Author Topic: VM3: Product images uploading, still a mess..  (Read 2019 times)

EvanGR

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VM3: Product images uploading, still a mess..
« on: December 12, 2015, 13:28:32 pm »
Hello,

Uploading product images in VM2 has been a mess. Where do I start... the fact that you cannot upload multiple images? The fact that you have to select 'upload' in an obscure location at the bottom and then hit 'Save' on the top of the page? All this while showing a different image in the 'Image Information' panel. And all the image information below, does it apply to that other image that is being shown? Or maybe it applies to the new image I am uploading? Oh well... This thing looks like it escaped the alpha-testing development lab and been left out there forever.

I decided to check the VM3 demo today... To my astonishment, the same thing is still there. Who approved a next major release of VM, with that thing still in there? How can you sleep at night?

Joking aside.... Product Media handling really needs some attention. Not because we want 100 amazing new features... but because the current system is badly designed, cryptic and very error prone.

I am currently browsing and fixing a catalog of products in this VM2 eshop with horrible (or even wrong) image 'unique filenanes' and alt-texts.... because the previous admin could not deal with the riddle of the VM Product Image manager....

Thanks

GJC Web Design

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Re: VM3: Product images uploading, still a mess..
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2015, 14:48:37 pm »
the exact same answer applies here as to your last post (or whinge?)

The whole VM project is community based, run by volunteers  and free to you...  if you have ideas then try to contribute....
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jenkinhill

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Re: VM3: Product images uploading, still a mess..
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2015, 15:18:02 pm »
All VirtueMart users were invited to test betas and make suggestions when VM was being updated from 1.1 to 2 and again from VM2 to 3. It's an open source community project so feel free to donate code solutions if you feel that something is an issue.
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Currently using VM 3.6.10.10211 on Joomla 3.9.13 PHP 7.0.33

EvanGR

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Re: VM3: Product images uploading, still a mess..
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2015, 17:26:57 pm »
Thanks,

So if I spot a core problem, but don't know how to code, I shouldn't bother posting?

Do you agree that inserting products (data + media) is a core e-commerce function? Do you also agree, that it should be as simple and fast a process, as possible? Finally, to the point of my post, do you agree that the VM product image panel has serious flaws? Especially to non seasoned VM users.

I'll be happy to suggest ideas on how it can be improved (i.e. fixed actually), and also happy to test the solutions before release.

Or, we can all move along and pretend it doesn't really matter too much...

Thanks

AH

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Re: VM3: Product images uploading, still a mess..
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2015, 19:13:42 pm »
Hi Evan

It is good to hear your views on the forum

Quote
So if I spot a core problem, but don't know how to code, I shouldn't bother posting?

If you spot a bug in functionality and can describe the issue and replicate it, of course you should post.  Regarding user experience, this can often be far more subjective so by all means post - but you may not get universal agreement.

Quote
Do you agree that inserting products (data + media) is a core e-commerce function?

It would be hard to disagree :-).

Quote
Do you also agree, that it should be as simple and fast a process, as possible?

It should be relatively straightforward - but it should also allow for complexity to be catered for - systems like VM look for wide ranging acceptance and adoption, just supporting the lowest common denominator, can reduce take-up. 

As capability increases so can complexity, at some point things are not so simple anymore.

Quote
Finally, to the point of my post, do you agree that the VM product image panel has serious flaws? Especially to non seasoned VM users.

Here I do agree that it media management may be somewhat challenging for users who have not been trained in the use of VM / Joomla and/or FTP. 

Rather than a re-design, maybe what is required, in the first instance, is better documentation of the current functionality.

Quote
The fact that you have to select 'upload' in an obscure location at the bottom and then hit 'Save' on the top of the page?

Not so obscure if you have had even basic training and worked with Joomla more than a couple of days. 
In Joomla 3 the save / cancel / save and close - bar is fixed at the top of the page when you scroll and does not disappear.  This helps continuity and consistency in the Joomla/VM admin area.

Of course my personal preference comes to mind and I know that if I train a user effectively, then this should not be a big problem.  Of course everyone has their own experiences.

Quote
because the previous admin could not deal with the riddle of the VM Product Image manager....

Yep - probably not just the only reason that they are now the "previous admin".

I weep when I hear comments about the complexity of systems that a user "fails to understand"  or finds "too difficult". When all they have done is just browse through the configuration pages. 

If you have some detailed examples of improvements then by all means post them - it should be noted that changes should not negatively impact existing users or reduce functionality.

:-)

I hope you continue to support VM and benefit from the continued developments that are delivered in the releases
regards
A

Joomla 3.9.12
php 7.2

EvanGR

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Re: VM3: Product images uploading, still a mess..
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2015, 19:50:12 pm »
Thank you AH, for the civilized reply. Btw, I am reporting on Joomla 2.5.28 and latest VM 2.6.22.

I have many years experience with Joomla, and I found the product images baffling to start with. Not because of advanced features, but because of sub-optimal design.
I will throw in a few thoughts, random order, on how I believe this can be improved.

1) When editing one of the uploaded images ("Edit image information"), the image that is being edited should be highlighted in some way.
I am talking about the image thumbnails at the top.

2) When selecting a new image to upload, the "Image Information" panel keeps showing an existing image. And some data fields (like the unique filename, and alt-text), persist. This is confusing because you are being shown a different image than the one to be uploaded. Since the "Image Information" panel is also used for new image uploads, it should clear previous settings when selecting the Upload mode. (lots of fun when the unique filename of a new image ends up in _product_product_product_product)

Those are the two major ones. I won't mention advanced features like multiple images upload etc... I realize these require more complex code to deal with.

There are also some minor features that would make a difference, like e.g. uploaded image numbering (showing numbers on uploaded images to identify which is which). I could go on....

Thanks again




AH

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Re: VM3: Product images uploading, still a mess..
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2015, 19:58:17 pm »
HI Evan

Thanks for taking the time to add some positive examples of what you would consider some improvement to exisiting functionality
regards
A

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php 7.2

jjk

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Re: VM3: Product images uploading, still a mess..
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2015, 20:34:43 pm »
... the fact that you cannot upload multiple images?
Just an additional note - if you have to upload a lot of images, you may also ftp them into your image folders which you did configure in VM Configuration (I think you know that already) or use the Joomla media manager, which also allows to upload multiple images. Afterwards simply click 'Synchronize Media' in the VM 'Tools & Migration' view and they are ready to be selected from the product edit images tab. Of course giving the image files a meaningful filename helps to select them faster. Image filenames like for example 'DC34340.jpg' just create another mess.

If you have to edit a lot of image information, you could save some time if you edit for example the alt-attribute directly in the database table.

Another option would be to buy one of the third party 'Multiple image upload' plugins for VM, which are available in the JED.

Non-English Shops: Are your language files up to date?
http://virtuemart.net/community/translations

EvanGR

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Re: VM3: Product images uploading, still a mess..
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2015, 22:03:09 pm »
Very useful info, thanks jjk

EvanGR

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Re: VM3: Product images uploading, still a mess..
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2015, 13:07:19 pm »
Adding more suggestions for the VM Product Image panel (admin)...

3) Always show image filenames in the product image thumbnails (Currently they are only shown in the popups). Crucial information should not be hidden.

4) Allow to disable (but not remove) product images.

5) The 'remove image' icon (red X) is not correctly styled, appears on top right or bottom right on different thumbnails.

6) And a BIG one... product images are not multilingual compatible... which means all your product images will have filenames/descriptions/alt-tags in a single language throughout your shop. This should be a high priority issue for the next major VM release.


[All observations based on VM2.6.22]

btw... How can one contribute to the CSS styling and code of the VM backend? Perhaps I could offer some style improvements to the above issues...

Thanks

EvanGR

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Re: VM3: Product images uploading, still a mess..
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2016, 11:49:14 am »
More comments...

The selected thumbnail (the one being edited) should be highlighted somehow. You can't tell for which thumbnail's data you are about to save in the Image Information panel below.

Also, upon saving, return to the image you saved. Do not go to image (1).

(similar problem when saving multilingual data on products... never ever EVER sneakingly switch to a different item after saving)

Milbo

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Re: VM3: Product images uploading, still a mess..
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2016, 19:16:02 pm »
We have different image per language, btw.
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EvanGR

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Re: VM3: Product images uploading, still a mess..
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2016, 10:30:44 am »
We have different image per language, btw.

Wasn't aware of that, will look into it, thanks. We are on VM2.6.x still, and we currently only upload product images (+set ALT tags) once, for both site languages. ALT tags, captions etc... are the most important to differentiate for each language for SEO reasons. I am hoping this is what you are talking about.

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Re: VM3: Product images uploading, still a mess..
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2016, 00:42:14 am »
Maybe just for vm3. you should try to update to vm3, you can stay with joomla2.  From vm2 to vm3 is an upgrade, not a migration. Usually you can even template, you should just disable the layout overrides.
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