Finding the right balance between user experience and limitations is one of the most exciting parts of our job.  Here’s a short story about turning a limitation into a user-friendly feature.

Over the past few months, we’ve been working on a new Pichon for Mac. In short, the current version of the app is a great source of quality icons, illustrations, and photos which can save a designer tons of googling time. One can have it open next to their favorite design tool and simply drag-n-drop the required visuals onto the canvas.

At the same time, all designers have their own graphic assets and references that they store on the computer, on Pinterest, or elsewhere. So, anyway, they would have to jump between Pichon and Pinterest or local folders while working. Why not give them an opportunity to keep everything in one place?

That’s why we’re making an image storage in the new Pichon. It’s going to be a place where people can keep their references and other graphic treasures that they have been collecting for years. Right next to Icons8 graphics.

If you’re one of those who hate spending hours organizing files in folders, our AI will automatically recognize and tag the content so that you can find any needle in your graphic stack.

Images tab in Pichon

My Images tab in Pichon

The limitation

We decided not to set any limits on the cloud storage space available to a user. At the same time, we needed to somehow prevent users from uploading excessively large files. Otherwise, we ourselves would soon be short of storage servers.

The obvious solution

We set the max file size limit of 5 MB. If a user tries to drop a larger file into Pichon, they will get a message that the file cannot be uploaded and why.

Error message in Pichon

Error message in Pichon

Is it really a good way?

That would definitely work for us. But would it work for users? In fact, with this barrier, we protected ourselves and created difficulties for the people.
Ideally, instead of notifying the user of any error, we can try to quietly fix it. The machine should adapt to the human, not vice versa.

For example, when you make a typo in Google, it just corrects it.

Google automatically corrects your typo

Google automatically corrects your typo instead of asking you to do it

The good way

Putting aside all the f-words that will accompany the procedure, the user will probably try to compress the image and upload it once again. But if we already know what the user will do, why not help? We can automatically downsize files larger than 5 MB. From the technical point of view, it will cost us almost nothing. From the UX perspective, it is way better.

Of course, we must inform users about the changes that we’ve made. It may be important if they want to keep an image in its original quality. So, Pichon will notify users about the downsizing right after the upload.

Pichon now allows uploading of images larger than 5 MB
Pichon now allows uploading of images larger than 5 MB but downsizes them.

As a result, people will be able to upload images without any barriers. The limitation is still there, but the user experience is much friendlier.

What if a picture is too small

We downsize large files, but what if user images are small, and they might want them in better resolution? We already have an image upscaler with unique face enhancement technology. And we’ll certainly integrate it with the new Pichon for Mac.

Want to be the first to try the new Pichon for Mac? Subscribe in the form below to learn when it is out.

About the author: Den D., product designer for Icons8.

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