Thumbnails should match photo galleries' first picture
Two Florida news sites I regularly check at work — one a partner, one a competitor — have an annoying way of linking to photo galleries. You click on the thumbnail of one image to enter the gallery, but you often get a different image when the page loads.
For instance, Sun-Sentinel.com is using this thumbnail of a man holding his Purple Heart medal to link into the site’s daily photo gallery:
But when you click the thumbnail image, you get a picture of Saddam Hussein!
Similarly, PalmBeachPost.com has a thumbnail of state champion high school football players dousing their coach:
But the first picture in the photo gallery is of a fumble during the game:
When readers click on a thumbnail image to enter a photo gallery, they want to see that image — for more detail or to read the caption. Even if the thumbnailed image is just a few clicks of the “next” link ahead in the gallery, readers may be very confused. If you’re building photo galleries, make sure thumbnails match the first gallery image readers will get.
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