Flickr on the porch. Photo by Miles.

Flickr’s redesign caught the world a bit unawares last week. Surprise notwithstanding, it took only moments for people to declare their love or hate for the new look. I sat on my hands for a week, absorbing the changes slowly. 

I like it.

I think it’s safe to say the design team will continue to make changes, like Delicious is doing throughout its also-sudden redo and like what Google does for nearly everything. As Fred Brooks would say, “Design, design, and design; and seek knowledgeable criticism.”

Here is my plus/delta list for now:

Plus (hurrah!)

  1. Social — I like seeing large photos from my contacts when I hit the home page. This is an improvement over the recent activity that occupied the above-the-fold in old Flickr.
  2. Scroll — I can scroll easily through those photos and my search results. (Yay!)
  3. Sets — I like this update the best of all. I share sets of event photos frequently. The new layout makes me happy.
  4. Captions on hover — Gorgeous implementation.
  5. Flickr blog and Explore — They’re not new. I just like both a lot…so many great photo and photographer discoveries.


Delta (my hopes for what’s next)

  1. Social (yeah, it’s up above, also) — Kudos on the repositioning of content. I’m hoping for more integration into networks; more internal communication and linking tools (vis-à-vis tags, hashtags and such); and maybe, just maybe the next big thing in curating and sharing. I don’t know what it is yet, but think Yahoo and Flickr are as good as a bet as any for figuring it out.
  2. Ads — Meh. I realize they are the modern deal with the devil. I love Flickr for its paid pro community. I plan to renew forever and not worry about the ad crisis. (I’m one of those people. I prefer to pay a reasonable fee for web services in lieu of ads.) For those who don’t want to pay-to-play, I hope Flickr forces its advertisers to create cool photo ads that integrate into the stream like artwork, with only a discreet ad tattoo.
  3. Comments and sharing on hover — I have to think this is coming. Right now, it’s a clear break to the old Flickr. I’m looking forward to seeing the UI when it’s finished. (I’m sure this will also include better link clues and typography consistency.)
  4. Better data portability — I’d like to be able to download sets. (Maximum size limits are okay.)
  5. Slideshow — Auto Ken Burns. Ergh.
  6. Guest pass — How about we just adopt more granular sharing permissions instead, like sharing via link?


So…. Not bad. Change is good. This change is good. It’s how we move forward. Flickr is dead. Long live Flickr.

**And, um yeah, I have one final request (please, oh please Flickr gods)…. I need an Instagram auto-import killer. I’m thinking something as simple as an EXIF/metadata filter that will allow me to hide the photos from Instagram. Because this is Flickr, right? Not Instagram. I get why my friends are doing the backup to Flickr. It makes sense. And I treasure you both, Jeremy Macdonald and Tim Lauer, but you’re killin’ me here.