PhotoBox Blog

by PhotoBox

Site update: Graham Hobson – Head of Technology

I wanted to give you all some further feedback on the most common issues being raised, and our progress in making improvements.

Firstly, a number of small fixes have been made in response to your requests and feedback.

Album changes

Photo names are now displayed in albums above each thumbnail. These are visible when you are viewing the medium and large sized thumbnails. Hopefully that will make your photo selection easier.

We have also turned off the marquee-select feature which we got very negative feedback about. Customers were having the problem that if they clicked outside of a checkbox it would de-select any photos they had previously ticked. Now fixed.

Picasa

We had to do quite a lot of chasing with our friends at Picasa, but this is now working ok. You can now use Picasa to upload to us as an alternative to the in-browser method or our desktop uploader.

Blurry thumbnails and shared albums

I reported last time that a number of you were seeing blurry thumbnails. This was due to the images from our old site being smaller than the new site and image stretching was making them look strange. We had several hundred million photos to regenerate and that process is now completed.

We have also now migrated all of the PhotoBox members who shared albums and so there should not be any further problems in seeing the albums you were expecting. If you still have a problem please contact customer services for some further investigation.

Pro galleries

I have seen some concerns in the blog comments about pro galleries. To re-state what my colleagues have previously posted, we are still running the original pro gallery service and this will continue to run until the updated version is ready. Pro gallery owners are still able to create new albums/collections, upload photos, set products and prices and modify all gallery settings.

Yesterday we put in place a change so that any sales generated on pro gallery are automatically transferred over to the new site, to be used as credit for purchases. Or alternatively you can request payment exactly as before.

And the big changes yet to come…

I would like to confirm that due to strong feedback the old FTP upload method will be reinstated by the end of May. To be honest we thought that with in-browser uploads (Active-X and Java, the same method that Facebook uses) and with a desktop uploader and with Picasa, FTP was no longer required. But clearly it is a popular feature so it will be brought back.

We are working on an improved print ordering journey that addresses many of the comments received so far. We have had agreement from some of the customers posting on this blog to review the new feature and give their feedback. That will happen towards the end of next week. Depending on the level of adjustment required we hope to have this live during the week after.

Clearly performance is still an issue and be assured we feel your pain! We are working as fast as we can to rewrite some parts of the website that are causing the biggest performance bottlenecks. I wrote quite a bit about the history behind this and the U-turn we are making in my last posting. You will see significant improvements by the end of May with further improvements during June.

A few words about production and customer services

I have seen some postings here about order problems (items delayed or not delivered). There is no reason why orders from the new site should be any slower than orders from the old site. Since the launch of our new site we have dispatched over 95% of our orders on-time and we expect to get this back up to our target of 98% in the next few days. Mark can give you a further update on service levels in his next posting.

During this time of changeover to a new site, we are seeing higher levels of calls and support emails than normal, and that means that there is a slower response than we would like. But we have increased the size of the customer services team and response times are returning to normal.

Once again, I would like to thank you all for taking the time to give us feedback. I realise that in most cases you give us this feedback because you share a sense of ownership of the service and care about what direction it takes. We are working hard to get past any problems raised and show you the real benefits of our new platform over the next few months.

I wish you all a very pleasant weekend.