Tuesday, April 18, 2006

web: Sprint Picture Mail failings

Sprint Picture Mail is easy on the phone side, you just take photos and upload. But when you've got 200 uploaded pictures to organize, its Web UI is filled with limitations and problems.

I want to caption all these photos, but
  • no bulk captioning (e.g. button to advance to "Next uncaptioned")
  • no way to filter by un-captioned
  • no sort by caption
I then want to move photos to different albums, but
  • no Move to Album option when viewing an individual image (!!!)
I can only move images from the "Select media to move or copy" thumbnails page, which is incredibly limited
  • no sorting or filtering options whatsoever
  • if I check some images and move them to an album, then use the browser's back button to speed performance and check others to move, Picture Mail moves the wrong images. It doesn't seem to use a constant option ID value for each image.
  • It doesn't display or have tooltips for caption, date, or any other information about each image, just a thumbnail. So I have to view the full picture to decide where it goes, but there's no way to do this (e.g. a pop-up selected image" window) from the thumbnail view (!!).
  • no JavaScript to check/uncheck all
The UI needs a rethink. There should be
  1. a multiple picture page, from which you can pick pictures on which you can then perform all actions (either en masse or one-by-one with "advance to next picture")
  2. an individual picture page, from which you can perform all actions.
Basic tasks in the UI like "Move to Album" or "Caption" could just load one or the other of these pages with a particular action pre-selected ready to go.

Note I'm not even asking for a "Web 2.0 AJAX Rich-Internet-App dynamically loaded UI" here, just a properly thought-out form-based application.

I'd love to give even more detailed feedback on removing bugs and limitations in this UI to Sprint, but the service's Contact Us link now goes to Sprint's general "phone us and wait 40 minutes for level 1 technician who has never met an engineer and has no mechanism for getting suggestions to an engineering manager". Some of the Web pages have the [+] link for OpinionLab's comment system, but that is completely inadequate for giving this sort of feedback, and its "Optional Questions" section seems broken. Sigh. Another big company that's never read the Cluetrain manifesto (7 years old now!) about talking to customers.

Hmm, there's a "powered by LightSurf" at the bottom of the page, and they do have an engineering contact.

Update Months later, still no response from either Sprint or LightSurf This thing is awful! It has a 125-character caption, yet in thumbnail view it cuts it off the caption at 17 characters, even though the picture box has room for two rows of 40 characters.

Categories: , , ,


  • I've had sprint for years now and text messaging is easily the weakest feature. Why not use the same system every other phone company (e.g. T-mobile) uses and send the picture directly to the recipient?!

    It's a waste of time to have to sign on and see the image in a lower resolution than the one offered by your phone. I've talked with them about it and there's nothing doing, no suggestions are taken and I'm sure complaints go straight in the waste can. I'd change my provider for this reason alone.

    By Blogger Ninja Mantis, at June 22, 2008 5:56 PM  

  • Check the new UI at pictures.sprintpcs.com.

    It will answer all the questions of yours and also do not forget to use some cool drag and drop stuff.

    It faster now!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 04, 2009 1:51 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home