Jim links to Betabeat’s article “Flickr Is Getting a Major Makeover” which provides more detail about the upcoming changes:
The new photo view will hit on Feb. 28, Mr. Spiering said, and with it comes a new upload interface. Flickr’s uploading page now looks more like an app than a website. Goodbye, retro blue links. Hello, swoopy drag-and-drop.
Great, not a bad thing. But I really hope they start fine tuning the smaller things.
One thing that’s always irked me is the inability to edit the thumbnail for a photograph. I’m not alone on that one either, something that’s been asked for since 2007.
I’ve never spent much time browsing through other people’s photos on Flickr as the experience is just so underwhelming (contrast this with how you discover photos on 500px to see what I mean).
The Home view is also quite un-interesting. Some recent activity is displayed, as well as a few recent photos from your Contacts, but it’s just not done in beautiful way. And these are photos we’re talking about! What’s with the miniature thumbnails?
Where’s Flickr for iPad?
The iPad is a great way to share and discover photos – so where’s the iPad app? Again, 500px, a much smaller and younger company, already has an iPad app.
Flickr for the iPhone (when it’s working), is passable at best.
Why can’t I zoom in on photos (like every other image viewing app)? I understand if this is disabled for protected photos, but it should definitely be an option, especially when viewing your own images. I often want to save an image to use as an iPhone wallpaper but I’m unable to do so (you can save an image, but it won’t be high res., and if it’s a landscape photo that you want to use as a portrait the image quality will be reduced even further).
I’ve referred several family members to Flickr over the past couple years and they have all had a hard time using it. I usually defend Flickr, mentioning that I don’t really know of anything I’d prefer to use, but never with a comment praising them for their great user experience.
The way I see (and use Flickr) currently, is essentially photo hosting and backup in the Cloud. My Contact list isn’t huge, and it’s mostly comprised of a few close friends that have an interest in photography outside Facebook (outside of event photos for memory/keepsake). I use it to share my “good” photography with my friends and family that share my interest.
500px is the place I spend my time when I’m looking to be inspired. It’s a great place for constructive feedback, education, and networking. The people there (I’m talking about the users and the people that built the service) are passionate about photography.
I upload my “great” photography here to share with the best of the best. The website is almost intimidating at times, as it can be hard to upload my “great” photos to a place where my “great” is the at the bottom of the food chain. But it keeps me motivated. It keeps me inspired to try harder next time.
I don’t know their web statistics but I bet they have an extremely long average time users spend on the website.
Interacting with other people’s photos is great. You can “Like” a photo, giving the photographer kudos that’s public but also and private (it’ll alert them via email). You can also mark a photo as a “Favourite”, so that when you want to find it again you can, easily (it has other benefits as well obviously).
When I come across a great photo it’s easy to see what else they’ve shot, and what equipment they use. If I like what I see I can “Follow” them, much like I could on Twitter. You can do this on Flickr, but it’s referred to as “Adding a contact”, which doesn’t feel as right. The word “follow” implies that I want to be kept in the loop, not that I actually know them. It feels sort of creepy to add someone I don’t know on a personal level as a contact on Flickr.
The two company’s have a very different focus and audience, but I think Flickr could learn a lot from 500px’s UX.