Monday, May 27, 2013

What the Flickr? I thought this redesign would never happen, but I'm glad it did

Flickr, the image-sharing website where I've been uploading and sharing my artwork since 2007, implemented a major redesign last week.

Wired Magazine called it "slick" and "photo-rific," but many artists who also use it to share drawings aren't happy. They say it is a "nightmare." Some are so upset that they are circulating petitions to Marissa Mayer, CEO of parent company Yahoo, to Change Flickr Back!.

Is the new design really worse than good old clunky Flickr already was?

To form my own opinion and perhaps offer some perspective, I looked for old pages via Wayback Machine and assembled some before-and-after comparisons.

I think the changes are an improvement. I would never go back to the previous look, where thumbnails dominated most pages and forced you to click to see every image. I love how the photostream pages look now, with images filling up the screen. The black background on image pages makes the artwork standout, though it'd be nice if users could customize it with their color of choice.

Flickr looked the same for so long, I worried it would get sold or shut down. Now, that would have been really upsetting!

The redesign proves that the site is alive, and that makes me happy.





  1. Did you look at your home page? Perhaps that's the one upsetting others? I get there by clicking on the flickr logo in the top left. It really is ugly (and difficult to read too). It used to be where I landed each day. Easily fixed, however, I changed my bookmark to my stats page.

  2. Thanks for the positive perspective!

  3. Thanks Gabi for pointing out the positives on Flickr's the new design. All the comments I've heard are negative. I agree, visually the site looks better and isn't as clunky as it was before. Flickr to me always seemed like it was caught in a 90's time warp. But functionally, it worked well.

    My problems with the new look revolves mostly around navigation. I find it difficult to look at an image up close and then get back to where I was, or move into another persons sketch stream. It also seems less social. It's harder to read what people wrote about their sketches. Comments and text some how seem less important.

    Also since the pics on our home pages are now so big, it doesn't invite people "in" to a persons sketch stream and people are less likely to click on an image. That means our view counters are going to be lower which makes it harder to know what images people are looking at.

    Oh, and there's no maps feature anymore. I liked seeing where in the world people sketched at a glance or even mouse-over to see the place up close.

    So I do have some problems with the new design but again, I do agree that overall the site looks better.

  4. Agree -- the *design* needed an update, so I'm certainly glad they woke up to that, but it seems to have happened at the expense of navigation and ease of social sharing, which is baffling. I liked seeing the titles and comments, and many sketchers write quite a lot about their pics. Now I feel as if I have to mouseover more and click around more to do the things I did. Those of us who use blogs are probably less affected, but if the idea was to promote more social behavior on Flickr itself, I'm not sure that the new interface achieves it, especially for "pro" type users.

  5. Thanks for the tip Gabi, changing the view to square helps heaps as my main trouble has been waiting for all images to download in 'justified' view. (Images have a long way to squeeze down the skinny pipe under the Pacific Ocean to New Zealand!). It still takes a while for the preview images to load, but I can probably live with that. Like Amanda I changed my my bookmark to my stats page and that helps a lot too.

  6. Yes--yes, this is a total bette noir for an experienced Flickr user like me. The First design was actually the best website design of my morning Net commute- it had groups, recent activity, etc- all on one page. Now I have to go through three submenus just to edit my profile! Never mind seeing how many views my photos have on a non-Pro account! AAARGH!

  7. That's as ridiculous as LOOKING at two cakes to decide which one tastes better. You have no idea what Flickr users are struggling with after the last disastrous redesign. Try to actually use it, and you'll find out in a blink. There's a ton of bugs and hopeless GUI design, and weeks go by without fixes or improvements.