What I hate most about the new Flickr design is:
(1) It is difficult to find the description for a photo, most ways of viewing the site do not show photo descriptions at all anymore, only the title is displayed.
(2) Once you do find the photo description by clicking on the individual photo (but not viewing it in lightbox! no description there), it is hard to read the description and view the photo at the same time, you must scroll down the page to read the description.
(3) Photos are no longer clearly separated into sets. In the old design, the sets were listed down the side of the page, so you could see “Oh, these pictures are all from X convention, while these pics are from a different place entirely.” Now all photos are smushed together on the page and it is unclear where any of them came from. Context has been completely lost.
(4) There doesn’t appear to be a way to read the full description for a set anymore. The first line is displayed over the cover photo, and after that it is truncated. UPDATE: Currently you can see the full description for an album by clicking “show more” but it’s still very difficult to read.
The phasing out of Flickr Pro also bothers me, but I suppose I can either renew my Flickr Pro subscription as long as they will let me or move to Free to demonstrate my lack of support for the changes.
There is still time for Flickr to fix this lousy redesign, but if it doesn’t respond to the community’s complaints soon, there will probably be an exodus and somewhere down the line Flickr will be killed off like all of the other websites that Yahoo screwed up. I fear this bodes poorly for Tumblr.
Perhaps it is time to take a closer look at open-source, self-hosted alternatives again. I may try to revamp my old WordPress site and copy my Tumblr over there. I may experiment with OpenPhoto or MediaGoblin to replace Flickr. How many times can we use and love a web service and have it be taken away from us by corporate whims before we finally learn our lesson? If you don’t have the source code and the ability to run the software yourself, it may disappear tomorrow, or turn into something you despise.
UPDATE 2015: OpenPhoto became Trovebox and then died in 2015. MediaGoblin appears to still exist. Most of my complaints about the new Flickr remain problems but some people still muddle through and use Flickr anyway, including me I suppose.
UPDATE 2021: It boded poorly for Tumblr indeed. At least Tumblr ended up in the hands of Automattic and still exists.