Photography For Real Estate

Tips and techniques for real estate photography

Simpleviewer an Alternative Simpler Slide-Show Template for Lightroom

Posted by larrylohrman on September 28, 2007


We had a new listing this week so I thought “ah ha, an opportunity to eat my own dog food” and use my newly discovered Lightroom slide-show template (monoslideshow). So I did. Here’s what it looks like (click here). I was pressed for time so I haven’t integrated the 360 images that I always shoot with the slide show. My wife Levi is partial to the 360 shots that I always shoot for our listings so she always promises them to the sellers. So there is a link from the monoslideshow to the 360’s and back. I’m really not happy with this solution but it’s all I had time to do.

Much to my surprise Levi doesn’t like the monoslideshow format. She thinks it needs instructions to explain how to stop the slide-show, go forward and backward and to go to any given image. I think this situation is instructive. There are many people out there that are going to be like Levi and find the monoslideshow interface confusing. I’m not one of them.. I love it and think it is elegant. It is everything I want in a slide show format. However, I’ve spent my whole life designing and building software and software interfaces. Levi is probably more typical of most real estate photography clients. She has spent her career in real estate and sales and not all that comfortable with looking at a slick new interface and seeing right off how it works.

My conclusion is that I’m going to have several Flash templates installed in my Lightroom web templates directory and do some research to find out what people like the best. A second, probably more intuitive interface is simpleviewer available free from theturninggate.net. Simpleviewer is the interface seen that the image at the top of this post. I’m thinking this is going to a clearer more intuitive interface. This may be an easier slide show to integrate with my 360 tours since it has thumbnails along the left side.

So which slide show format do you like best:

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10 Responses to “Simpleviewer an Alternative Simpler Slide-Show Template for Lightroom”

  1. aaronleitz said

    I have yet to see a more flexible, simple and elegant flash gallery than simpleviewer. Monoslideshow is pretty good but I like Simpleviewer better.

  2. Linda said

    I like that monoslideshow is an autorun show. Is simpleviewer supposed to do the same or is it client controlled switching of the images?

  3. @Linda
    Simpleviewer does not auto-run… the user has to step through the photos by clicking on the thumbnails. Some would say this is one of it’s strengths. Some advocate that it’s better to have the whole tour be automatic (like monoslideshow) and some think viewers are not happy that they don’t have control or it’s not easy to see how to take control of the show.

    @Aaron
    Before my experience using monoslideshow on a listing I would have argued with you but not today. Simple is the best.

  4. I am afraid I have to agree with Levi.

    The monoslideshow *is* elegant and simple in that it just starts right up and takes off without requiring any interaction beyond the first click.
    But that’s exactly the problem — it takes off before I’m ready, and goes at its own pace, without reference to the pace at which I want to view it;
    and, indeed, there is no hint as to how to make it stop,
    short of using the browser’s own “Back” button.
    Beyond that, I found the “transitions” upon displaying each new image made me a little seasick;
    all that up-and-down motion really got to me.
    Regardless of whether the motion was a X, Y, or combination translation, or a zoom in or out,
    it was distracting from the actual images.
    I realize that that may not be a built-in feature of the software;
    it may be just how you happened to configure this particular presentation.
    Also, and I’m guessing that this *is* a feature of the software, and not your personal choice,
    monoslideshow required me to maximize my browser window, i.e. cover my entire monitor;
    otherwise, part of the image(s) was cut off at the bottom.
    The image(s) didn’t resize themselves to fit the browser window that I as user am happy with.
    As a viewer, I really dislike a site that does this, and will tend to avoid it.

    Simpleviewer is, yes, a little clunky by today’s standards,
    which may say more about the inappropriateness of today’s standards
    than about the fitness of that software for its purpose.
    I found the interface quite intuitive based on my particular experience of the web —
    there’s obviously a large image with a bunch of small images off to one side,
    so it seems clear that the little images are “thumbnails” of a set of images to be viewed.
    Clicking on any of the thumbnails does indeed immediately display a large version of the image.
    The image comes up quickly, without a lot of distracting fanfare,
    and the experience is entirely viewer-paced and viewer-ordered.
    The one thing that did confuse me was the big arrowhead;
    my first expectation was that it would start a slide show;
    I was surprised when, instead, it merely “paged” to a different set of thumbnails.
    But once I realized that, it was fine.

    In regard to your comment to Linda —
    It’s too bad you (and we) don’t have an interface that allows both.
    There *are* such interfaces; they’re just not specifically intended for real estate.
    I think that the ideal would be a place for a main image
    (that resizes itself according to the current size of the window)
    and a set of the most obvious buttons underneath (or somewhere)
    for First, Previous, Next, Last, Play, and Stop, and perhaps a Rate control,
    probably calibrated in seconds per image.

  5. James Dhaem said

    check out dfgallery

    my example
    http://lowellharvestparade.dvd-tour.com/

  6. asiavr said

    i m the simpleplayer user. very good and easy to use.
    combining with picasa, you don’t need any computer knowledge at all.

    cheers
    asiavr

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