I have been using Zooomr for a few months now – ever since I got my free blogger pro account. I like it a lot, however there is some things that annoy me no end. Instead of writing a huge list here, I’ll put everything in point form. If anyone wants to know more, get in contact with me.
Although there is more bad than good – this isn’t a sign that Zooomr is bad - I do love it.
Geotagging. Absolutely Fantastic.
Nice color scheme – it’s good to get away from pure white for once.
Still new - so pace of change is pretty rocking. (caveat: see point 7 and further commentary below)
Free 1yr pro account </ul>
The Bad (Yes this list is longer, that’s ok though)
UI Discoverability. When first starting to use Zooomr it can be difficult to find what you want to do. I know this isn’t just me being a bit slow – it’s affected other people as well. It needs a general cleanup.
More servers please. I don’t have any fingers left to count the amount of times I’ve visited just to have the site just completely time out on me. I end up having to leave it for an hour or so and come back later.
Communities. Although Zooomr is all about photo discovery – without communities it just doesn’t feel complete.
Why doesn’t my logon session persist between browser sessions. This is really annoying.
Links that just don’t work. (Profile Page: Your Circles Photo’s – looks like the other broken links have been removed from the UI in Mondays update)
The addition of gimmicky features like Portals instead of fixing the issues described above. Honestly – Portals are a very niche feature, it will be interesting to see how many portals are actually used once the fad and demo portals have worn off.
Kris seems to rush in features. For example portals above were implemented in a couple of days and put on the live site. I can’t see how comprehensive testing of these new features can fit into this type of timescale, and the bugs reported on portals seem to confirm this (see comments on post 1 and 2). See commentary below.
No real IE support. It’s still the most popular browser, however unfortunate this is, it must be catered for.
Small user base = limited exposure. It would be interesting to see how much traffic is growing at Zooomr. I don’t mean page views (things like c-net’s link yesterday inflates those so they are meaningless) – but users that sign up and use the service on a regular basis.
Searching for people using the search box doesn’t work. Even if you know their username you can’t just punch it into the search box, you need to hand craft your own URL in the address bar. (Yes sometimes it does work if the photograph has been tagged with their name or username, but it’s not a nice user experience)
The html templates that you copy off the Zooomr site to paste into a website/blog point to beta.zooomr.com. What happens when Zooomr comes out of beta, do these links stop working, or do they redirect and we’re stuck with permanent beta everywhere? What impact does this have on later betas?
Talking of betas, how did we get from v1.0 to v2.0 without ever leaving beta? That makes no sense at all and completely defines the craziness that is web 2.0. Maybe we are currently using Zooomr v1.0 Beta2 at the moment instead of Zooomr 2.0 Beta? Le-Sigh. At least we haven’t made gamma - that’s ridiculous.</ul>
Err, fix the issues mentioned above.
Attaching notes on other peoples photos. Isn’t this what makes notes so interesting?
Recent Photo’s Widget for website’s. (you know this could be written by a 3rd party if you released the API docs)
Dynamic image sizing on links – or – the option to define some of the intermediate image sizes. Why? Because my blog template is only 450px wide, so I have to rely on the browser to resize images. Of course browsers don’t do smooth resampling so the images end up losing a significant amount of quality.</ul>
I know these things will be addressed in due time, I just hope that development efforts are focused on fixing issues that arise in the site.
At the moment development seems to focus on the following train of thought:
“Wow, I can hack this cool new feature X into the codebase in 5 hours, it must be worth doing and it’s important enough to jump the priority list of other features and bug fixes because it will get the press (and bloggers) to talk about Zooomr and how agile we are.”
Agility isn’t everything. Quality is. See The Joel Test point number 5, please. This stuff is important. The current train of thought may work for now as your current user base (myself included) seem to be willing to put up with all the issues experienced when using the site, but, this has to change in order to get a more widespread adoption.