Snap Preview in WordPress Blogs

It was not a few days ago I witnessed this thing called snap preview in some websites while surfing. In the first instance I felt it was a cool concept since the preview showed up the snapshot of the actual site to which a hyperlink was pointing to. Only a mouse hover would be enough to see how the site is. I thought for a moment “Now, that’s something cool”.I thought I should try this little cool stuff in my blog. But hey, wordpress already has enabled it in my blog!

I was happy for some time until the new links I posted in my blogroll showed me the snap preview and read out “Snap queued for Capture”. It did not have a nice feeling this time.

queued.jpg

The snap thing was now getting to look distracting since every link in my sidebar popped up a huge window to show the linked site’s preview. I wanted to disable it then and there itself. The moment I searched for some information of this snap preview enforced into the wordpress blogs, I came to know that many of the wordpress users were actually irritated by this enforcement. Lorelle has expressed her woes and it the same feeling that I am getting now. Reading her article, I can now relate to the agony that a visually impaired person can get when he is reading a site whose links have the distracting snap preview. It was only after this that I came to know that only 10% of the wordpress blogs have been targeted to this snap preview testing purpose as Matt has mentioned.

If you’re a lucky member of the beta group be sure to send in your feedback about what you think about it to help shape how/if we roll this out for everyone.

Finally if for whatever reason you dislike it, you can disable it for your blog under Presentation > Extras. If you never want to see it again anywhere in the world on any site click on the question mark in the preview box and they have a link that sets a cookie so it won’t show up anymore.

Thankfully they have made it configurable so that users can use it accordingly to their choices. I have disabled it and am I relieved to see my blog in its usual attire. Snap previews might be a bling thing for a website, but surely it can irritate in a short span of time. I don’t understand the concept behind “snap preview anywhere” or SPA as Matt calls it. Looking at a snapshot of a site isn’t going to give you any information, besides just advertising snap site in the popup and blocking the view of the page. How is this anyway useful, can somebody enlighten me here!

I would be happy if wordpress could introduce JavaScript in the hosted free blogs as Blogger does. I am desperate to try out some Ajax in my blog along with maps provided by Google. It is possible by getting a wordpress application in a separate domain but I am reluctant to move as I would lose some of my readers out here and also I would have to shell out a huge amount. I simply love WordPress and would love it even more if it would introduce JavaScript execution.

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16 Responses to “Snap Preview in WordPress Blogs”

  1. Erik Wingren Says:

    nitinpai,

    My name is Erik Wingren and I head up UX Research for Snap.com — the company behind the Snap Preview Anywhere service.

    I want to thank you for sharing your experience. Your feedback is helping us develop a better product.

    I just wanted to clarify a few points…

    1. Queued for Capture — Check back shortly
    The message you see the first time you roll over a link is an indication that our servers have received the request to create a preview of the page in question. In most cases the thumbnail will be created in under 20 seconds. In other words: That message will, in all likelihood, only be displayed to the first user that roll over a link. And this will only happen when you link to a page that no Snap Preview Anywhere enabled site hasn’t linked to already.

    2. You can selectively disable Snap Preview Anywhere
    By default the preview bubble will trigger for all external links. You can selectively disable the feature by adding the class “snap_nopreview” to the link in question or to the container of the link or links. In other words: if you want to disable the functionality for your sidebar you simply wrap the entire element in a div with the class “snap_nopreview”… For more on this and other ways to customize the behavior of Snap Preview Anywhere, please visit the FAQ

    3. What’s the intended user benefit of Snap Preview Anywhere?
    It’s really simple: to help your users make more informed decisions about what links to click on. By offering them a glimpse of what you link to you manage their expectations — giving them more information to base their decision on which links to click — and improving their overall experience on your site. A happy user tends to come back.

    Again, thank you for sharing your experience.

    Cheers.

    Erik Wingren | Snap UX Research
    erik@snap.com | +1.323.528.0058

  2. nitinpai Says:

    Hi Erik,

    Thanks for the writing a detailed info about snap. First thing I would like to tell you is that the concept of snap is very innovative indeed. It is highly impressive.

    But I would like to state that it is that using such previews only add to the glamor of a site. You have stated that users can make more intelligent decisions based on the preview. I
    disagree to this. This in turn would prove harmful for a site who has a crude layout but provides more info on exactly what is required. Users might click on to another site which
    might have a well designed layout but it might have half the info required. In other words, the decision is getting biased based on the visual impression.

    Snap previews might be better for the person who is just lazing around the web. A person who is seriously seeking for info in anyway will not care how the site looks. Such a person might face a problem when many of the links pop up a large window and blocks the view of the page behind. And to add to the nightmares of a visually impaired person.

    I wont be too sarcastic here. Because I had liked the snap preview the first time I had seen it and hence would say to improvise the concept in some other manner. And I have something in mind to improvise on it.

    I assume that you take a snapshot of the entire page when a request is being sent to your server. So it must have a resolution which might be large enough to read the text in it. So when the snap preview window appears on a mouse hover, instead of showing a miniature snap of the site you could optionally keep a zoom in to find what info the site is actually giving. This might be kept on a request basis, something similar to Google Maps (double click to enlarge).

    I see a huge benefit in what I am saying. Users need not actually go to the site to see if the site does contain the info required or not, which actually solved your basic purpose i.e making intelligent decisions. The miniature snap isn’t helpful as it lies solely on the appearance. By providing a zoom in option the decisions would not only be intelligent but also correct.

  3. Greg Thompson Says:

    This tool can be really usefull if it is used correctly. I agree about the zooming though. Many software vendors such as Salesforce.com, Netsuite, and Salesboom.com have similar AJAX tools that enable users to load information about customers without actually having to click on the record to view, a snapshot that is.

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