I am currently working on the next release of the Image Rotator that I plan to release this month. I have already identified a couple improvements that will make their way in the new version.
There are many image rotators available on the Web – I have built a couple myself. The interest of the one I propose is that it takes advantage of SharePoint’s built-in features to improve performance: instead of loading the full image, you can choose to use a thumbnail or a Web-optimized copy.
What I haven’t decided yet is how to add a description for each picture. Should it be displayed below the picture? Should it just show up on mouseover? Well, your ideas are welcome! Just keep in mind that it is a “Lite” version, so don’t expect fancy effects.
As a typical ‘non-techo’ my suggestion would be to give the site owner the choice of how the description is displayed – e.g. left of picture, right of picture, top, bottom, mouse over….
I use the Image rotator on my SharePoint site to display pictures with links to business relevant reports / articles available on the web. So I am using the URL feature so people can click on the picture to access the report / article. Then, in a single cell table inside the web part, I have added the text – “Click on the picture to access that report”, which stays static as the pictures change. Being able to provide a brief description of each report would be wonderful. This will require me to increase the rotation time to give people more time to read.
So another enhancement idea for you to consider……..as I said I am not a techo so I have no idea how difficult (or easy) it would be to add a ‘next’ and ‘back’ arrow, so that the people using the SharePoint site can scroll (either back or forward) through the pictures to find the reports / articles that interest them most. If this could be done it would be a great feature!
Many thanks for sharing your solutions. expertise and time.
PS: How do get your more advanced (and heavier) versions that support the transition effects (fade, slide, bounce, etc.)?
Great feedback, thanks Paul.
I do want to offer options – this is the purpose of the form. But for the 2.0 release I’ll need to focus on just one or two. I’ll add others later. From your feedback, I’d say that having the description visible in a window below the picture should be one of the options.
A “next/back” button is an interesting idea. I need to think about it, as it will require to keep track of the different states. As an alternative, have you considered using the Easy Tabs? The last version has an autoplay feature that might work for your needs, if you have less than 10 pictures in your list.
The best way to get the more advanced versions is to attend one of the online workshops I host at EndUserSharePoint.com. Each two hour workshop comes with several solutions (3 to 6), a sandbox and support documents. Alternately I offer one-on-one sessions focused on a specific request. More details at http://www.pathtosharepoint.com.
Hi again Christophe,
Thanks for the reply. My personal preference is to have the description to the right of the image – to minimise the amount of vertical space the web part uses up.
I haven’t tried Easy Tabs yet. I have been keeping an eye on your Easy Tabs blog but wasn’t aware of the autoplay feature. I’ll give the beta version a try.
The ‘Next/Back’ feature was just a thought for you to consider. We beggars can’t be chosers. Also I don’t want to sound like an ingrate. I am very impressed by the current Image Rotator and the enhancements you are working on will take it to another level.
Thanks for the info about the online workshops.
Here is another ‘out there’ suggestion. It sounds complicated even to me, so I won’t be surprised if it doesn’t make the cut for your ‘to do’ list.
As mentioned previously I used the Image Rotator for links to various public domain business reports. My ‘out there’ suggestion is to capture some addition metadata with each picture, for example, ‘Region’ (such as Australia, Asia, North America, UK, Europe, etc) and ‘Category’ (such as ‘Risk’, ‘Governance’, ‘Regulatory Change’, ‘Compliance’, etc – ‘Category’ could have more then one value selected as the one report can cover more than one of these categories). Then provide drop down menus on the web part visible to end users – which default to ‘All’. Then allow the end user to change the values in one or both drop down menus to just display and rotate the images that having matching metadata. So for example my site visitor would be able to just see the latest reports for ‘Asia’ and ‘Risk’ being rotated.
Like I said, just an idea.
I came across this Image Slider web part that has the ‘back’ and ‘next’ arrows as well as tabs at the bottom of the image area.
I was going to point you to that page, as from your needs it became clear that you were looking for a slider, not an image rotator.
For the record, I also built one myself last year for the participants of an online workshop:
A slider is the right answer if you have few items and need navigation. A rotator will be better if you have a large amount of pictures and want to optimize performance.
Hi again Christophe,
Thanks for the link. Your Image slider looks very cool. It seems much better than the other one I found, as the one I found has the links to the images hardcoded.
Your solutions are much more friendly to we non-technical end users. The fact that your Image Rotator gets the images from a picture library and can have links pointing to external web sites are the main feature that appeal to me. The enhancements you have planned for the next version only add to that appeal. My suggestion to add the slider-type feature to the Image Rotator would just be icing on the cake. But it is only a suggestion.
As I said earlier, I am very impressed with your solutions. I am really looking forward to your next versions of the Image Rotator (and Easy Tabs). Keep up the great work.