[PR FAQ] Adding profile pictures to the Forum

The EA Forum team is sharing our project proposals publicly on the Forum, as an experiment during August. They’re written as though the product were already finished, but for now, they are only proposals. See here for a description of PR FAQs.

We appreciate hearing comments from everyone, even if they are brief opinions like “I’d be happy to see this” or “I quickly skimmed the post and it doesn’t seem like this is something I would use, but I’m not sure”.

Profile Pictures Come to the Forum

Users notice a friendly feeling on the Forum as usernames start to have faces attached to them.

This week, we’ve added profile pictures to:

  1. A user’s profile

  2. Their hover-over profile

  3. The subheaders of their posts

When talking to our users, we often hear that they would use the Forum more if it felt friendlier and more “human”. We also observe that text-only platforms are generally not favored by our target audience of students and young professionals.

Seeing faces behind the names on the Forum makes the Forum appear more human and more approachable. Adding these images gives the Forum more color, and makes it more visually interesting, removing at least one of the disadvantages we have compared to more popular social media platforms.

Aaron will be reaching out to many authors directly to encourage them to use this feature. And you can add a picture right now in your profile page!

“I’m so glad we’re a little less grey.”

– JP Addison

“It was such a pleasant surprise to come to the Forum to read a post, and to get to see the author’s face! It really made me feel like I could relate with them better.”

– Phineas Photophile


Why not have the profile pictures next to comments?

Initially, I expect there to be only a few people with profile pictures. This would make the comments sections either non-uniform, or filled with default pictures/​sad grey circles. It’s easier for us to encourage active users to add pictures than to do so for every single commenter. If the feature is working well after the initial ramp-up period, we can add these pictures to comments as well.

What other plans might you implement for this feature?

We can make this shareable across your EA.org accounts.

How will users upload their pictures?

We’ll use Cloudinary, which also does face-auto-focusing.