Smugmug just made big a meta-announcement: They will be holding a press conference next Tuesday July 30th (10:30am PDT) to unveil their new design.Can the redesign save this ailing site, and redeem them in the eyes of many alienated users?
I've become pretty cynical when it comes to Smugmug and their technology/design department. This update is way overdue. Nine months ago I started using Smugmug to host my portfolio and handle client proofing and print sales. I decided to use them based on their long history of service and promises of an imminent infrastructure update. Their site design was looking pretty dated and user unfriendly, even at that point.
The imminent infrastructure update was actually announced in Jun 2011 by CEO Don MacAskill in this forum post. He teased some plans and stated it was coming soon. I joined in October 2012 after reading hints that it was right around the corner. Well, I learned not to trust my intuition so much.
In the intervening months I have hammered at them to at least give us a time frame for the release. They've been completely unresponsive, leading myself and others to consider jumping ship. I had actually been planning my move to Zenfolio later this year.
But then Smugmug made the big announcement on in today's blog post: "Unveiling the All-New Smugmug". They claim they have a redesign that will blow our minds.
Me? I'm reserving judgement until the announcement hits next week. But now I have optimism where there was none before.
It's a tall order, Smugmug, but try not to let us down.
What do they need to focus on to make the redesign a success?
Best of luck Smugmug! We're all waiting with baited breath.
But I've been using Smug since the 18th century and am worried about my customizations!
At some level these are incompatible goals. For SM to upgrade they have to break compatibility with the old hacks. But I'm pretty sure it'll be alright, because:
- I'm sure they will give the older established users plenty of time to port their site.
- Ideally, the new interface will be so good that legacy users won't need to maintain their old customizations. Many of these were devised because the old interface was limited and people had to build hacks even for quite basic features. They won't need to rely on hacks if the new interface has these built in.
Have you used Smugmug? What do you think? Chime in with your comments!
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