Yesterday I covered the re-design of Yahoo.com and today I discovered that Flickr (a Yahoo! property) has also undergone a re-design. It's even gone out of 'beta'... and into 'gamma' (a joke probably only web 2.0 wonks will appreciate, but witty nonetheless). According to Wikipedia, gamma means "versions that are substantially complete, but still under test" [via]. So there you go. As for the new features, the Flickr blog noted:
"New Navigation, New Search, New and Improved Organizr, and the Person Menu. All of these improvements have been designed to help you navigate the site with less effort and organize your photos more efficiently."
The best improvement to my mind is the enhanced search functionality. The previous tag search and "advanced search" options in Flickr were relatively clumsy - I often found myself having to repeat search queries because the initial results were not what I wanted, or were unsuccessful. Search was the one feature I wished Flickr would improve - and now they have. Now there is a traditional search box in the top-right corner of all pages, which searches the titles, tags & descriptions of all photos on Flickr. You can filter the search by your contacts, find groups, plus there are more options in the advanced search - such as searching by Creative Commons license. Also the default result is now "Most relevant", which seems to be producing better default results for the searches I do.
Flickr has also gone all Ajax-y with snazzy drop-down menus and improved "Organizr" - enabling you to manage your photos as batches or sets, via some slick Double Click and Drag & Drop functionality. Indeed at first glance it seems like it's now totally driven by Ajax and there's no more Flash? As Thomas Hawk noted, this makes the user interface feel more elegant. The 'Groups' and 'Explore' sections have been beefed up too, so all in all this is an impressive upgrade from the Flickr team.