In the new Story Maps, my images are blurry and unusable on mobile (but great on desktop)

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01-19-2020 01:13 PM
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New Contributor II

Hi there, 

I'm making a story map with the new platform and my images look great on desktop, but terribly fuzzy and totally unusable on mobile. I've made a dummy version of it here to illustrate the problem: bit.ly/FuzzyImageProblem and I've attached screenshots from my desktop and phone to show how differently they look on each.

I never had this issue with the old story maps, and I don't think I'm doing anything differently now. 

All my images are 2000px wide and 150dpi, as was previously advised to me by a Story Maps team member. I've tried using jpgs and pngs and there's no difference. There's also no difference when I export the images larger or smaller. 

Are others having this issue? Any help is much appreciated!

Please add any tags you feel will help me get an answer quickly. I'm on deadline to launch next week and I'd really like to use story maps for this project, but won't be able to if I can't resolve this. Thank you all!

Marty

ArcGIS StoryMapsEsri Technical SupportCooper Thomas

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New Contributor II

Owen,

I’m seeing that too! Big improvement in quality, with no perceivable loss in load time.

Thank you so much for addressing this issue. My team and I really appreciate it.

Marty

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Esri Frequent Contributor

Hello Marty - Thanks for providing feedback about the new ArcGIS StoryMaps. I'm sorry you're seeing an issue with your story when viewing it on a mobile device.

While I see some blurriness in your images when compared to the desktop versions, I would not classify them as unusable as all the text is clearly legible. There is some resizing and optimization that occurs when accessing a story on a mobile device, and this is always a balance between performance and quality. We'll take a look at the algorithm and see if we can tweak things to see if we can improve the quality a bit more without sacrificing performance.

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps
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New Contributor II

Hi Owen, thank you so much for your response. 

I understand how tricky it can be to balance load speed and image quality, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate your willingness to try tweaking the algorithm. I would much rather have a slight lag in load time than blurry images. The load time seems to be quite fast, so I hope there is some room for adjustment in quality.

The images may be readable to those who have great eyes and are patient and forgiving (and it may vary depending on the device), but unfortunately they do not meet our standards for publication, since the images are the focus of the story. In the old StoryMaps, the images were nice and crisp on mobile and only sometimes did I experience a minor load lag (and it wasn't a big deal). I definitely prefer the design capabilities of the new StoryMaps (nice work!), but if this issue persists I will need to go back to Cascade. 

I hope the team can resolve this—so many of us use StoryMaps because we have big visual stories to tell and want our images to shine. Thank you for your help and willingness to look into tweaking the algorithm! I so appreciate it. I look forward to hearing how it goes.

Marty

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Esri Frequent Contributor

Thanks for the additional information, Marty. We're looking into it.

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps
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Esri Frequent Contributor

Marty -- Tomorrow night we'll roll out an update that addresses the image quality issue you mentioned. Please check your stories this weekend or Monday and let us know if you see an improvement that matches your expectation. Thanks again for your feedback on this.

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps
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New Contributor II

Thank you, Owen! I am thrilled to hear it. I will check this weekend. 

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Esri Frequent Contributor

Marty -- FYI, we pushed our update to Monday, so please wait until Tues to re-check the image quality.

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps
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New Contributor II

Thanks for letting me know, Owen. I look forward to seeing it on Tuesday.

Marty Schnure

Cartographic Designer

The Wilderness Society | The Wilderness Society Action Fund

Seattle, WA | cell: 508.642.9880

(she/her/hers)

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Esri Frequent Contributor

Marty -- Our update has been deployed. I'm seeing a noticeable improvement in the images in your story and other stories on phone and tablet screens. Please verify whether you can see this and let me know what you think.

Here's a screenshot of your test story from my iPhone.

Owen Evans
Lead Product Engineer | StoryMaps
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New Contributor II

Owen,

I’m seeing that too! Big improvement in quality, with no perceivable loss in load time.

Thank you so much for addressing this issue. My team and I really appreciate it.

Marty

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