, I don’t know, but I can literally go have a cup of coffee while it’s loading and I have done everything I can to make sure that the problem is not on my end.

    I think that a gadget with thumbnail pictures that would only load the larger image when you click on the corresponding thumbnail would be great. It would be good if the thumbnails were on a scrolling bar rather than tiled on the page in such a way that you’re constantly scrolling down to view the thumb nails then back up to view the full size image. It would be awesome if the larger image opened on the same page, without having to load a whole new page and then hit the back button, reload and start over, every time you want to switch images.

    Thank you for what you do and for being so proactive!

    1. Thank you L. We’re in the midst of the mock up for the template and then will work on the pages themselves. We know exactly what you’re talking about – we actually had the flash wall with thumbnails, but didn’t go with a scroll bar, although that certainly is an option. So..stay tuned.

  15. Thank goodness for the cleaned up background. This is soooo much better. I think this site, the way it is now works very well. Love what you are doing!

  16. Love the images, great idea…but agree that the current flash is incredibly annoying to the point where it will deter users. I tried to load it twice using Opera and Chrome, and both times the images were flying around. Something more old school would probably be a lot more functional and easier to maintain. After all, whole goal is for people to be able to reasonably access images they need, right? The rest of the site looks great – colors, design, etc.

  17. Hi – Just a cleaner look, please. The galleries are a good start, but no flash, please, as it makes it harder to navigate. Just clean and simple, like Google’s Image Search.

    Thanks!

  18. Your site is amazing! As an artist I would like to see an image right off the bat that is big enough to make out general details. Right now they are too small, and a lot of time is spent clicking on images that are not suitable when I see them properly and waiting for widows to open. I hate the video game aspect of the Flash. It is useless. I agree that a scroll bar would solve the problem.

    Thank you for being you!

  19. I’ll also add that I don’t use the flash gallery at all, and prefer to see images in a grid-like format, maybe even multiple pages of images would be fine and be less problematic than the flash.

    Thanks for all your work to improve the site!

  20. I can’t see ANY images, if I click on one of the gray lines I get an image, do I not have some program that makes this work? It used to work fine for me.

    1. NS, thank you for the comment.

      We’re always surprised at how much people dislike Flash galleries!

      We thought people would want to glance through all the images at once in a flash wall (maybe not to eveyone’s stylistic liking, but convenient). Wrong!

      We’re in the midst of trying out other gallery plug-ins, including slideshow/thumbnail page mixed.

      The only limitation we feel strongly about is that the images have to remain searchable.

  21. Thanks for asking for input, but if your designer is good, they shouldn’t need it. It may have been better to gather throughts before the development process rather than get all the cooks in the kitchen while the designer is trying to complete the redesign.
    In regards to the design – the layout is ok, but the design itself is too modern for the vintage content in my opinion. The disclaimer at the bottom should be a linked modal window or something else -it is really not necessary to have full text in your footer. The graphic elements (green arrows etc) aren’t unique or nice looking.

    1. Thank you v. Good idea to link the disclaimer to modal page or window. (! we wonder why we didn’t think of that before.) *Sigh* we’ve been so focused on functionality (navigation, image search) that we sort of put style/aesthetics on the back burner. Thank you for your eye for style and detail.

  22. I really love the idea of this site. As a person who loves anything and everything vintage, imagine my delight when I stumbled upon this beautiful site! I’m having a great deal of difficulty getting images to load in anything aside from a thumnail. I’ve tried using a couple different browsers (IE and Chrome) and neither have been successful. Is there an optimal browser to view this site on? I’d love for there to be categories for particular eras (i.e. Romantic, Victorian, 20s, WWI, etc.) to make it easy for designers and history nuts like me to pinpoint that exact look of the era we’re looking for. Fabulous idea, and I can’t thank you enough for your patience!

  23. I have a Mac (OS X 10.5.8) and generally use Safari 5.0.4; occasionally, Firefox 3.6.16. With either browser, this site has always loaded with agonizing slowness. Today, no images will load at all. I HATE the Flash gallery, and with recent changes to the site the alternative is a lengthy list of thumbnails, one to a line. In older versions disabling the Flash gallery gave me a window full of larger thumbnails to click on. Nevertheless, I love the concept and the content of Vintage Printable, and I will keep checking for improvements.

    Thanks, Swivelchair!

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