Flickr Freshening Up the Look for 2012

Flickr Freshening Up the Look for 2012

Adrianne Jeffries over at Betabeat has a nice scoop on the fresh new page design that Flickr is apparently rolling out next Tuesday for their photos from your contacts page. In her post titled “Flickr is Getting a Major Makeover” she reports on her meeting with Flickr Head of Product Markus Spiering and includes at least one screen shot of what the new page is going to look like.

I haven’t played around with the new page yet, but I’m liking what I see so far from the screenshot. The photos from your contacts’ page is of one of the most popular and visited pages on Flickr.

The old layout for this page was sort of a clunky screen that hadn’t changed much for many years at flickr. It was criticized last year by Flickr Designer Timoni West when she still worked at Flickr in a post titled “The Most Important Page on Flickr.”

The new design looks much more interactive with a focus on larger photos, hover over pop out magnification, and a jigsaw sort of layout that allows the photos on the page to take the maximum space possible with very little white space. It looks quite a bit more like what Google+’s photo pages look like actually and feels like a much more elegant design. Now how cool would it be if this new page also had infinite scrolling as well. 😉

According to Jefferies, the new page is scheduled to roll out next Tuesday, February 28th along with a revamp of Flickr’s upload page as well.

I have to say that I like seeing this sort of fresh new look come out of Flickr — and I think it’s a good sign that Chief Markus Spiering is looking to make good on his promise last month of a renewed focus on Flickr this year.

I don’t know anything about how the functionality of the page might change yet, but hopefully we see some improvement there as well — either with this roll out or subsequent roll outs. At present the current page offers you four ways to view your contacts’ photos.

1. The last 1 photo by all of your “friends.”
2. The last 1 photo by all of your “contacts” (contacts include “friends” and “contacts”).
3. The last 5 photos by all of your “friends.”
4. The last 5 photos by all of your “contacts.”

Personally I’d like to see more ways that flickr users can group their contacts. Having only two buckets contacts vs. friends/family is not enough. Flickr needs circles like Google+ has where we can filter this page view by more than just these two buckets.

I’d also like to see new ways to sort photos on this page beyond just recency. It would be super cool if flickr let us sort this page also by interestingness within time periods (last hour, 12 hours, day, week month). I suspect this sort of functionality enhancement would involve a bit more coding than flickr may have done for next week’s refresh, but the important thing is that Flickr is improving this page and that’s a huge step in the right direction and a positive sign coming from Flickr. G+’s equivalent photo page could use some of this sort of functionality as well.

Also in her article, Jefferies comments about the recent round of layoffs that took place in the customer service area at Flickr. Former Flickr engineer Nolan Caudill wrote a pretty scathing blog post about the layoffs and cited it as evidence that the suits at Yahoo were out of touch with Flickr. Former Yahoo Andy Baio circulated a rumor on twitter that Flickr management was actually blindsided by the layoffs. In Jeffries’ article though she quotes Spiering that the layoffs were done to centralize Flickr’s support with other Yahoo customer support, making it available 24 hours a day.

Initially I wondered about those layoffs myself and blogged on them here — but the more I think about them I’m now starting to wonder if those layoffs actually aren’t a positive step forward by Flickr. I’m not going to name names and I mean no disrespect to anyone who lost their job, but at least one of the individuals who reportedly lost their job in the layoffs really was seen as one of the most hated customer service reps on the site and had taken a lot of criticism over the years for what many users felt were bad account and content deletion decisions. Perhaps clearing out some of the dead wood so to speak is actually a step forward and not backwards.

Anyways, a very solid article on change at Flickr by Jeffries, who is covering flickr better than just about anyone out there these days — and exciting that we’ll likely be able to play with a cooler new version of Flickr next Tuesday. Revamping the contacts photo page and making it easier/faster/bigger/better to see your contacts’ photos should create more interactivity on Flickr which is a super positive thing.

Update: Apparently Flickr has been testing this new layout for almost 6 weeks now. Here’s a link to the group of people who have been testing the new layout if you want to try to get into it deeper. Comments in this group would seem to confirm that continuous scrolling is also coming to flickr.

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  1. Seneschal says:

    At least they are trying to change their 2005 design/function, even if it’s copying what G+ has already done.

  2. Cirkus says:

    i am still hopeful and have never lost my faith for flickr. <3

  3. Jonas Räfling says:

    Great to hear that something is happening over at Flickr 🙂

  4. +1 to:
    Community management had been “an absolute disaster,” in his opinion. “It could be that flickr is retooling and actually in a weird way going to try and re-engage their customers,” he wrote.

    I’ll believe it when I see it though. Flickr has gone out of its way over the years to alienate its most influential users. If the updates turn out to be cosmetic only, they will turn out to be as strategic as putting lipstick on a pig.

  5. Chris says:

    “at least one screenshot”? You could read the article and know for sure. Reading is hard, let’s blog!

  6. GC says:

    it’s about time…

  7. Joe Goozey says:

    it’s about time indeed … took the words out of my mouth.

  8. martin says:

    I just checked and yes – the menu at the top is still at 960 and the gallery takes up 100% width – yuk! I don’t like staggered redesigns – do it all – do it properly and do it one go!

    good luck flickr

  9. Sparty says:

    and google+ needs a way to actually search photos.

    but google+ and flickr don’t have the same purpose anyway

  10. Good news, looks like Flickr is finally leaving the previous decade…

  11. Michael says:

    Actually, Speiring told me that the new view does have infinite scrolling. But still, I’d rather page through my contacts’ latest photos in the full lightbox view. “You simply can keep scrolling,” he said of the new tile view in my meeting. He also noted that they always use the highest res available.

  12. RE Casper says:

    I’ve deleted my account from there once before and after a ho-hum second chance, I recently decided to remove everything and delete my Flickr this weekend again and be done with it for good.

    Its just not worth much to me with all the other social platforms one must integrate into a workflow. The use of the site seems to be a dumping ground for most peoples memory cards anyway and its not really worth it… to me at least. Not to mention the pain in the butt nature of logging in. Its petty, I know, but pop-ups and 5 clicks just to login through my Google account is irritating.

    I’ll hold out a couple days, see what happens… but the stagnant nature of the site and the lack of Yahoo’s desire over the years to really make an effort to improve it (till now), has put a sour taste in my mouth. Just might be too little to late for me.