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Website Feedback..

Jul 21

In Uncategorized at 10:09am

Hey guys- Drew here.  Just wanted to send a huge thank you for all the feedback, positive or otherwise on our brand spankin’ new website.  After several of us here in the studio spent literally months digging through the archive, scanning, re-scanning, editing, and designing the site, we’re VERY happy to finally have it up.

Just like our last website, we worked with Livebooks, and are certain that this is a huge improvement over the last iteration.  Looking back, it seems as though the previous site just barely scratched the surface, so we made a point to include a ton more from the archive and a bunch of cool stories this time around.  We plan to post a bunch more content in the “Special Projects” and “Selected Campaigns” sections, but needed to cut bait and actually get the site live, or it wouldn’t have ever happened…Speaking of which, if there’s anything in particular on the site that you want to see more of, or are still having any technical issues, please drop us a line at: [email protected], with the subject “Website Feedback”- and give as detailed of a description as you can.  We want to hear your thoughts, and read through every one that comes our way.

Very interesting to see all the comments revolving around our website’s use of Flash.  We work with Livebooks simply because without their amazing back-end edit suite, we’d almost never have the time to update our site.  The fact that they provide us with a super user-friendly, clean means of uploading, organizing and displaying imagery is priceless.  Sure, Flash gets knocked around quite a bit, and understandably to some extent, but we’ve come up with that we think is a very clean and simple website that we’re pleased to have representing the studio.

As for responsiveness of the site, some of you mentioned that the photos are a bit slow to load, and that comes down to our workflow here in the studio.  Being that the site is scalable, the images are inherently large.  Some load up very quickly, while others didn’t look suitable after being compressed, and therefore, ended up being a bit larger than we would have liked…not a whole lot we can do in that realm.

One major downside is the fact that it currently doesn’t have the same user experience on mobile devices- a lot of you have commented about this, and we’re very aware that it needs some work.  It’s definitely a tough issue to figure out, and is currently being resolved as we speak.  Livebooks is also in the midst of redesigning the mobile experience that they provide, and should be updated very soon.

Again, thanks for taking a look at the new site, hope you continue to enjoy the updates, and looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts.


Richard Garrow says:

on July 21, 2011 at 10:13 am

Hi Joe & Drew,
The site looks great, easy to get around, quick response, very well layed out.. The pictures jump out at you as you go through the slides, which is very nice.
Drew you did a great job, you have a great talent with the web development..
Great Job Guys.. Keep evolving…

Leon Godwin says:

on July 21, 2011 at 10:19 am

Drew, understandable on the Flash issue. Shame they can’t work out some sort of compromise on Apple’s mobiles, cause Flash can look really good. Either way, the site looks great, very clean. And YOUR new site looks great too I might add. How are things on the video front?

Mike says:

on July 21, 2011 at 10:23 am

Nothing wrong with flash! It’s been a standard for years and it’s perfect for slideshows and albums. All but one mobile phone and one tablet are able to load flash but really, a phone browser isn’t the best way to view a photo site anyway. The new site looks great!

Jon says:

on July 21, 2011 at 10:38 am

Still not sure on your reasoning behind flash. HTML5 can do pretty much everything flash can, uses less bandwidth, and works on mobile browsers (there’s your mobile experience fix right there). Could you explain in more detail what your justification was to continue with using flash?

Sam Saccone says:

on July 21, 2011 at 10:40 am

Hello Drew, not trying to be a Troll or anything but several of your statements are false.

Just because something has a rich backend experience does not mean it has to have a flash front end (see

About the slow load time. It seems like they are pulling down one large image (3000px) regardless of the end user screen size. There are many many many better ways to do this (and not in flash). One of which is to detect client screen size and pull the appropriate image size to fit their browser, and before you think it there is this nifty little thing in javascript called window.onresize = function(e){..} So if they resize their browser window it can pull the next appropriate size image (if larger)

As far as mobile (IOS) goes – there is 0 reason why the experience should be sub par. Mobile safari runs on webkit which is what chrome and safari work off of. So anything you do there (for the most part I know their are a few exceptions) can be accomplished in the iOS mobile enviorment.

Well, I am sorry for the harsh feedback but I always makes me upset when these companies (ie livebooks) make excuses for their products that are false, and in the end only hurt the photographers who use their products.


Jarryd Ross says:

on July 21, 2011 at 10:42 am

I’m thinking of getting livebooks for my new site, but I have two questions. Is your site custom designed or is it a version of a template? Also, who designed your blog?



Tucker Joenz says:

on July 21, 2011 at 10:57 am

Awesome work! I love the site and and frequently checking it out.

Drew Gurian says:

on July 21, 2011 at 11:32 am

Hey Jarryd,
Our design was custom (I worked it up, actually), and sent it their way to code. As for the blog, it was designed by Few Loose Screws, and you can always find a link at the very bottom of the blog.


Drew Gurian says:

on July 21, 2011 at 11:36 am

Hey Sam,

Thanks for the feedback, and you’re probably right..I’m speaking from the little knowledge I have in the world of web design/development, and don’t mean to mislead anyone at all- just stating things as I understand them.

Very interesting point on the load time- hadn’t ever heard of that, and as I said in the post, I’m totally with you in that the mobile platform needs a bunch of work.

Again, appreciate the info, and will do some further research myself.


Theis says:

on July 21, 2011 at 12:05 pm

As sam says you really ought to take a look at slideshowpro they have a fall back solution for mobile.

You can run it flash on the web page and if it is a mobile it will fallback to html5 automaticly.

James Conkle says:

on July 21, 2011 at 12:05 pm

The new design is GREAT! But you should strap a GPS to Joe so we can see where in the world he is, but that might aid the stalkers.

ron hiner says:

on July 21, 2011 at 12:23 pm

To all the flash bashers.. it’s pointless to pick on Drew… Livebooks uses Flash… Drew uses Livebooks. Joe shoots with Nikon gear… would you pick on Joe for some issue you have with a Nikon camera? Of course not. No doubt the people at Livebooks are well aware that mobile devices exist. Their backend platform may well being modified to have different deployment methods depending on the device being used.

to drew… the issue I reported with Chrome has been fixed… site looks great!

Todd Beltz says:

on July 21, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Hey Drew,

Awesome site and great work as always. I too use liveBooks and I couldn’t be any happier with them. Just got an email from them the other day asking me to upgrade to the new scaler sight and who’s work do I see? The great Joe McNally. Haha. Trying to figure out a new design for my site as well.

Keep up the great work guys…



Drew Gurian says:

on July 21, 2011 at 12:34 pm

I agree Ron- don’t pick on Drew :)

Caleb Raney says:

on July 21, 2011 at 1:19 pm

I love the new site primarily for the special projects section. Being able to view a story as Joe develops it, rather than just individual frames is invaluable.
Have a great day,

Gustav Svensson says:

on July 21, 2011 at 5:42 pm

I’m sorry you use flash. I didn’t watch through the website more than to make sure you didn’t mess up the rss feed too. Flash really sucks and I never (never ever) give those kind of sites more than a glance. I hope you’ll change back to a proper web site soon.

Still: cred to your good writing and blog posts.

Jim Muntz says:

on July 21, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Joe Drew site looks Great. one question I have is the SR-71 Blackbird photos say China Lake,
is that correct?

Take care,

Laurie Excell says:

on July 21, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Hey Drew, Joe and the gang! I love the new site! I think it’s very powerful! The images speak for themselves. Nice and clean and all about the images! :)

zeng says:

on July 22, 2011 at 3:21 am

I love this site very much.
I agree Ron.

Craig M says:

on July 22, 2011 at 9:35 am

I find the image info text color a bit hard to read. Maybe a little darker and larger.

Doug says:

on July 22, 2011 at 1:18 pm


I appreciate your information about LiveBooks as well. I’m really leaning toward them, as I also like the very clean look it provides. I want a much more professional look than I have on my current web site, and I believe this will fill the bill.

Keith I says:

on July 22, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Great job, Drew! I agree with Laurie. Very nice, clean look.

andrea says:

on July 22, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Hello… Site looks great. Wonderful portfolio images, very inspiring! It did take me two tries to get it to load, got an error the first time. Also noticed a typo on the Reggie Miller portfolio piece.

JIm says:

on July 23, 2011 at 3:53 pm

I know life is mobile and everyone want everything on their phone now, but if you want to see quality photos, its not gonna happen on your 4″ phone screen! Great site design!

BIju says:

on July 25, 2011 at 3:57 pm

nice site… but my point of view different.

1. flash never support some smart phone and device, so it will be best if have two version or only version without flash.

2. livebooks more of site look similar to me. so i would like little bit different.

Steve says:

on July 30, 2011 at 9:27 pm

I like it!

Having three choices for viewing the portfolios is nice and I don’t think I every had the option of viewing a collection of images as a pdf.

I do remember in the past thinking this site was lacking a bit for such a guru but now find it more fitting.


Mary Love says:

on June 5, 2012 at 8:41 am

Hi Drew and Joe,

I have Livebooks and am upgrading to scaler. Do you recommend using the 1000×1500 size or their larger one. I’m going with the 1000-1500 since I want a faster download. Do you think the scalable sites are an advantage and why?

Since last year, do you have any comments on their new iPad platform? Happy? You can email me privately, if you like.

BTW, I edit a magazine in Charleston. Are you going back there for a workshop any time soon?

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