I love the new Flickr homepage redesign. They’ve made it more easy to do common things on one page, instead of having to move about different pages.
Overall, the original page hasn’t lost its flame. It still shows your latest photos, photos from your contacts, and photos from other people. But it’s been upgraded to provide activity filtering (via the activity page), preferential settings for contact photos displayed, most recent photos from groups (wasn’t there before), a ‘reload’ feature for explore, and bits of other interesting things, like a mini stats graph right above your latest photos (which could well be a ploy to get non-pro users to sign up for a pro account).
The new homepage feels a lot more dynamic too, with updates from the Flickr blog and tips giving you new feeds from time to time. I like how they didn’t displace things too much – the photos are on one side and the text activity (Flickr blog and tips) on another side. And they still maintained the international greeting at the top of the page, so I can continue learning how to greet people in different languages (not that I can remember them all).
The tips aren’t simple help advice that bore advanced users, either. One tip I just read informed me about how Flickr gives away free pro accounts to individuals from specific charity groups. Nifty! It’s a great way to explore the site’s diversity, and I’ll commend Flickr on this for the user experience bit. Tips are relevant, useful, timely ways to explore Flickr in new ways.
Flickr is sticking to the overall feel of its site, not by adding new core features, but by making existing features more accessible, therefore more ‘useful’. Things like the stats feature, flickr blog, tips, activities, group and contacts photos, are all central to the whole Flickr experience, and they made a good decision to make improvements to access those things.
For example, with the new ‘recent activity’ link at the top of your photos, you can easily see the latest “conversation” threads for comments around your photos, all at one glance. It’s quick, partly because of the AJAX work they’ve used, but it’s a good use of it here.
The overall impression that I got was that Flickr is still on the ball when it comes to user experience. I signed up many months ago for a pro account and I’ve not been dissapointed. I do know that the original founders have left Yahoo recently, but the Flickr team still ‘gets it’ and I’m looking forward to more Flickr goodness in the future.
Check out the screencast.
(this is a expanded copy of an article I posted on my personal homepage)