Flickr Browsr: Flickr with a Whole New Perspective

Flickr, a popular image sharing site owned by Yahoo!, is a great place to view artistic and creative pictures for free. While Flickr is a great service, the website has an outdated design and can run slow on some browsers. While searching for a photo viewing alternative to the standard Flickr site, I came across a beautiful HTML5 web app: Flickr Browsr.

Flickr Browsr lets you view images hosted on Flickr’s website while aiming to fix all of Flickr’s website annoyances. Addressing both design issues and website speed, Flickr Browsr successfully implements a clean design and uses HTML5 to make sure the web app runs smoothly on any browser without using Adobe Flash. If you’ve been looking for a new way to browse through Flickr’s wealth of photos, this might be the photo web app you’ve been looking for.

Getting started … with one too many steps

Flickr Browsr's Simple Launch Page

When you first go to Flickr Browsr’s website, you will be prompted to press a large green button to load the app. Unfortunately, every time you visit the site, you’ll get the exact same launch screen, which can get annoying over time. Overall, though, that’s the one frustrating part of the app, which isn’t too much of a downside.

Viewing Images in Flickr Browsr

Viewing images within Flickr Browsr

Now that you’ve started the web app, take a quick look at the left-hand side of the website. You’ll notice a sidebar which has a Windows Phone 7 “Metro” look to it. This sidebar shows popular pictures on Flickr. To scroll down the list, simply hover over the bottom half of the list. When you’re ready to view an image, simply click on it. This will bring up the image and its description.

A great thing about the sidebar is it’s super-smooth effects. For instance, when you hover over an image, it’ll light up with a slight lightbox effect, leaving the non-selected images slightly greyed out. This is quite pleasing to the eye and definitely makes this app stand out.

Detailed image descriptions even show permissions and links to full-sized images

When viewing an image’s description, not only will you be able to view the author’s description, you’ll also be able to view the image’s permissions. This means that right off the bat you’ll know if you can use this image on your blog, or whether you can download, print, or share it. You can then quickly download the picture in the size you need right from the links under the picture. This is definitely helpful for bloggers who often uses Flickr to find images to use in their blog posts.

All of this information is laid out in a very clean manner, but could definitely use a font change. This is because most of the site uses a plain, sans-serif font with little styling. I would like to see a more up-to-date typography treatment as I use this app often.

Search for the pictures you need from the top left search bar

Now that you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering how to search for images using Flickr Browsr. This is actually quite simple as there is a search bar located at the upper right-hand corner of the website, which works just as you’d expect. Your search results will flow into the left sidebar where you can quickly browse through them just by hovering over the top or bottom of the listing. This saves you a lot of time over having to click through possibly hundreds of images manually on Flickr’s standard website.

Then, when you find an image you want, just select it, and it’ll load right there in the same page, with the same detailed info that you’d expect. This beats using the official Flickr search, plus you get a beautiful user-interface having a dark background which is easier on the eyes.

Social? Didn’t you just want pictures?

The only major downside to using Flickr browsr is the lack of integration with Flickr’s commenting system. This pretty much renders the social aspect of Flickr useless and may turn off Flickr power users from using the app. After all, Flickr is one of the first social networks built around pictures, but Flickr Browsr treats it just like a photo directory with no extra social life.

Another feature I would like to see added to Flickr Browsr is integration with popular social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+. This is because I like sharing interesting photos with my online followers and can do so via the standard Flickr site. We can only hope this important feature is added in a future Flickr Browsr update!

Conclusion

All in all, I think that Flickr Browsr is one of the best ways to view Flickr photos on the web, thanks to its elegant user interface and useful sidebar. The added speed of using Flickr Browsr to search for Flickr photos is also a definite plus over the standard Flickr web client.

Overall, I would have to give Flickr Browsr a 7/10 because of it’s creativity and ease of use. If this app was updated to add social integration and access to Flickr’s commenting system, I would happily give this app a solid 9/10. Either which way, developer Gabe Reiser did a great job making an HTML5 Flickr viewer, and it’s a great way to browse through the original photo sharing network’s vast library of photos.

What Do You Think?

Now that you’ve had a chance to take a look at Flickr Browsr, what do you think? Will it replace the normal Flickr website for you? Let us know in the comments section below this post!


Summary

A simple and clean HTML5 app for browsing Flickr's vast photo library without ever needing to navigate to extra pages.

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  • Thinks:
    “Flickr? … Hmmmm, yes… let me think… rings a bell… wasn’t that the place you used to upload photos before the internets?”

    • Hahaha! You win the internets today.