Flickr Users To Flickr: Down With The Redesign!

Flickr is a social photo sharing site that puts to work the power of cloud hosting that has been around for quite some time. I'm pretty sure you knew this already. On May 20, Yahoo redesigned Flickr entirely, both in the Android app and on the web. Say goodbye to text and blank space, and hello to tiled photos as far as the eye can see. flickr logo Flickr Users To Flickr

Not everyone is singing praises of this redesign. Was this a bad move? Look at Facebook: every time they redesign the site, users take to the feed, complaining and pleading with Facebook to cease the changes. It is no different with Flickr, with group discussions in the Communities area of the site, chock full of user opinions.

The Changes

Once you log in to Flickr, you see a tiled layout featuring the latest uploads from your contacts, kind of like the Google+ experience. The lower right of each picture features the photo's star rating, a comment button, and share button. The Explore and Groups areas are featured on the right sidebar, as well as a link to the Flickr blog and a button to sign in using your Facebook account.

Upon opening your photostream, you'll see your pictures are large and tiled as well, and hovering over an image will display the comments. Something that hasn't changed: the page you get when you click on an image. The layout is pretty much the same.

On the Flickr blog on release day: “In the beginning, Flickr innovated the way people share and discover photos. Today, we are shifting the photo-sharing landscape again. We're releasing a Flickr that's more spectacular, much bigger, and one you can take anywhere…A better Flickr is here. And not a moment too soon. With all of the power that you love, Flickr is now in its most beautiful form, and available to everyone.”

User Feedback

The focus is on the image now, whether on the app or web. Flickr wants you to discover new images all over the site, whether uploaded by friends or strangers across the community. This seems like a good thing, right? Not necessarily.

Flickr opened up discussion in the forum area of their site, likely hoping to answer user questions and see how people felt about the redesign. The discussion was soon closed making it impossible to post your feedback, probably due to the fact nothing was positive: “How do I cancel my Pro account and get a full refund?”; “I loathe the new homepage. Why is everything so huge?”; “Change it back!!!!!”; “Oh dear God this is HORRIFYING. Please, please, please reconsider this.”; “You're killing your own efforts to create a viable Internet community, Yahoo. Fire whatever executive is telling you that you need to throw features at the site every 8-12 months.”

Many pleaded for the option to choose the view they wanted, either the old style or the new. It is interesting to note that after I scrolled through 5 pages of comments (there are a total of 298 pages, there was no WAY I was able to make it through every comment) I was only able to find one positive comment: “I like it.”

There Are Some That Like It

With all of the negativity on Flickr (not just in the discussion thread — some have taken to bashing Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer on her own Flickr photo stream), there are some who love it. One of those redesign lovers: Thomas Hawk, professional photographer.

He calls himself a fan of the site redesign, calling it “the best version I've seen yet,” adding he agrees “with almost every design change that they made.” But rather than gush on and on about the beauty of the redesign, he calls out those who make classless attacks on Mayer and Flickr. “Whether you love the new Flickr or hate it is your own opinion; design can sometimes be subjective — but to post images of excrement on someone's personal Flickr page over that design opinion? Really? Watching people in the Help Forum encourage the trashing of someone's personal Flickrstream is disturbing,” he said.

He gets into a big discussion on the behavior of those people on Flickr forums in general and not just regarding this issue, stating that he has “encountered some of the worst human beings I've ever met online in some Flickr groups.” When you read through the closed thread regarding the redesign, it's easy to see that he is right.

Flickr Users To Flickr: The Future of Flickr

One has to wonder: with as hard as Yahoo! is working to breathe new life into Flickr, is it too late? Many of those on the cloud hosting photo sharing site have jumped ship, with many threatening to follow suit if Flickr doesn't do something to address the issues they have with the new design.

Or, is this nothing at all to worry about? After all, other popular websites have redesigned in a way that upsets users (*ahem* Facebook), and they are still just as popular. Is it more a case of “I have to use this site so I'm just going to have to get used to it”? I guess only time will tell.

Do you use Flickr to store and share your photos? How do you feel about the redesign, and the fact people are attacking Yahoo! CEO Mayer personally on her Flickrstream? We want to hear what you think!

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