There’s a page for setting your profile, and there’s a page of account settings, and one might guess that your “profile picture” would be part of your profile, but it isn’t; it’s an account setting. Why? (One of our users just asked this question and I didn’t have a good answer.)
Because the most important & essential user settings need to be on the first tab at the top, and account picture is one of the most important settings there is.
Username – picture – name – email.
Profile is more optional nice to have things like “location” etc
Hmm. Well, not to make a big thing out of this, but (1) imho picture is more like location than like username (it’s not as if it’s their real picture on their passport), and (2) if it’s important account information, it would help users not get confused to change the name from “profile picture” to “important account information picture” – or just “picture.”
You are free to edit CSS on your instance to make it how you like. I’m not a big fan of imagined problems, however…
I wouldn’t call it imagined. Just a difference of perspective. Some users never add a profile pic; so in that case profile pic might be seen as less important.
However with how customizable Discourse is as you said one can learn how to modify it to suit one’s preferences.
I think the best way to encourage users to add their profile image is by adding the option to their first subscription page to the community (even though it’s not mandatory). Just a thought as one who tries to encourage his users to add a profile image…