On our own behalf: CEO Axel Flasbarth comments recent changes

Dear members of fotocommunity,

the revision of the preview pages caused many and various feedbacks of our members. I would like to say “Thank you” to all, who gave their inputs and feedbacks. Some points I would like to comment personally.

Thumbnail size
In 2002, when fotocommunity started, the preview images were the largest compared to other websites, but today they were among the smallest. Even though the previews were resized and are no longer the smallest, they are still far from being the largest.
In our point of view the trend toward larger thumbnails is understandable. It’s just more fun to browse through the sections and portfolios. And it´s also much easier to pick the interesting pictures you want to see big and accurate. Larger thumbnails will give you a better impression of how exciting the images may appear. The result is remarkable: the number of observed images in single view has risen since last week – both per visit and in total.

Endless scrolling
The new navigation is certainly the most serious change. A scroll-based design has two key advantages.
First, it is more convenient to move the thumbnails up and down with a leisurely turning mouse wheel, instead of turning pages by clicking on a “continue”-button. However, if you like to browse as you normally do, you may still get comfortable with using the buttons placed in the timeline.
Second, endless scrolling increases speed because only the new images needs to be reloaded. Refreshing a whole page often is time-consuming because of a higher data transfer (the new thumbnails are only about 20kb in size, in comparison, the size of the single view is about 450kb).
By the way, more and more websites are based on a scrolling navigation, which is better suited to the technical features of the internet.

One can argue about good design. We had discussions about that during the beta-phase. We experienced a lot of encouragement, but also a lot of rejection of the new design. Some changes were considered based on these feedbacks, some details were already adjusted during the beta-phase.
Due to larger preview images and the reduced space between the images the page seemed to be more colorful and overloaded. Therefore it was necessary to reduce colors and shapes to increase the clarity of the page.

We are still about to sift through and evaluate the many good and valid criticisms and suggestions of the last days. I would like to mention two improvements, which will be implemented soon:
We will automatically pixelate images with nude content for users not logged in to better protect the privacy of the models. Registered users voluntarily can set their preferences to pixelate the nudes. And in “My Community” the left column below your profile photos will be individually configurable.
We are well aware that such a complete change does not appeal to everyone and that you need time to get along with the design and navigation. Nevertheless we would be very happy if you give us a chance and we hope that fotocommunity will be even more fun than before.

Best Regards

Axel Flasbarth
CEO fotocommunity

2 thoughts on “On our own behalf: CEO Axel Flasbarth comments recent changes

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  1. Many thanks for the information

  2. Thanks Axel, for the infomative blog post. I’m getting used to my new digs, sometimes having to look awhile for the function. I got tangled up with color space issues with the new thumbnails, but seem to have that sorted out now. Still have some duplicate thumbnails on my account, which I’m uncertain about. The overall effect of the change appears excellent to me. Bravo! john