Today marks a major day in the history of stock photography. This morning, after months of conceptualization, design, re-design, usability testing and development, Crestock Ver 3.0 is now live. The user interface is completely different and so much more intuitive that the GUI you find on at least 90% of the other big guns in the stock photography industry, with a plethora of new features.
We know that the mere mention of a “site re-launch” might send shivers down the spine of regular microstock contributors, but we’ve spent literally months in beta testing, so hopefully there shouldn’t be too many bugs left by now. If you do, however, experience any problems, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll take immediate action.
The main purpose of the upgrade has been to improve usability; to make the process of finding images much easier — we have simply cut through the clutter to get it pure and streamlined in every single step of the process of finding and buying images.
But perhaps most importantly though, this platform will serve as a robust starting point for the programme of development and improvements that we will be rolling out over the coming months and years.
New features for customers:
New search interface – A new, uncluttered search interface specifically designed to make search for images more effective and rewarding. Highlights here include the new mouse-over function which lets you view preview-sized images straight out the search results, and new easily accessible sorting functions, which for example allows you to search for illustrations only, specific sizes or only search for images containing people.
Easier access to relevant images – If for example you find an image with a model you like, but the image in itself isn’t quite right for you, you will now find within the preview page for that particular image a thumbnail view of other images with the same model, for easy access. In addition to this, thumbnails will also show you other images by the same photographer (if you like his/her style, but not that particular image). There’s also an overview of recently viewed images and recent image searches so you can easily find back to an image you looked at earlier, or you can browse popular images, photographers or keywords on the image search start page.
Collections – Replacing the somewhat confusing Lightbox system, our new image Collection function will let you add images you like to collections, which, if made public, can be shared with anyone you like. That means that you can now conveniently gather photos and images for a project in a collection and then e-mail it to a colleague for consultations or purchase.
Shopping cart – If you’re shopping for more than one image at the same time, simply add all the images you want to the shopping cart, and pay for all at once. Next, you can select a uniform image size for the entire set if you wish, and download all your images in a convenient zip file just with one click.
New features for contributors:
My account – In “My account” you’ll find a an overview of sales and uploads statistics, you can access all account settings, upload images and we’ve added comprehensive statistics both for your portfolio as a whole and for each individual image.
Collections – The Collections function will let you gather images of your own choice in publicly available collections. This means that if you wish to gather similarly themed images from your portfolio in a single package for simple presentation, this is how you can do it.
Model release sorting – All images with the same model release attached are now linked, so when a customer viewing one of these images, they’ll also be presented with thumbnails of other images with the same model. The same applies to images by the same contributor, which are also linked in the same manner.
New meta data functions for more effective image searches – Now included in the upload system is a slew of new meta data functions which will give customers many new search options, such as being able to search for images of people only, so make sure to add all the requested info for new uploads. We are also working on a function that will let users add this information to previously uploaded images, and we expect to have this function ready by November 1st.
Internal reviews – A new function which lets you critique images by fellow users. Critique is essential in improving creative skills, and we hope you’ll make use of this to help each other with constructive advice (not to mention praise!).
All in all, we’re very pleased with the outcome, but we’re always open for constructive criticism, so please feel free to leave a comment below, good or bad. This is your chance to get Crestock the way you want it, and we’re dying to hear what you think!