I have been reviewing standards that show the benefits of using circular pictures. We recommended this option to a client but the developer raised concerns over cropping. The developer mention when clients want to crop pictures with other people it is problematic. Has anyone run into this concern from development? or other issues with cropping in circular? this seems like a strange concern but they convinced the client it was an issue.

  • The developer has no idea how to implement a cropping tool. End of story. Then comes with a made up story, but there aren't any real reasons for this. Also, who uploads a group photo as a personal profile photo? Is this developer joking?
    – Devin
    Jun 24, 2016 at 23:30
  • @Devin That's a bit harsh and doesn't seem to be based on any evidence. Wouldn't you agree? Also, am I the only one that for a brief moment thought it was Donald Trump asking?
    – Izhaki
    Jun 25, 2016 at 0:37
  • @Izhaki, believe it or not, I have gone through the same "cropping is difficult and evil" situation not one, not two, but three times. all three times without any real reason given, just this same words: "is problematic". On the other hand, we've implemented this hundreds of times and never had an issue. So it might sound harsh, but instead of telling the OP some soft version of the story and wasting his time, a blunt and (I bet whatever you want) accurate description of the problem at hand. I'd lve to hear the reasons any developer may have about a pretty basic feature implementation, though
    – Devin
    Jun 25, 2016 at 16:17

1 Answer 1


It depends whether you want the user's profile to be their face or not.

On one hand, the client is right - it would be harder to fit a group photo into a circle, or many photos that aren't just faces. There's a reason camera's take rectangular pictures, after all. So if you want users to have profile pictures that aren't their face, than a square seems the natural option.

On many sites, though, I would imagine that you want to encourage users to put their face as their profile picture, because the purpose of the picture is to help users identify each-other. In this case, it makes sense to make the pictures round, as a way to encourage users to make their profiles their face.

  • There are many reason cameras take rectangular pictures, but I can think of any related to the question at hand. What do you mean exactly?
    – Devin
    Jun 24, 2016 at 23:27

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