Photographers of the world, please…

Please, do not invent new “innovative” interfaces for showing your portfolios on the net. Interfaces are delicate things of interaction and designing them isn’t something anybody can do. You’re photographers, not interface designers.

A poor interface makes viewers concentrate on the interface – mouse, trackpad, pointer, scroll bar, button, link, whatnot – and not on your wonderful pictures. You wouldn’t do a exhibition in the physical world where moving around would laborious and piss people off, chase them out of your show and make them remember your poor design instead of the the few small images you offer them, would you? (Some of you would, of course, since that might be a statement but then it wouldn’t really be about photography anymore, would it?)

Anything that breaks your viewers concentration is bad. Very few of you have so interesting images, that the viewer, a potential buyer perhaps, feels it worthy to struggle through a torturing maze of knobs and levers to see them all. Viewers want to enjoy your photos – give them that pleasure, make it easy to access you imagery.

And all that Flash… Flash is dangerous because it feeds the irrational need of designing quirky interfaces your viewers couldn’t care less about. You have to remember, that the interface is not for you but for everybody else, and they all think differently than you.

Or maybe you think your pictures are safe from copying if you use Flash. That is, whatever anybody says, complete and utter bullshit. If you don’t want anybody to see your pictures do not publish any. If you put your photos on the web and they gain popularity people will copy them, that’s a fact – use it to your advantage and stop whining.

You want to show work, but you really don’t need fancy scrollbars or bouncing buttons to do that. Your viewers don’t need fancy scrollbars or bouncing buttons, they want to submerge themselves in your imagery. Make people notice what you excel in, not what you suck at.

Trust me on this one: It’s ok to have a simple interface without any bells and whistles. It’s your work you’re presenting, not the shoebox you keep it in.

Thank you.