Wednesday, March 20, 2019

pick-one: a (very) lightweight image collaboration tool

Last week I wanted a small group of folks to weigh in on a particular design decision. Surely I thought, there's a tool out there I can use to run a quick poll of the various mockups. Alas, searching didn't turn up a usable solution. I found sophisticated tools for collaborating on designs, as well as simple tools for creating image based polls. The design tools were overkill, and the image polls were crude and ad filled. What I wanted was something like doodle.com, but for images, not scheduling. With no great options, I decided to build my own. I give you: pick-one.

Here's an example of using pick-one in action. Suppose I wanted to find out which bridge pic of mine a group of people prefer. I upload the source photos to a directory accessible to pick-one and then send out a link with that directory name in the URL. In this case the URL is http://code.benjisimon.com/pick-one/?s=bridges. Clicking on the link shows an overview of the photos:

Clicking on any of the images will zoom in:

Each image is automatically overlaid with a consistent letter. Folks I've emailed can reply with a quick 'C' if that's their choice.

You can find the source code for pick-one here. I'm not in love with the fact that it requires you upload images. A smart enhancement would be to pull the images from a Google Album, Google Drive Folder or Amazon S3 Bucket. Once this is done, the system should be far more usable.

I'm still convinced that there's a lightweight tool out there that will let me poll my audience. But until I trip over it (or better yet, you tell me about it in the comments), I'll keep enhancing pick-one.

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