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Opened 10 years ago

Closed 9 years ago

#13544 closed enhancement (fixed)

Use "Attachment Post URL" instead of "Post URL" in image uploader button to avoid confusion

Reported by: jeremyclarke Owned by: nacin
Milestone: 3.3 Priority: normal
Severity: normal Version: 3.0
Component: Media Keywords: has-patch commit
Focuses: Cc:


I'm not sure why it is the way it is but the button in the image uploader that inserts the 'Post URL' into the 'Link URL' field is very confusing. I have been confused by it at regular intervals since it was introduced and users of my sites are clearly confused by it based on the way that they use it (always in insane and useless ways).

This is what people see now:

In the context of editing a post and adding/inserting images I think it is very reasonable for a user to expect that the "Post URL" button would insert a link to the post they are editing, and very few users would conclude that it will link to a special post-like view showing only the image they are currently inserting. Why such a button would exist must seem pretty mysterious as no one would want to link the image to the post in which it lives, but that just means most people probably ignore the button (and use it by accident).

I believe many users are not aware of the existence of the file attachement 'post view', and I really don't think that those who have figured out what they are would think of them as 'post url'. They are 'posts' only in the most technical of senses (wp_posts table). The urls inserted by the 'post url' button could be much more effectively described as Attachment URL (based on their post_type), which explains what the url is while simultaneously informing the user that such a view exists

Maybe I'm missing some important fact but I think this would help a lot of people understand the uploader better:

Attachments (3)

13544.diff (727 bytes) - added by wojtek.szkutnik 10 years ago.
17326.diff (774 bytes) - added by jeremyclarke 10 years ago.
Updated to make the old "Post URL" button say "Attachment Post URL"
attachment-post-url-button.screenshot.r17326.png (45.7 KB) - added by jeremyclarke 10 years ago.
Screenshot of the "Attachment Post URL" button from 17326.diff

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (24)

#1 @greenshady
10 years ago

Agreed. I have a hard enough time trying to explain to users what an attachment is. It wouldn't hurt for WordPress to make this process easier.

#2 @wojtek.szkutnik
10 years ago

  • Cc wojtek.szkutnik@… added
  • Keywords gsoc has-patch added

"Attachment" is certainly better than "Post", but I still feel it may be a bit unclear for some users...

#3 @nacin
10 years ago

  • Keywords ux-feedback added

#4 @jane
10 years ago

Attachment URL has the same meaning as Post URL. Not a clear enough distinction.

#5 @jeremyclarke
10 years ago

I think distinction is definitely clear enough to be worth distinguishing. Calling it the "Post url" is very confusing because in WP the word 'Post' refers to post_type=post (blog posts).

In the code 'post' could refer to any post object living in wp_posts, but in terms of the UI people have no reason to think that way yet. When the UI presents all other non-core post_type's it uses their post_type name, not the word 'post', and I think the media/attachments UIs should follow this pattern and refer to the 'post' for the attachment as the attachment itself.

The only risk here is that people are confused and think that the 'attachment url' will be a link to the file itself. IMHO this is not something that is worth worrying about because the 'attachment url' is right next to 'file url'. The juxtaposition of these two choices makes it easier to understand their relationship, and I can't think of any other conclusions someone could draw from these two buttons together than what they will actually do.

If attachment is wrong then it should be changed to something else that isn't just 'post'. When someone is working with edit.php on a post_type=post the word 'Post' should be reserved for the primary post they are currently editing.

#6 @jane
10 years ago

  • Component changed from Upload to UI
  • Keywords 3.2-early added
  • Milestone changed from Awaiting Review to Future Release

Attachment URL sounds like File URL. The fact that they are right next to each other only makes it even more confusing. Post URL does imply the post being written, not a post that is created in the secret background to contain the image and only the image.

Jeremy said "If attachment is wrong then it should be changed to something else that isn't just 'post'." I agree with this. It won't be in 3.1, but it can be in 3.2. Punting discussion to UI group. Can come up with a number of possibilities, then toss up an online exercise or something to see what users interpret different labels to mean, then pick the one that performs best.

#7 @mmuro
10 years ago

  • Cc mmuro added

Attachment seems like the right word for the context of that button. Perhaps "Attachment Page" is more descriptive of what it means?

#8 @jane
10 years ago

Yes, "Attachment Page" is definitely more correct, but unfortunately we already use 'Page' to mean multiple things, and if it's really a post, we don't want to confuse the issue for less savvy users.

#9 @jeremyclarke
10 years ago

"Attachment post" is the more accurate form of that, as they are indeed 'posts' but they are 'pages' only in the most general "web page" sense of the word.

The most informative label would be "Attachment post URL" which IMHO should actually be enough for people who didn't know about Attachment URLs to figure out that they exist. Unfortunately it is really verbose to have as text on that particular button (right?).

This leads me back to "Attachment" as a somewhat-vague but still accurate and useful label.

Maybe "Attachment post URL" is the right way to go. It takes up space but it could be worth it in the name of educating people. In terms of horizontal space there is lots available.

I'll be sure to follow the UI discussion on the topic :)

#10 @saracannon
10 years ago

  • Cc sararcannon@… added

I agree that Attachment URL sounds like File URL. ...think about a common user who adds an "attachment" to an email (a file) - "Attachment URL" will most likely end up confusing people. At first glance, the suggested "Attachment Post URL" does sounds the most accurate/informative label to me.

10 years ago

Updated to make the old "Post URL" button say "Attachment Post URL"

10 years ago

Screenshot of the "Attachment Post URL" button from 17326.diff

#11 @jeremyclarke
10 years ago

  • Summary changed from Use "Attachment URL" instead of "Post URL" in image uploader button to avoid confusion to Use "Attachment Post URL" instead of "Post URL" in image uploader button to avoid confusion

I updated the patch to say "Attachment Post URL" instead and added a screenshot of how it looks.

#12 @chexee
10 years ago

saracannon, TECannon, and I discussed this briefly in last week's UI meeting.

We liked "Attachment Post URL" / "Attachment File URL" for buttons, but this would make both buttons really long. We can either sacrifice short buttons for descriptive purposes if no one can think of shorter language for this.

Personally, I agree that its important to add the descriptive "Attachment" to Post URL and File URL, as a lot of new/casual users have trouble distinguishing Posts from Pages, none the less Attachments.

We also talked about changing the 'URL' to 'Link', but thought there might be problems in translations because URL is a universal reference, whereas 'Link' doesn't universally translate. However, 'Link' (in English) is more user friendly and makes more sense for casual users.

#13 @jeremyclarke
10 years ago

AFAIK "Link" refers to a whole reference from one part of the web to another, whereas URL/URI more accurately describes specifically the address of a resource.

In this case I think URL is definitely the right way to label the button. "Link" should only be used when the result will be an <a> tag. This button is part of a system to define what the uploaded image will 'link' to, but the attachment-post choice isn't a link, it's a url.

#14 @jane
10 years ago

Jeremy is correct re URL vs Link.

#15 @scribu
10 years ago

How about we fix the real problem: make the button always insert the current post URL, as expected.

#16 @scribu
10 years ago

  • Component changed from UI to Media

Nevermind, the "Attachment Post URL" is not the same as the post in which the image will be inserted.

Version 0, edited 10 years ago by scribu (next)

#17 @SergeyBiryukov
9 years ago

  • Keywords gsoc 3.2-early removed
  • Milestone changed from Future Release to 3.3

#18 @nacin
9 years ago

  • Keywords has-patch removed
  • Milestone changed from 3.3 to Future Release

Still no consensus here, and lots of ambiguity. Ultimately, checking the link (or clicking the button) will make it somewhat obvious to the user. Need to punt at this point. "Attachment Post URL" is the best here, but it still kind of sucks.

#19 follow-up: @nacin
9 years ago

  • Keywords has-patch commit added; ux-feedback removed
  • Milestone changed from Future Release to 3.3

Per IRC and Jane, "Attachment Post URL" is better than what we have. It's apparently used elsewhere already, though I can't find it.

#20 in reply to: ↑ 19 @jane
9 years ago

Replying to nacin:

It's apparently used elsewhere already, though I can't find it.

Technically it's Attachment Page, not Attachment Post URL that is used elsewhere (Gallery Settings in Gallery tab when you have uploaded images). Fine to make change for 3.3. Hoping to re-jigger the uploader settings stuff in 3.4 anyway.

#21 @nacin
9 years ago

  • Owner set to nacin
  • Resolution set to fixed
  • Status changed from new to closed

In [19232]:

Rename attachment link button from 'Post URL' to 'Attachment Post URL.' props jeremyclarke, fixes #13544.

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