Flickr Refreshes Search Page: Looks Good!
Today Flickr announced a refresh and redesign of their main search page and I have to say I’m liking what I’m seeing so far. The new page layout flows a lot better than the old one. You can now choose between small, medium, detail and slideshow in terms of views and they have a cool little letter i that is on thumbnails that you can click on to get additional photo details without having to leave a search results page. (You can see an example of this on the image above searching for graffiti by “most interesting”).
In addition to offering you more choices for viewing, flickr’s also made use of a right sidebar space to provide you possible related interesting content by highlighting “groups” that feature what your searching for, “photographers” who shoot what you’re looking for (based on number of tags I believe), “tag clusters” showing similar sort of search terms or related criteria and finally “places” tying geotag information in with your search terms. All of this content in the right column is done in typical flickrish ajaxyish style and flows easy and well.
Flickr still gives you three ways to view content in basic search — by recentcy, by interestingness and by relevancy. Personally I think Flickr could scrap their relevancy category altogether and just give us interestingness and recentcy. I’ve found that relevancy tends to be a somewhat stale category and have never really found it’s results especially compelling or interesting. I probably use interestingness or recentcy for 95% of my Flickr image searches.
Although the new search page is a big improvement aesthetically speaking and functionally over the last one it still doesn’t beat my current favorite way to browse flickr search results.
My favorite way to browse flickr search results these days is with CoolIris. Basically I do a search on Flickr and then hover over one of the results and click on the CoolIris icon (you have to have CoolIris installed and you can get that here). Then a beautiful wave of photos from my search result are pulled up that I can have far more control over the size as I use my mouse scroll wheel to expand or shrink all photos on page. I can also more quickly navigate through my search by rolling my mouse down the wave of photos. If I find a photo that I want to interact with I simply select it using CoolIris and then cmd/ctl click on the link to the actual image and CoolIris opens it in a page in the background. Best of all CoolIris auto pages the photos as I move my mouse down the wave so I never have to page.
Anyways. Congrats to the Flickr team on a nice improvement/enhancement to Flickr. I really like the way this one turned out. If you want to see how the Flickr Community is reacting to the new search page, probably the best place to follow that is in Flickr’s Official Feedback thread on the new page in their help forum here.