Commons talk:Multimedia Features/Media Viewer

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Welcome to our discussion about Media Viewer!

Media Viewer is a new feature under development by the Wikimedia Foundation's multimedia team. It aims to improve the multimedia viewing experience on Wikipedia, Commons and MediaWiki sites, to display images in larger size and with less clutter, as described here.

We now plan to gradually release this tool in coming weeks -- starting with a few pilot tests this month, with wider deployments next month, as described in this release plan.

What do you think about Media Viewer? What do you like most? least? How can we improve this feature as we prepare to release more widely? Are there any critical improvements we should consider before we release this tool by default?

Can you help us test Media Viewer in coming weeks, before it is released on your site? To try it out, log in to your Wikimedia site and click on the small 'Beta' link next to 'Preferences' in your personal menu. Then check the box next to 'Media Viewer' in the Beta Features section of your user preferences — and click 'Save'. Then click on any thumbnail image on that site to see it in the Media Viewer. For more info, check out these testing tips or this Help page.

Once you've tried the tool, please share your insights here, to improve this feature together and help plan our next steps. You're also welcome to join this wider discussion on, if you prefer. Thank you for sharing your feedback!

Fabrice Florin (WMF) (talk) 23:43, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

  • Update: We have now scheduled the Commons release for May 15, 2014 at 21:00 UTC, when Media Viewer will become enabled by default. We will devote an entire release window to just Wikimedia Commons, so we can track it more closely. This will give us an extra week to respond to feedback about this product, as well as share what we're learning on other sites. Cheers. :) Fabrice Florin (WMF) (talk) 23:14, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

P.S. An archive of earlier comments about our first version is available here.

Media Viewer Launches on More Pilot Sites[edit]

Media Viewer lets you view images in larger size, for a more immersive experience.


I’m happy to announce that we just enabled Media Viewer by default on nine more pilot sites: Czech, Estonian, Finnish, Hebrew, Polish, Romanian, Thai, Slovak, and Vietnamese Wikipedias.

1. Overview
We’re releasing Media Viewer gradually, a few wikis at a time, to test it carefully before deploying to the next batch of sites. So far, the tool has been well received on our first pilot sites: Catalan, Hungarian and Korean Wikipedias, as well as on English Wikivoyage, as outlined below. Next Thursday, we plan to deploy to some of our first large wikis, including: Dutch, French, Japanese and Spanish Wikipedias. Learn more about this release.

2. Metrics
We’re now logging about 336,000 image views per day on a global basis, as shown on this graph. About half of these views are coming from the Hungarian Wikipedia, and the rest from Wikimedia Commons, English Wikipedia and other pilots. More metrics dashboards are available for selected sites on this page.

3. Performance
We are now tracking image load performance globally, and first results suggest that images take over a second to load on average (50th percentile), but can take up to 5 seconds when looking at worst case for most users (90th percentile), as shown in this graph. We’re also encouraged by early comparisons of the time it takes to open an image with Media Viewer versus on a Commons File, the current default: the mean load times for these two methods seem to be very close, on the order of 2-3 seconds on a cold cache, as shown in this preliminary graph.

4. Surveys
We are now running surveys in multiple languages, to validate whether or not this feature is useful to readers and editors alike. Overall response so far is generally favorable. Here are the current results:

  • English Survey: 64% find the tool useful, 12% don’t find it useful, 24% are not sure (50)
  • Hungarian Survey: 48% find the tool useful, 46% don’t find it useful, 5% are not sure (271)
  • Catalan Survey: 62% find the tool useful, 15% don’t find it useful, 23% are not sure (13)

We’re also starting new surveys in French, German and Portuguese. Here are links to live results and comments from these surveys.

5. Usability
For the past few months, we have been running a series of usability studies, with positive results. Testers are typically able to complete most common tasks successfully, and they have helped us find new ways to improve the user experience for features they found confusing. Here are the updated results of our usability tests.

6. Your feedback
How can we improve Media Viewer? Are there any critical issues that should be addressed for this first release? Please let us know what you think of this tool here on this discussion page. We’d also be grateful if you could take this quick survey, to let us know how Media Viewer works for you. It only takes a minute and means a lot to us :)

Many thanks to all the team and community members who are making this launch possible! Enjoy ... Fabrice Florin (WMF) (talk) 23:22, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

Link to Media Viewer on Commons[edit]

First implementation of a 'View Expanded' button to open Media Viewer on Commons file pages

Hello again. As our multimedia team finishes up this cycle of Media Viewer development, we’d appreciate your feedback on one of its final features: the proposed link to Media Viewer from Commons file description pages.

Currently, viewing media on Commons either shows a medium-size image on the file description page, or you can click on the image to view it in its original version (which sometimes crashes browsers when it's too large). Offering a link to open the file using Media Viewer will allow for a richer and safer media experience, as the viewing size is increased, while still providing useful information, with prominent tools for file sharing and reuse.

We initially implemented this feature with a "View expanded" button below the image on Commons pages (see mockup thumbnail to the right). This enables users to open the image in Media Viewer, without making it the standard viewer for file pages. Without such a button, if the user opens a shared link in Media Viewer and then exits out, they have no practical way to return to Media Viewer. You can read more about this feature on the Mingle card #199.

After we launched that first implementation, several community members have pointed out that the button is hard to notice, and seems to clutter up the page in its current form. Others pointed out that the button seems "bolted on" and found the user interface counter-intuitive, as many people expect that clicking on the image would make it larger.

New proposal to open Media Viewer when you click on the image in the Commons file page

Since then, we have had more community discussions on this topic, including this office hours chat on IRC. Dschwen has proposed a very reasonable solution, which is supported by our designer Pau Giner and other team members, and which we've outlined on this ticket: #463 - Click on Commons Files to open Media Viewer.

This new solution would be to simply open up the Media Viewer when you click the preview thumbnail on the Commons file page (like it pops up when clicking article thumbnails). This design approach is more consistent with current behavior in articles, galleries and category pages -- and matches user expectations more closely, as well as best practices on the web. To make this even clearer, a tooltip could say 'Open this image in Media Viewer' when you hover over the image preview. To address the needs of power users, a special icon would appear over the image to let you access the original size, as illustrated in this mockup (see thumbnail to the right). Anyone can open that link, even if they are logged out or do not have Beta Features turned on - except if the user has disabled Media Viewer in their preferences (so users could disable this feature if they really hate it).

What do you guys think? This seems like a more elegant solution than adding a button to an already cluttered interface on the Commons file pages. We'd love to reach a consensus for this simpler solution, so we can implement it in coming weeks, before we wrap up feature development on this release of Media Viewer. Otherwise, we would need to keep the current ‘View expanded’ button, as described in this ticket #199, for two reasons: 1) if a user wants to see an image in Media Viewer from a Commons file page, they need a practical way to open it with Media Viewer; 2) if a user views an image in Media Viewer over a Commons file page, then closes it, they need an easy way to re-open Media Viewer (all our shared/embed links go to the Commons file page, where they open the image in Media Viewer, so this could happen to a lot of users).

Thanks in advance for your constructive feedback, so we can reach a prompt resolution on this issue :) Fabrice Florin (WMF) (talk) 00:05, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

Well, I obviously support this idea :-). One comment though, could you please make sure that the Download icon overlay will not interfere with the Image Annotator gadget. This is a useful functionality here on commons. --Dschwen (talk) 16:27, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

Awesome feature[edit]

I just saw a notice about this feature on my watchlist. I encountered it first a few days ago, and find it to be really, really nice. Kudos to the WMF team behind this feature! Emw (talk) 03:57, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

Great, glad you like it :) Keegan (WMF) (talk) 01:30, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

Licensing links[edit]

I've noticed that often when a file is multi-licensed with CC and GFDL (example), the summary bar at the bottom of the lightbox will display the abbreviation for the CC license, but the link behind the CC abbreviation will be to the GFDL detailed terms. Confusing. This occurs when the GFDL is the second tag listed on the file information page. (When GFDL is first and CC second, then the CC abbreviation is shown and the CC link is used.) — Ipoellet (talkf.k.a. Werewombat 04:00, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

See this. Jee 05:30, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Glad it's on the radar. — Ipoellet (talkf.k.a. Werewombat 08:31, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

View Terms button[edit]

I've noticed that MV puts a "view terms" button that displays the licensing information if the license tags are in the "Permssions" field of the Information template (e.g. File:'Hawaiian_Canoes_on_the_Shore_at_Waikiki'_by_Hugo_Fisher,_1896,_watercolor.JPG or File:Frances_Perkins_TIME_FC_1933.jpg). However, if the image has the tags in the Licensing section these are not displayed with a "view terms" button. As an example, see File:"L'Absinthe", par Edgar Degas (1876).jpg; the fact that the re-use of this image might be restricted in jurisdictions that allow copyright for photographs that reproduce a two-dimensional public domain work is not displayed. More topically, File:Perón_Funeral.jpg, which is identified by MV as "public domain" and displayed with no "view terms" button, does not display the license tag that warns it might not be PD in the United States. This is annoying, inconsistent, and can result in important information not being shown. I think the proper solution is to parse, extract, and combine the content from the "Permissions" field, the Licensing section, the {{Credit line template}}, etc. and display all of these when you click "Terms". —RP88 10:02, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

Maybe useful but shouldn't be the default[edit]

Frankly I don't like it because it prevents the file information to be shown and the image to be seen in full size. For somenone working with images, it is a radical limitation. Please don't make it the default in the Preferences menu. -- Alvesgaspar (talk) 21:29, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

I 100% agree with Alvesgaspar. I've disconected this in all my devices.--Jebulon (talk) 23:08, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

+1 --Wladyslaw (talk) 07:48, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for explaining, Alvesgaspar, and others for chiming in. I hope to get some numbers that will help us measure the impact of Media Viewer being default on Commons, specifically. There's clearly a distinct workflow on Commons that should be addressed in further detail. Keegan (WMF) (talk) 01:29, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

Turning it off doesn't work[edit]

Per the page: "How can I disable Media Viewer?

Since Media Viewer appears when opening a file instead of the File: page, it may be inconsistent with the workflow of a Commons editor who primarily is interested in file information. Media Viewer can be disabled in preferences for registered accounts, located in the "Appearance" tab, underneath the File section." - No you can't actually, or if you can it is completely unobvious how to. If you mean to untick the highly cryptic "Enable new media viewing experience" then say so in plain terms. Johnbod (talk) 22:10, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Johnbod:I know it's a a little too late since you're already upset to alleviate your concern. The wording was problematic and I thank you for adding the bit about what the box says even if the edit summary leaves a little to be desired, but hey, I get it. In direct responses I've been telling users about the wording in the box, but I left the wording of the box out of the "How can I disable Media Viewer" because we are fixing it. Rillke has brought it up, as well as Patrick87 in this in this Village Pump thread. Fabrice agreed with the idea, so did I. The Multimedia team decided to do this, and the changeset has been merged and backported for tomorrow's release. I don't have the gerrit link handy or I'd provide that for you. The new wording will be "Enable Media Viewer," and I'll fix the page accordingly. Again, sorry this pissed you off, it's been a priority. Keegan (WMF) (talk) 05:45, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Where is used[edit]

Before I could look where the file is used in the wikimedia projects. This usefull feature has disapeared. Or is there another way where I can find this out?Smiley.toerist (talk) 12:01, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Not useful[edit]

Not really useful for Commons & should be disabled by default. 94% of the time I want to go to the file page itself && the media viewer just slows me down—Love, Kelvinsong talk 14:56, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

@Kelvinsong: You can disable it at Preference > Appearance > Files. :) Jee 16:32, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Mostly I'm working through my watchlist, which shows only the filename and clicks through to the description page anyway, or through a category or a search, each of which allows clicking either the thumbnail for the Media Viewer or the filename for the description. This keeps this innovation from being much of a nuisance, at least when I remember to click the name. On the other hand, the benefits of the new feature are also smaller than in Wikipedia, because this is more a kitchen where the food is prepared, than a dining room where the customers eat it. Jim.henderson (talk) 13:53, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Formal Request for Comment about the future of this feature underway[edit]

Visitors to this page should be aware, as of July 2014 there is a deliberation underway about the future of this software feature. Please come share your perspective. -Pete F (talk) 17:14, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Status update[edit]

It says it's pending. That was years ago. So? Jim.henderson (talk) 16:55, 31 January 2017 (UTC)