After a successful cooperation in two editions of the WKF, National Geographic decided to ask us to rebuild the whole FOTO branch for their online magazine. It was obvious that the main goal would be to maximize the efficiency and to keep it simple. Below we present a recipe for success:
In contrast to WKF (Great Photo Contest), where the graphics were provided by the client, the FOTO section was created by us from scratch. Everything began, naturally, from creating wireframes, where the main features were presented and tested – both from the perspective of the viewer and the uploader.
After polishing the screens, it was time to create an image uploading interface. Having the highest level of usefulness in our minds, we used many different ways to achieve the same goal – uploading an own gallery. Features like drag & drop into the browser or interactive creation of folders have found a place here.
From the perspective of a user viewing the pictures, we wanted to present as much photos as possible and provide different ways of viewing other galleries. This is why there are only few elements not connected with galleries, and plenty of instances where similar photos (or other photos of the same user) are displayed. There was also space for modules promoting pictures featured by the editors or the highest ranking community picks.
When the FOTO system worked in a completely different form, our job was to catalog the contents and migrating them to a new location. Naturally, we needed to preserve all possible data.
In order to present a photo in the most interesting way, getting all possible details was the key. This is why we created a module reading the photograph’s information (EXIF) such as the camera model, lens type, exposition parameters or the GPS coordinates allowing to locate the picture on an interactive map.
To achieve the highest speed of workflow we implemented an advanced caching script allowing to maximize the traffic on the server – thanks to this, the pictures are displayed almost immediately.
In order to generate additional traffic social mechanisms (comments, grading) were implemented as well as contest elements (picture of the day, editor’s awards etc.) All in a transparent matter allowing each and every user to immediately find himself in all the elements and knowingly vote for his favorite photography.
As we mentioned earlier, while describing the case of WKF, the FOTO system was integrated with the WKF one, allowing for the simple picture transfer to corresponding galleries after the contest is finished.
All the mentioned features have their corresponding counterparts in the intuitive, but very advanced administration panel. It allows for a simple management of all the FOTO related elements guaranteeing unparalleled quality.
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