After Yahoo! announced and implemented its major Flickr redesign, the company invited users to give their feedback on Flickr’s help forum. Of course, the company was probably hoping for constructive feedback — as in questions and polite suggestions. What it got instead was a tidal wave of negative comments bashing the new layout and, in some cases, the staff themselves.
The request for feedback started innocently enough. Flickr’s Community Manager Thea Lamkin got on and offered up the Help forum as a place where “questions, concerns, suggestions, and other non-bug related comments” could be voiced and responded to:
Two hundred and eighty-three pages later, it became clear that users were neither happy nor shy about sharing how they felt. Some users got on and voiced their concerns in a polite way, asking that they be given a toggle option that would allow them to use the old layout instead.
Others took a more direct approach, calling the changes everything from “messy” to “awful” to “freaking hideous.” Certain comments, deemed inappropriate and/or offensive by the staff, lead to the following update:
The concern here is that the overwhelmingly negative response points to more than the typical dissatisfaction a company expects when making a major change. Yahoo! no doubt expected that the new layout would take “some getting used to,” and some photographers have come out in defense of the redesign, but if the complaints don’t die down soon, Flickr may have a real problem on its hands.
Is this just the standard response to major changes that will slowly die off as users acclimate to the new layout? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. For now, let us know what you think about Flickr’s new look by logging your answer in the poll down below:
Update: Here’s what Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield had to say on Twitter about the redesign: