Increase thumbnail size on Identify

The new indicators of the number of photos and comments per observation on Identify make me much likelier to use the Agree buttons in the thumbnail view (for better or worse…). I have pretty good close range vision and the thumbnails just seem teeny. I imagine for those who have poorer vision they must feel really really small!

Top screenshot was actually already zoomed in, since the screen “scale” is set at 125%

Maybe because I’m somewhat of a generalist, I am rarely interested in the list of top identifiers anyway, so I wouldn’t be sad to see that go in favor of more room for slightly enlarging the thumbnails.

I can use my browser to zoom in, but then it shows fewer observations per row, makes the browser sidescroll, and makes the pop-up modal clunkily chunky. As well it then affects the zoom level in new tabs I open.

Main points:

  • Make thumbnails larger and easier to identify
  • Improve experience for small screens or browser windows
  • Hide unused info panel
  • Possibly move the “progress bar” outside of the panel to the top of the page

Yes please!

I find I have to increase font size on virtually all web pages these days, and with increased font size comes many issues on the thumbnails: The agree button covers the taxon name, and the reviewed overlay takes up most of the picture (see 4th pic in the row) and I sometimes click it by mistake instead of the picture to open the modal.


I would love more space to see the thumbnails! Aren’t top id’ers for species listed on the relevant species pages anyway? I certainly wouldn’t miss the redundant info if I’m looking at a particular category.

If there’s something non-redundant about the Top list, then maybe just make it a separate, different kind of ranking page that people can go to and sort at will (by region, or date or whatever) if they’re feeling competitive about some aspect?

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Totally baffled here. Thumbnails are… thumbnails. They’re supposed to give you an indication of what the content looks like (it’s a flower, it’s a squirrel), not give you a detailed look at the photos that would allow you to make a detailed identification. The “Agree” buttons there are for those rare cases when something is very easy to identify, like a clear shot of an American Robin or something.

If you want to see more, click on the thumbnail.

Top identifiers seems like a separate issue. Could you please split that out into a different topic?


if the agree button is there for rare cases, why is it available on most observations? (see

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Because we (or the system) can’t read your mind and know which species you find easy to ID.


@kueda yes, thumbnails are thumbnails, but these thumbnails have lots of things on top of the them which reduces further the visible area. On each picture is an avatar, number of photos icon and a reviewed overlay; and on the taxon name is the Agree button. All these things are useful and super and appreciated, but they do reduce the readability and image area, and one has to be careful where one clicks! I also think the leaderboard is not useful to ID’ing stuff and could perhaps be on a separate tab like on the Explore page.

In fact, moving the leaderboard to a different tab might reduce the number of people who agree compulsively just to get up the leaderboard. {I strongly believe that identifications and agreements should be separate things anyway, but that’s a different topic.}


I think there are times when the leader board can be useful. I would like to see it on a collapsible panel so that it could be tucked away when not needed. Make the “open/closed” state sticky.

…and I agree, agree is for rare occasions, so rare that maybe we just get rid of them all ;)


I would be hesitant to do identifications from that page just using the thumbnail images. Quite often the extra pictures not shown are of different organisms added by new users that didn’t know how to split them up. Or the users puts important info in the observation description indicating that they are trying to id the small bee in the corner of the photo, not the big one in the center that the auto-generated thumbnail highlights. I’ve also found several instances where people even stated in the description that the photos weren’t even theirs, but that they found them on Google because it “looked just like” what they saw. There are also cases where people upload old observations with completely wrong dates attached to them. Like a photo of a hawk against a snowy backdrop… in Chicago… in July! It wouldn’t really be possible to catch those things doing ids from that page.


Even in cases where the species is easily identifiable from the thumbnail and I know that there are no similar species, I still click on the photo to magnify it if for nothing else than to make sure the location is accurate. A few weeks ago I found a user who had posted a very identifiable Asian lanternfly in Mexico! Would have either been an extremely noteworthy new introduction or a stolen photo (turned out to be the latter), but either way I would not have caught it had I not clicked through to the observation. Thumbnails give me an idea of what to expect when I click through and help me choose which observations will be worth my time, but they can never communicate the whole story on their own.


I think there are definitely cases where agreeing from the Identify screen is valuable. I often search in specific places and with specific taxa (genera) where there are 5 or fewer species possibilities, so I can often ID 1 or 2 of those directly with “agrees” from the identification page. In some cases, these make up approx 75% of observations on the Identify screen. Depending on how fast iNat is running, IDs done by “agree” on the Identify page average about 10x faster for me than sidescrolling one by one.

I would support dropping (or panelling) the leaderboard and progress board to get slightly bigger thumbnails as the extra info those larger thumbnails present is more valuable to me than the leaderboard.

Also, a bit of a side question, but is there any option to “turn off” the new behavior of showing little bitty thumbnails when an observation has more than one pic associated with it? They are really too tiny for me to get any info from them, and any time my pointer swings to a specific multi-pic observation as my attention turns towards it, the pic then turns to lots of little ones that I can’t make out. This is a minor annoyance but does increase the time it takes for me to ID. I do like having the little pic logo though so I can tell if there are multiple pics.


There are no one-click actions associated with thumbnails on Explore, Projects, Lists, or Guides, all of which have larger images than on Identify. If anything, shouldn’t the thumbnails on Identify be be some of the biggest throughout the site considering their importance?

Yeah, super tiny. I’m often not even gleaning info like “is the 2nd photo in the same kingdom as the 1st photo” in many cases because it’s nearly half hidden and so small. Another Identify vs. Explore grid size comparison:


Oh! You can click on the thumbnails to bring up a larger page and picture? I never identify anything because the thumbnails are so small, and I thought the agree button was the only way to ID something.


I’m in favor of this not even necessarily for using agree button, but for the ability to see the potential something can be accurately identified by myself. I often browse families I can identify with a clear view and scroll thumbnails looking for ones I feel in my ability, then click the ones I feel I may be able to help on.

The leaderboard is fun and I enjoy seeing my name on some, but I do wonder how relevant it is when searching for observations to ID. They appear on the observations where they pertain more to persons who may have questions which I feel is practical. I wouldn’t have issues removing it from the ID page in place of bigger thumbnails.


Larger thumbnails would be very useful when reviewing the Unknown list, as it would make it much easier to sort the wheat from the chaff. When using other filters, I usually use the Identify dialog and just work through them one by one. But the Unknown list is obviously much more of a mixed bag (to say the least), so I’d rather just pick out the ones where I know I can add some value. It would be really nice to have a button at the top of the page to toggle between large/small thumbnails, and maybe also a button to hide/show the leaderboard.