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New 500px look and functionality

Published by Oleg Gutsol · March 3rd 2012

Last week we rolled out new design and new fuctionality on the 500px platfrom. We were working on this update since around October and at the end of February it was finally ready to be released. The rollout wasn't as smooth as we hoped for, but our dedicated team was pretty quick to respond to the issues. Kudos to our developers, designers and support specialists who worked 48 hours straight to fix things that were not perfect.
With this release we introduced a number of important things and removed some features that we viewed as unnecessary. This caused mixed reactions among our users — some loved the new look of the site, others preferred the old design better. Here, I will explain what we did and why.


One of the most visually impressive features we created is the Flow — an activity stream from the people you follow, created specially for you. Now photo discovery and sharing will be quite different. Now you can enjoy not only the new photos that your friends uploaded, but also discover the photos they liked, commented on and added to their favorites; as well as follow their stories, collection updates and other activity. Flow is like a personalized photo magazine that you can browse for hours. And now it is on the homepage of 500px. In the nearest future, we will be introducting filters to the Flow, so if you are interested in viewing just one type of your friends' activity — you will be able to view just that.


For the longest time we thought that everybody, not just professional photographers, should be a part of 500px. Maybe not all photos everybody takes are artistically impressive, but there are many photos in your collections that can tell an interesting stories — a friend's birthday, a trip to an exotic destination, something interesting spotted on the street one day, a concert you went to, etc. Everyone has something to tell with the photos they took. With 500px Stories, we made it easier than ever. Redesigned from the ground up, Stories focus on life events shared with large photos. Tell your story with one photo or a dozen — your choice. Add a location on a map where the photos were taken, describe each individual image, add technical information about the capture — and your post will be unique and captivating.
The layout is clean and simple. The unobtrusive and practically invisible design wraps the photos in a beautiful presentation, making every post a unique expression of your artstic vision. Personally, I wanted to have an expressive outlet like this for years, and it's finally there.

And finally — the Market

With the 500px Market you can now sell your photos as prints and digital downloads. It is the easiest way to earn money and transform your photos into the works of art on other people’s walls. We designed the Market from scratch, and will completely redefine the way people buy photo art online. No more endless frame options or hundreds of different papers — just the best quality canvas available in the US printed in two large, vivid sizes — 24x36 and 30x30 inches. Every printed photo will look great on such a beautiful canvas. Photographers will love the Market because each sale will bring real profit, and we are going to take care of billing, printing, shipping and quality control.

All high-resolution photos in the Market are securely stored and are only used to print the order or create HD downloads (1920x1080).

With the Market we are also introducing HD downloads as an option for buyers. Different from usual 20-25% revenue share the other photo platforms offer, 500px Market provides photographers with 70% revenue, taking care of orders, credit card processing and storage. All HD downloads are available in crystal clear full 1080p (1920x1080 or similar, depending on photo dimensions), and cost just $2.99.

There were many other changes, like the new Organizer — a combination of the uploader and photo manager. Uploader is now built with HTML5 and does not require Flash, the collections can be managed by just dragging and dropping and photo organization is now much easier. The photo page got simplified and cleaned up, the comments now have nested replies and votes and spam reporting mechanisms.

The idea behind the most recent changes is to make the 500px interface less intrusive and focus even more on the great photos our users upload and share. I think this was successfully achieved by the amazing 500px team.

And last but not the least, I would like to thanks all of our users — all those who wrote us emails and sent us tweets with comments and suggestions for improvements. Please remember that our goal is to provide the best user experience in everything we create, and we greatly appreciate your feedback, suggestions and criticism.


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Jérémy Leroy  over 2 years ago
je souhaiterai vous apporter un petit plus :
pour le flow la page peu etre très longue ce que je vous propose est d'avoir un petit bouton en bas de page pour remonter en haut de page d'un clique.

voila voila

sinon très beau travail magnifique site voulant travailler dans la création de site web j suis fou de votre site très belle charte et de nombreuses fonctionnalités

j'adore votre site
merci de m'avoir lu et bravo a toute la team

Jérémy Leroy  over 2 years ago
?? what is the message ?

I don't understand I speak a little english ...

I just want to help the team for improve the site ...

Jérémy Leroy  over 2 years ago
c'est très simple un petit script jquery et le tour est joué

et ca facilite l'utilisation du site pour l'internaute

remove41 (inactive)  over 2 years ago
Dear 500px team,

have you forgotten those users like me with a small (1024*768), but common used screen? I _hate_ scrolling to the right!

Flow is great, but no way to deactivate?!

Please add an option to change to the old design!


Jean-François Renaud  over 2 years ago
About Market functionality. You should add a confirmation step after the button that proposed to buy a picture. Now I am stuck with an action I made for a picture I don’t want to buy, event if i tested the button just for a test. And I supposed the owner of the image will received some indication that there is buyers out there, which is not always the case.
Andrew Lucas  over 2 years ago
?????????, ??? ? ???? ????? ? ????? ????????
????? ??????? ???? ???????? ?? ???? ??????
Mark Zoetrope  over 2 years ago
Why require at least 3600px along the longest side for photos being sold? I'm shooting with a Pentax K100D, which is a perfectly high quality digital SLR, but it does not generate images with 3600 px on the longest side. This requirement seems excessive.
Lёha Horvat  over 2 years ago
Strange new design and flow! But looks nice!

?????? ??-??????: ????? ????? ????? ??????????? ??, ??? ?????? ?????????? "Wall", ? ?????? "View my messages" ? ???? ??? ? ????????? ???????? ?????? ???:


??????? ??? ?? ????????, ??? ??? ????? ?????? ??????? ? ??? ???? ???? ????? ???? ?????, ?? ??? ???? ?? ??????, ? ??????. :)

Frank Pfeifer  over 2 years ago
I love the the new Flow!
But your statement "browse for hours" comes really true if you hit "more" more than 15 times. It's getting very slow.
Did you know the Bing picture search? In this page it is not necessary to hit "more" - it loads automatically the next pictures if you scroll down to the end of the page. I like that more:-)
Awesome Account
Timothy Jackson  over 2 years ago
Is there any update to the "Search" feature ever working for your site?
Raymond Andrews  over 2 years ago
Flow is interesting, and it's introduced me to some great new works. I just wish it wasn't the default start page, and that we could choose between Flow, Friends, and Activity as options when as a logged in user we go as the home page.

I don't mind the occasional nude and I'm not shocked when I see one on 500px (thank you for the option). I follow some really good artists some of whom don't shoot, but really like nudes. So what happens when I go to 500px ? ... my wife sees the screen and instantly thinks that it's a soft-core porn website. Being able to choose who I friend gives me some limited control over what I'm going to see when I open the site, changing it to Flow removes that entirely. Other photographers, using 500px as their outlet to the public, might be most interested in their own activity as opposed to what's happening with their friends. Please consider letting users choose for themselves which to land on as the default home page.

Nasir Hamid  over 2 years ago
Is it possible to move to previous/next image in someone's albums by using the arrow keys on a keyboard? You know, just like Flickr. I hate clicking and much prefer keyboard navigation. Thanks.
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Sophie Ouch  over 2 years ago
Thank you for explaining your intent on the redesign. The Stories does look fantastic.

I do however miss seeing somewhere my top pictures. If it would be possible to consider having the small thumbnails ranked by their pulse somewhere or adding filters on the personal photo page to order them (most voted, most popular), I would be very pleased. It was a small feature that I found very useful.

Corrie White  over 2 years ago
I would like to see a "Replace this photo" button option. It would be great when you see something small you would like to change without losing the stats.
Super job on the changes and giving us back what was important to us.
Paul Garrett  over 2 years ago
I read on facebook that 500px was going to bring back the "wall" function. I hope that you will do that soon, because it is an important social media tool. Being part of a community of photographers is very important to many of your most dedicated members and when you take away an avenue for people to connect and communicate with each other they get frustrated and leave this site, as many have already. Personally I really enjoy 500px and love the high quality of photography that is displayed here.
Scott Allan (inactive)  over 2 years ago
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Inge Aukrust  over 2 years ago
I see you fixed some of the things I didn't like myself, like showing Flow over Photos when visiting someone elses photos. However, it bugs me a little that you changed blog to stories. I had several links to other photographers that suddenlig disappeared. After deleting the first few from favorites, believing they had simply deleted their profile, I realized that you have just renamed it stories. Not a smart move in my book. Haven't been able to find every one of those whose blog I used to follow.
Julien Rath  over 2 years ago
Is it possible to set the default homepage from flow to friends' photos?
Allana Mayer  over 2 years ago
Love the redesign, but it can be harder/impossible to find specific functions. For example, where's a link to see a list of my followers, or even the number of followers? Or a list of people I'm following, other than the "Friends' Photos" page?
Awesome Account
Eugene Brodsky  over 2 years ago
Good post, and great job on the redesign. Thank you once again. ???????? ?? "?????" - ???????? ??????? :)
Philippe Dame  over 2 years ago
Great job on the redesign. I'm sure you'll workout the remaining kinks and expand the Market to Canada in time which is what I'd like to see. This new look and interaction model is a great step forward.
Artur Mustafin  over 2 years ago
Yep, didn.t work. Let's go eat Apple! ;)
Heshan Jayakody  over 2 years ago
great. but please try to allow buyers from outside the US to purchase the HD downloads, even if they cant buy the canvas outside the US.. currently, only credit cards from the US can be used for any purchase, and this cuts off 95% of my potential clients :(

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