Wednesday, 22 May 2013
That's my new cluttered Flickr photostream.
Thinking about it I realise that it has been designed by technical people rather than visual people. With the variety of viewing devices available these days, using screens of various sizes and aspect ratios the challenge is to make web pages to 'fit' all of them. So dynamic, flexible pages are being made which adjust to the screen format. A great concept from a technical point of view, but less so from that of a uniform 'look'.
When it comes to visual design this introduces compromise. But the whole point of visual design is that the creator imposes their choices on the viewer in order to make a point a particular way. If I want to present my pictures in a grid that's what I'll do, if I want to present them individually then I want that choice too. The old Flickr gave you a little more flexibility in that area. You could have a single column of larger images or a spread of thumbnails. Now, it seems there is one option... one that alters depending on the width of the screen and the format of the pictures!
By making something sort-of-work for everyone the inevitable consequence is that it works well for only a few - or the undiscerning mass. A form of dumbing down which the world seems to be tending towards in so many areas. An anti-elitism that will stifle creativity - because creativity is, by it's uniqueness, elitist. The New Creativity is a replication process - make Flickr look like Picasa, make your photos look like everyone else's by using the same presets to process them and get the likes, favourites and 'well captured's that pass for criticism on the internet.