We just posted the first public comp of our new design for Webshots in the Webshots blog to get user feedback, in advance of the upcoming beta in late june/early july. I'd love to get your thoughts too.
and yes, that's a video player where the photo should be. more on that in a minute.
For the last several months we've been working with an advisory group of Webshots users to get their perspective on the needed changes to the front end design and UI.
Additionally, we have been adding talented designers and producers/developers and I now feel we have the necessary user centered design skills to do a complete overhaul of a site that serves 19 million people per month.
Everyone knows that the current Webshots front end is functional, but it needed major major changes. our members knew. you knew. we knew. it's all going to change. for the better (we hope).
The new changes will be risky - because they touch most areas of the site, and they are pretty radical.
- all major user flows and pages are getting changed. signing up, uploading, sharing, browsing, searching. signing up to webshots currently takes something like 9 pages/steps and we ask people to download the software to "get started". ugh. changing.
- category pages will be changed and will pave the way for tags (finally) - but we'll be combining tags with cagtegories.
- our members' pages will be changed. we are adding better ways for them to publish and share.
- most of the ads are being changed. no more banners. no more skyscrapers. no one likes them. out out out. In with sponsorships, paid links, and what we call MPUs (square ads).
- the site will better highlight the great content we have in the community, and the breadth of passions from our users, from citizen news to travel, their hobbies, art, and good times.
- the site will show more of our members (that just doesn't read well). anyway - we'll highlight people as well as photos.
- finally - the site redesign will pave the way for video. The cameras we all have take both short videos as well as photos, so after you've captured both video and photos of a recent trip, why shouldn't the site allow you to share both, together?
The photo page design layout here will be the same for photos and videos, and our albums will allow members to go chronicle something with both photos, text and video, and store it all in one container, so someone can see everything to do with your trip, or the next hurricane or whatever, all in one place. you won't have to upload your photos to one service and your videos to another.
The Webshots logo in the upper left is a placeholder - we're not changing the name - but the logo/font will be changing. More later.