I swear that when I tweeted this morning:
Flickr is starting to look *really* dated.
I had no knowledge that only a couple hours later, Flickr would unveil a newer interface. Flickr has been enhanced with several updates to photo pages.
Similar Look; Several Enhancements
The overall look remains similar, but here’s what you’ll find with the new Flickr photo interface (along with a few editorial comments):
- The default photo size has been increased to 640 pixels wide (up from 500 previously). Bigger is better, but in these days where it seems that everyone’s default resolution is at least 1280 pixels wide, I’m a bit disappointed that only half of that is being used for a photograph.
- A new lightbox view, accessed by clicking on a photo, opens a black-background lightbox for image viewing. I don’t see this as being used by many folks, but it’s nice to see a black-background option being available. Even better would’ve been the ability for users to choose their background color for the page.
- Photo titles now display underneath images (near the description) instead of at the top of the page. The image comes first, the supporting words second.
- Photos with geolocation data display a small map on the right. The camera information is displayed in this same area. Both of these items are more prominant than the previous small-font display that was down near the bottom of the sidebar.
- Navigation buttons to move to previous/next images are now fairly prominent. A new “filmstrip” look replaces the older single-photo options to move forward or back within the photostream or image set.
- Several of the options that were previously in various above-photo menus have been consolidated into an “Actions” menu. This results in a cleaner interface, but it’s going to mean an extra click if you frequently used some of those options.
- Previously viewable only to photo owners, Favorites are now public and displayed along with the comments.
- Licensing information is now displayed more prominently, including on the “All Sizes” view of a photo.
Overall these are evolutionary, not revolutionary changes. I think it’s definitely a step in the right direction. When I got word of the new interface I’ll admit I was kind of hoping for some bigger changes but I suspect Flickr users might have revolted at anything too radical.
For power users who might be enhancing Flickr with Greasemonkey scripts, my suspicion is that most of these scripts will need to be updated to accomodate the user interface changes. Incidentally, I use about ten scripts that enhance Flickr, and none of today’s announced changes addresses the shortcomings that I overcome with scripts.
I’m not really sure where Flickr is headed. Perhaps these changes are the first step or are needed to support some bigger innovations that have yet to be announced.
Get Started with the New Interface
The new interface is technically in a beta period right now, but signed-in Flickr users can opt-in to the new design. Use this link to opt-in to the new Flickr photo interface.