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The UX of iStockPhoto.com

I just finished buying my first photograph from iStockPhoto.com. I am totally impressed with their user interface.  The entire experience was solid.  The information architecture seemed coherent.  Everything about it has subtlety and grace.  Compared to the competition, it head and shoulders above the rest.  Plus the pricing strategy was great.  You buy “credits”.  Then you download different sizes which cost you credits.  10 credits cost $12.  I downloaded a fairly large image for 2 credits.  It’s no good for print, but it works fine for the web.

Great job to iStockPhoto.  I not only bought something, but I wanted to buy it because of the UI.  I enjoyed it and look forward to using it again.  Which unfortunately, I never need stock photos, so I probably won’t use it again.

Isn’t that always the way?  You find something you like, but you just don’t need it that often.  Well, I enjoyed my one purchase.

Since nothing is perfect, I do have a suggestion for iStockPhoto.  The functionality for the zoom was weird and bugged me. When I click zoom, I want to see the picture bigger.  Having it in that little frame was annoying.  I would rather you didn’t have it at all.  But maybe check out the canvas zoom capabilities here.  At least this is fun.

Also, the lightbox area is confusing.  I went there and said, “Where the hell is my photo?”  Took me a minute to find it.  It should be more obvious with less marketing in the way.  Otherwise, great job.

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