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I was asked to add "click to enlarge image" helper text to an photo gallery and to stand-alone images, and it got me thinking as to whether or not this is an intuitive action.

I personally assume at all times that if I click an image, I will get a larger version. If I don't, then I know.

As I write this, I feel like an image, if it is shrunk and cramped, is assumed to get larger when clicked. If it does not need to be enlarged to clearly see all details, than it won't do anything when clicked.

I am not the user though.

  • Is it redundant to have "Click to Enlarge" text next to images in a photo gallery?
  • What about stand-alone images?
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2 Answers

In photogalleries, what else should clicking an image do? In a gallery the images inherently assume a level of clickability. So, yeah, I wouldn't expect many users to have any problems using your gallery and discovering the possibilities.

However, it is quite hard to really clearly communicate you can click on an image. Especially if you need to also design for tablets etc. that don't have a mouse-over state.

Of course you need to keep the amount of text on screen limited, but for many users the added clarity of a helper text can take the guesswork out of using your interface. Little pieces of micro-copy like that can make your interface more friendly and easy to use.

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If you're not on touch interface. You can use the hand pointer on mouse over images .CSS hand mouse pointer
The homepage of http://www.imbd.com use this kind of pointer over pictures for zoom-in.

On stand alone applications, or with mozilla browser you can use the zoom pointer zoom pointer

On touch interface without mouse over, user can clic or use pinch to zoom and you can detect that in javascript (http://stackoverflow.com/questions/11183174/simplest-way-to-detect-a-pinch)

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