I have an authenticator in marketplace which does not offer any UI in Confluence so it needs no screenshot or image, and really doesn't need three highlights, but marketplace requires three highlights with pictures, it seems. Why is this enforced, and is there a way around this?
We require three highlights and three images to ensure a consistent browsing experience on the Atlassian Marketplace for all customers. There are close to 2,000 add-ons in the Marketplace, and it's Atlassian's responsibility to ensure that the experience across multiple add-ons is cohesive.
In our extensive usability testing preceding the Marketplace redesign, we found that customers struggled to quickly get a sense of what an add-on does when confronted with a wall of text and no visual cues. Time and time again, customers told us that the first thing they do when visiting a page is "look at the screenshots." This might not be applicable to every add-on, but it's applicable to a significant enough proportion that we're comfortable making it a requirement to ensure consistency.
With regard to the three brief highlight descriptions, our general perspective is that if something is worth building, there are at least three things you can say about it. Perhaps what might seem obvious to you might not be obvious to someone else, but if it's worth building, it's likely worth the time to explain to someone else why it might be valuable to them. We introduced the three highlight structure in order to encourage everyone to succinctly describe the most important features, components, or capabilities of an add-on, rather than overwhelming page visitors with a long list of features or failing to provide a description of the add-on's value entirely--both of these provide a relatively poor user experience.
Likewise, with the three highlight screenshots, we encourage developers to relate the screenshots to the highlight text, but realize that this might not be a perfect fit in every case. Nevertheless, there's no requirement that your images must be screenshots. You can use diagrams, graphics, logos, or all manner of other visual clues to support your listing.
I hope this helps you guys understand why we've made the design choices you see on the Marketplace. Don't hesitate to contact me directly with additional questions.
Product Marketing, Atlassian Marketplace
Dave, Thanks, that's a good explanation, but I feel if the three images can be purely aesthetic, then marketplace could provide a variety and/or default aesthetic images to choose from that work with the colors and look of marketplace. Otherwise, creative commons pics of kittens will have to do for now. In addition, marketplace does not enforce the consistent width of the pic, so my kitten pics have a black rectangle next to them. I think it might look better to make the uploader crop the pic within the browser, which is the typical thing you see in just about every other website that allows uploads for the purpose of filling defined space (e.g. Gravitar, Facebook, G+, etc.). I'd be happy to suggest this via a Jira ticket, but "marketplace" doesn't come up in jira.atlassian.com, so am mentioning here if it helps. Thanks again for your help!
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