View larger images on web site - which is better: Link to gallery files or lightbox?

18 Jun 2010 - 3:21am
4 years ago
2 replies
698 reads
ingjerd
2010

We are discussing how to let users view larger images of an image posted on to an article. We are considering several options, but the fundamental question is about the basic behaviour:

Personally I quite like how this works in wordpress for example where an image by default links to the image file, so by clicking an image you open the image file in a separate browser window. However, as this is not become a "standard" yet, a lot of users either gets confused by this or does not understand that the image links directly. So we were thinking to use either a symbol / link to demonstrate to users that you can in fact click the image to view a larger version.

The other suggestion was also to use a lightbox type box that overlays the site for showing a larger version of the image.

Does anyone have thoughts on what works best or have links to good examples?

Comments

18 Jun 2010 - 8:22am
johnwromano
2008

The image being part of a series chagnes the answer. Having to launch a series of images in new windows and then having to close all those windows is a poor experience (and highly annoying). If you want to treat all images the same, display all images in a lightbox (or similar) overlay. Closing an overlay takes as much work as closing a window, and when you are finished, you are back to where you came from.

A symbol or tooltip that alerts users to the behavior can also go a long way to communicating what clicking wil do.

22 Jun 2010 - 12:07am
tkholmes
2010

Ask your users. :)Once you have intellectualized it - take it to your users. If you must, due to lack of funds or time, at least do some guerilla usability. :)

On Fri, Jun 18, 2010 at 8:48 AM, terrell holmes <terrell@tkh2.com> wrote:

I hope I understood your question: you're looking for an apparent way for users to understand that a larger version of an image is available?

I think that most people are familiar with the "expand" functions on video sites - especially youtube and hulu.

There's usually a small symbol at the bottom right that looks like a box, and there are arrows pointing out diagonally from each corner, or a "broken" frame that accent only the corners of the small box.

Anytime I see that symbol or something like it, I automatically assume that I can click it to expand whatever I'm seeing.

You can see this in action on both Youtube and hulu. Hulu's symbol is on the dynamic bar @ the right of the video.

------Original Message------
From: ingjerd
Sender: ixdaor@host.ixda.org
To: Terrell Holmes
ReplyTo: discuss@ixda.org
Subject: [IxDA] View larger images on web site - which is better: Link to gallery files or lightbox?
Sent: Jun 18, 2010 1:59 AM

We are discussing how to let users view larger images of an image posted on
to an article. We are considering several options, but the fundamental
question is about the basic behaviour:

Personally I quite like how this works in wordpress for example where an
image by default links to the image file, so by clicking an image you open
the image file in a separate browser window. However, as this is not become a
"standard" yet, a lot of users either gets confused by this or does not
understand that the image links directly. So we were thinking to use either
a symbol / link to demonstrate to users that you can in fact click the image
to view a larger version.

The other suggestion was also to use a lightbox type box that overlays the
site for showing a larger version of the image.

Does anyone have thoughts on what works best or have links to good examples?

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