Gallery2:Usability Issues:user-survey - Gallery Codex
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Gallery2:Usability Issues:user-survey

From Gallery Codex

Usability Home

Goals of the survey

  • identify workflows and use patterns
  • identify problematic areas
  • identify admired areas
  • information about frequency of use of specific functions

Reaching Participants

  • Website anouncement
  • Other possibilities for reaching users/admins?
  • Is there already knowledge of the users: how many, who, where...?


General questions

  • How would you rate your confidence with computers? (computer newbie - mediocre - expert)
  • What is your profession?
  • Highest education?
  • How long have you been using a computer?
  • How much time do you spend at a computer?
  • What is the operating system on your primary computer? (Windows - Macintosh - Linux - Other UNIX - Other)
  • Do you create your own web pages?
  • Do you own a digital camera?
  • If not, where do the pictures or items mainly come from, that you upload to your gallery? (digicam - analog camera/scanner - websites - other)

Applet - WebCam/Live Image - other)

Gallery-specific questions:

  • Are you administrator of the gallery you use? (yes - no)
  • Which release of gallery2 do you use? (releases and "I don't know")
  • Which version of gallery2 do you use? (full - typical - minimal - "I don't know")
  • For how long are you using gallery already?
  • How often do you work with gallery approximately? (daily - weekly - every month)
  • How do you add items to your gallery? (From Web Browser - Link - Windows XP - Gallery Remote - Upload
  • Do you use another theme as the default one? (Which?)
  • Do you use different themes for different albums?
  • How do you organize the photos in your gallery? (every upload a new album - albums that are organized by their content - albums are categorized by time - mix between organization forms)
  • What is the main purpose that you are using gallery for? (organizing or publishing photos)
  • Hown many persons are looking at the photos in your gallery approximately?
  • Do you have your photos still saved on another place?
  • How many albums do you have in your gallery?
  • How many items are approximately in your albums? (5-10 - 10-30 - 30-50 - more than 50)

For administrators:

  • Which sections in the site admin do you access most often?
  • Did you install plugins after initial setup?
  • Which?
  • How many user-accounts exist in your gallery?
  • How many admin-accounts exist in your gallery?

Detailed questions:

  • Is it important to you that you can change separately for every item if the title of the item is set from file name or caption or blank? (yes - no )
  • approximately, how often do you use this function? (very often - sometimes - rarely)
  • Is it important to you that you can choose every time, if thumbnails are created at upload time or when pictures are first viewed? (yes - no)
  • approximately, how often do you use this function? (very often - sometimes - rarely)

General impression on gallery2:

  • What is missing in gallery2?
  • What do you not like in gallery2?
  • What do like in gallery?
  • Annotations/remarks?

Card sorting

  • open card sorting for the site admin sections (not in this survey)
    • items: captcha (edit settings for captchas in your gallery), Groups (Add, edit or remove user groups), optimize database, delete template cache, delete database cache, build all thumbnails/resizes, reset view counts, system information, refresh capture dates, delete user sessions, reset captcha failure counts, members settings, performance tuning, permalinks (edit settings for permalinks), plugins (install, configure, activate, deinstall or delete plugins), quotas (assign disk space quotas to users), registration (settings for user registration), user albums (edit settings for user albums), albums (add, edit or remove users), Gd (edit settings for gd, a graphics toolkit), album select (edit settings for albums), image block (edit imgae block settings), fotokasten (edit settings for fotokasten), icons (select an icon pack to use), new items (edit length of time items should be marked as new and updated), panorama (edit settings for panorama viewer), random highlight (edit random highlight settings), slideshow (edit settings for slideshows), thumbnails (thumbnail manager), watermarks (edit settings for watermarks), google sitemap (settings for using google sitemaps), rss (rss-settings for your gallery), comments (edit settings for comments), custom fields (change global settings for custom fields), Getid3 (edit settings for id3 extracting), MIME types (edit settings for MIME- Type handling), MultiLanguage (select the additional languages), rating (allow users to rate entire albums or not), archive upload setting (enable extraction of individual files from a zip archive to add each item), remote upload (Show information about Gallery Remote in "add items" view), Upload Applet Settings, WebCam (Enter length of time a webcam item should keep one image before refreshing from the source url), Ajaxian (Theme), Classic (Theme), Defaults (Theme), Floatrix (Theme), Hybrid (Theme), Matrix (Theme), Siriux (Theme), Slider (Theme), Tile (Theme), language settings (Select language defaults for Gallery), date formats (Specify how dates and times are displayed by Gallery), filesystem permissions (Specify the default permissions for files and directories that Gallery creates), session settings (edit session lifetime and inactivity timeout), embedded markup (select, which kind of markup should be allowed) in user-entered fields), email (edit settings, if using an extern smtp/mail server), cookies (specify path and domain), locking system (select out of two existing locking systems), helper processes (select priority of helper processes).
  • open card sorting for "edit album"
    • items:
      • title
      • summary
      • keywords
      • description
      • album date and time
      • hide album (that the album is hidden for guests or special users)
      • password protection
      • custom thumbnail
      • sort order
      • theme
      • set thumbnails size
      • resized images (define the size in which an image is available)
      • recreate thumbnails and resizes (applies the changes which you have made for resized images and set thumbnails size, to already existing albums in this album)
      • random highlight (makes all images available for random highlight in the image block)
      • rating (allows guests rating for this album)
      • define picture size limit
      • image block (allows that images from this album are displayed in image block)
      • rows per album page
      • columns per album page
      • show image owners
      • show micro navigation thumbnails
      • blocks to show in the sidebar
      • blocks to show on album pages
      • album frame
      • item frame
      • photo frame
      • color pack
      • custom fields.
  • open card sorting for "add item"
    • items: ???


  • Design Survey
  • Take existing tool:
    • from
  • Cardsorting
    • sorto (relevantive/openusability)
    • ask valerie about the tool

To be discussed

  • How long will the survey be open?
  • How many participants are needed?
  • Where is the survey hosted?
  • When should it start?

To be done

  • Write text messages for the survey
    • Write Invitation Email or Anouncement for Webpages
    • Write message for Test-Welcome-Screen
    • Write follow up-message and thanks
  • Decide about tools
  • make lists for cardsorting
  • look for more questions
  • when questions are collected: pretest (time, comprehension)


Test settings:

  • Online-Survey, available from
  • Available from January, 25 until February, 11th
  • Target Group: as much gallery users as possible


Graph 1
Graph 2

Most persons who took part in the survey have been admins of a gallery. As you can see from the graph, only 3 % haven't been admins. Thats bad luck for me, because I was interested escpecially in data from users. But nevertheless the data from the survey can help improve gallery. Perhaps in this context it is interesting to notice that the galleries from the persons who filled out the survey have a quite big audience: 52% of the persons have a gallery where up to 30 people look at, 36% have galleries where even more than 30 people look at (Graph 2), only 12% have an audience with less than 5 persons that look at it.

User Accounts

Graph 3

587 gallery-admins participated in the survey. In about 80 % of these galleries exist more than one user account (Graph 3). Lets assume that half of these accounts belong to a real person and half of them knew about the survey. This is a good example to show, that it is very hard to aquire data from users, that are just users no admins, cracks or geeks ;-). We should take this as a hint that all that questions, suggestions and input from IRC, Emails and Forums stems from a very small part of all users!

Thumbnail creation

Graph 4
Graph 5

The question about the importance of the possibility to choose at every upload if thumbnails are created is quite critical. It is possible that some survey subscribers did not understand the question right. But perhaps it shows a tendence towards an overal opinion. Most participants did not find important to have this function at every upload (Graph 4). Graph 5 is quite logical, because for those who use the function more often the function is also more important.

Set title from file name

Graph 6
Graph 7

Graph 6 shows the question about the function to set file name at every upload. Here is also the same difficulty with understanding the question right as above. But also there can be seen a tendence towards a result: most participants found it important to choose at upload time how to set the item title.

Site admin sections

Graph 8

General, Maintenance and Themes are the most important sections in the site administration. This could be a hint that other sections don't need to be at first level access in the site admin. (Graph 8)


Graph 9
Graph 9a
Graph 10

Graph 9 shows that there are some gallery users (94) that don't use it for publishing but mostly for organizing photos. But as Graph 9a shows, most of them have an audience from 5 to 30 persons. This could be interpreted as that it is quite important to a lot of the users to have a good tool to organize the photos. The ways how the items are organized differ very widely. Only upload time seems to be not as important as the rest of possibilities (Graph 10).

Plugins installed but not activated

Graph 11

A lot of participants have plugins installed but not activated. Now is the question why and if it is neccessary to have the two steps installation - activation instead of one for both. (Graph 11)

Number of albums and items

Graph 12

The biggest group here is the one with more than 500 items. Inside this group also many users do have more than 10, most even have more than 50 albums. There is an interesting but very small group of users which have 100 to 500 items but maximum 5 albums. (Graph 12)

Usage of upload method dependent of computer experience

Graph 13

As you can see in Figure 13 there is now real pattern that would show a prefered upload method for a special kind of user experience. The upload method is almost equally distributed over the different usage levels.

Usage of different themes dependent on Usage level

Graph 14

Using a different themes instead of the default one seems not to be a problem for any user group, even not for novices. (Graph 14)

Computer experience and Gallery-Role

Graph 15

It seems that even computer novice are able to be administrator of gallery. This sounds a bit strange to me, as I have seen even intermediate computer users struggle with the installation. But as only three users said to be novices thats not a big thing. (Graph 15)

Results from free text entry fields

  • What do you not like in gallery2?
    • 62 participants mentioned performance(Click here to read answers)
      • most complained about speed
      • several times about high database/disk I/O usage
    • 71 participants mentioned themes, they complained...(Click here to read answers)
      • ...that its difficult to customize themes
      • ...that there are only few themes
      • ...that the themes that exist are not okay
      • ...that they don't like the default theme
      • ...that they would like to have separate themes for back-/frontend
    • 34 participants mentioned permissions (Click here to read answers)
      • most complained that permissions are hard to set
    • 30 participants mentioned administration
      • 12 complained escpecially about user/group administration
      • 2 about ssl-administration
      • 2 complained that there would be too many options
      • one complained about display options
      • most complained about it generally
    • 11 participants mentioned that it is not possible to work on photos in batches, that means...
      • multi selection possible in view mode for deleting or rotating more than one
      • multi selection possible on upload
    • 11 participants mentioned usability
      • they complained about the interface, hard to use, things are hard to find,...
    • 10 participants complained about the upload
    • 9 complained that documentation is bad or missing
    • 7 participants mentioned the slideshow
    • 7 participants mentioned rss
    • 5 participants complained about the backup possibilities
    • 5 participants mentioned organization
    • 4 participants mentioned upgrade
    • 4 participants mentioned watermarks
    • 4 participants mentioned installation
    • 4 participants mentioned search functionality
    • 4 participants mentioned comments

Find following a list with not categorized issues:

  • database requirement
  • squarethumbs
  • rewrite image download URLS
  • no multi select for zip-download
  • DHTML tree
  • order images
  • no blog
  • maps missing
  • lack of boolean search
  • item download
  • navigation at moving items
  • much clicking
  • missing typo3 integration
  • thumbnails
  • caching
  • ssl-admin
  • URL rewrite
  • description/summary
  • too many clicks
  • spam
  • search engine compatibility
  • flash
  • gallery remote for OSX
  • integration with other software
  • generate albums from existing folders
  • integration into joomla
  • frequent required page reload
  • file naming
  • help
  • huge data amount
  • Icons without alpha channel
  • edit picture
  • hide photo
  • filmstrip theme
  • standard blocks can not be modified
  • find archived images
  • flexibility
  • default size
  • setup movie playback
  • slide show
  • sitemap creation
  • add to cart
  • write captions and descriptions at upload time
  • embed mode
  • URLs
  • writing title and description of photo at upload time
  • watermark size
  • clumsy
  • video compatibility
  • video files
  • ecommerce system
  • too much clicks for many tasks
  • file size at upload
  • thumbnails size
  • transparency of files
  • exif
  • URL Link to images
  • customization for multisite
  • interoperability
  • moving files
  • integration of zencart modules
  • integration into CMS
  • navigation through items
  • multisite
  • navigation
  • language management
  • internationalization
  • intergration with phpBB and others
  • ldap missing
  • menues
  • missing slick version
  • local files
  • picasa
  • rating
  • recreating thumbnails
  • hotlink
  • possibility of viewing/downloading diff. resolutions
  • redundancy in navigation
  • handling of other media
  • redundancy installation – activation
  • look
  • order of albums
  • difficult API
  • Non-semantic HTML Inline "style" attributes
  • html data
  • amount of files
  • Filter


  • uploading problems
  • suggestion for album order
    • most recent first
    • by taking time
  • global edit for settings
  • slow