Rethinking Photo Organization

Published on January 20, 2010

I’ve recently been thinking about ways to improve the organizational hierarchy of my photos. Specifically, I’d like to change the way photo albums are organized. A number of my albums fall into certain categories: state parks, festivals, zoos & museums, etc. As such, a categorical hierarchy could be very useful. One of my personal goals is to photograph every state park in North Carolina, and having a way of grouping those photo albums together would be terrific.

Two potential implementations for this occur to me. First, and most obviously, I could have a list of categories into which I assign each photo album (similar to the way blog posts are categorized in WordPress). Second is a “tagging” idea, where I simply add the appropriate tags to each photo album, then provide a mechanism to see albums with a given tag. Other solutions undoubtedly exist, and if you have an idea, let me know.

Changing the organization would most likely result in a rewrite of the main photography page. If I go with categories, I may have a page where the newest X photo albums would be shown, along with a few favorite images (that feature would stay), followed by the listing of available categories, rather than a listing of older albums. Perhaps a secondary page would allow you to view all old albums together.

How does that sound? Are there other ways that occur to you for organizing albums? How do you organize your personal collections? Sound off in the comments … I’d love to hear your thoughts.

2 Comments

kip

I guess it depends on what user experience you’re optimizing for. To me, there are two basic cases:

1. The person who knows you and finds out about a new album either by reading about it on your blog or by checking your site every so often. This user wants chronological arrangement, because they only care about the newest photos and probably won’t view them more than once. Maybe twice if they remember some photo they liked and want to see it again.

2. The person who doesn’t know you, but got to your site somehow (Google search, Digg link, whatever) and wants to see what other photos you have. All the photos are new to this user, so they probably don’t care about chronology, but categorical arrangement would make a lot of sense.

Jonah

I think with the appropriately designed “landing” page, I could cover both of the scenarios you mention. But I think you’re right on with those two possibilities.

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