Issues I have with the present submission classification system.
When I commission art, I like to write a blurb for it. Sometimes it's short. Sometimes it's long. On FA, it's not a big deal since the submission page for art and stories are more or less identical. However here, there are multiple lay outs that can only be accessed via the exact type of submission something is marked as. To test things out, I uploaded one of my submissions from FA in both the art and the story types:
Art version with story in sidebar
Story version with embedded image
There are pros and cons to both, but either way, I'm losing some functionality coming from FA. With the art version, the text is all bunched up on the side and hidden. The page poorly relates that I have large amounts of pesudostory content as it's all hidden under the Read More section. With the story version, viewers cannot view the image in full size or otherwise interact with it at all. Either way, the prospective preview links do not give any indication that the page contains both types of content. Images show only a thumbnail and stories have a text-only summary.
Moreover, the present search system auto segregates submissions by type. If I submit all my content as art, people who are looking for something to read won't find my content. If I submit my content as stories, it won't be found by people searching for art. I've tried submitting content as both a story and as art on SoFurry. It's far more effort to do that for each submission and it either splits favorites or results in redundant ones due to the split upload.
Point 1: Submissions can be both visual art and prose. Please provide better support for such content.
I very much like the submission view for stories with embedded images. It looks far cleaner this way than with the cluttered text sidebar on the art submission. What it lacks is the ability to interact with an image involved. Also, compared to the art page, it doesn't have the "next in gallery" section.
Perhaps a solution would be to allow the user to control which type of page lay out each submission has and then providing a few templates. I like the look of the Story page more in general, even if I have to scroll for some of the content.
Ideally, a submission preview would indicate the type of content it contains: either art only, story only, art and story, or whatever else. At present, image thumbnails don't convey possible story content and story previews are sterile and text-only. However, the lack of a hybrid submission type or the ability to select multiple submission types brings up a different issue...
Point 2: Stop auto segregating submissions by type. But DO provide filters when searching.
Point 2a: Let me sort my own gallery however I want
So I dislike that my own content on my own page is automatically separated for me (beyond my control) based on the (in my view) narrow range of submission types. A folder system exists. If I want to put all of a certain type of submission into a separate folder, I will do that myself. It may be a helpful default to provide folders, but I don't want my submissions separated like that. And as far as I can tell, if I want to create a "Skunks" folder, I can't put into it an art submission and a photo submission: I'd have to create two separate folders for skunk art and skunk photos. I don't understand why GIFs have to be stored in a separate section of my profile from PNGs.
Point 2b: When searching, return a mixed search result, but provide filters for submission types.
There are multiple reasons for this. If I want to search for Skunk art, photos, and stories, I have to, at present, first select only one of these, and then enter my search term. If I want to then see a different submission type to see if there are more results, my search field is wiped and I have to enter it in again. This leads people to finding less things that are relevant to their interests and disproportionately hurts the finding of non-art submissions. If people want to only find art when they search (though not GIFs because those are multimedia for some reason), let them filter the other types out.
By default, there should be a search option which displays all content matching the search result. Look at SoFurry as an example. And note that when you search for just stories its search page will show more than two and a half results on the search page.
Customer support service by UserEcho
As an addendum, if my submission contains both visual and written content, it should show up in searches regardless of whether people search for art only or for stories only.
I support disabling complete separation. It's already annoying that I lose search query when switching between Popular and Fresh. Switching between more tabs makes site navigation even more annoying.
You may be interested in these tickets:
https://support.furrynetwork.com/topics/707-/ - full descriptions below images in image mode
https://support.furrynetwork.com/topics/1006-/ - more space for titles and descriptions in image mode
Improving image mode may work for shorther stories.
I wanted to address this real quick here and close the topic. Stories are definitely complicated, and we don't currently have a great system for them. However, we are planning to make changes to stories:
We'll make sure we post updates in those threads when we've made changes. I believe we'll have some other ideas or issues appear as we do that, and we'll work through them at that time.