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What the Flock?!

Today I paid a visit to the Flock Website, in hopes of checking up on how the little jack-of-all-networks browser’s development was coming along. The page that met my eyes left me in a state of puzzlement, shock and disbelief. I was half hoping that it was all some sort of elaborate joke, but alas, it’s all real.

It seems as though the powers that be decided that the “boring” old Flock page needed a facelift. What we see here folks is plastic surgery gone horribly, horribly wrong. These surgeons are clearly not qualified to be hacking and slashing at a once-beautiful Web entity.

Flocking Ugly

Thar she blows. The brand new Flock page. What a colossal disaster. And no, the extent of this apparent trainwreck isn’t just skin deep, oh no. The underlying markup looks like it was printed on A4 paper, shredded and pasted back together again.

To refresh our memories, here’s a screencap of the “old” Flock design. Skillfully hand-crafted by Bryan Veloso, it embodies the very essence of simplistic beauty. All that Flock stands… or stood for.

Flock

I, for one, have completely lost faith in the project. I was initially interested in seeing what kind of progress had been made with the browser, but now I just can’t bear to look at the thing.

Flock that!

An Update

After a lengthy conversation with Evan Hamilton, Flock’s Community Ambassador, I’ve made a discovery or two. It turns out that the new Flock design was actually contracted out to an external agency. Flock have since hired an in-house designer, who, according to Evan will be able to properly communicate their visual ambitions. Evan mentioned the difficulties that arise when contracting a design over a large geographical distance, and I fully understand.

I must say, I was very impressed with Evan’s response during our back-and-forth, he was wonderful to chat with, seemed to take notice of my criticism and suggestions, was not offended by this harsh article and just came across as genuine. Consider my faith in the Flock project restored.

8 Responses to “What the Flock?!”

  1. Hey Matt,

    Sorry to hear you don’t like the new Flock.com. We love feedback on both the browser and the website, so if you have any specific qualms you’d like to see addressed, shoot them to my address below and we will take them into consideration as we continue to develop our website. Development is always a complicated process, and feedback from folks outside of the company is always super helpful.

    @Matthew: We’ve made significant strides in browser stability for Flock 0.9, and we are based off of the Firefox 2.0 architecture. I think you’ll find the experience much better than older versions, if you give it a try.

    Thanks to both of you for the honest feedback!

    Evan Hamilton
    Flock Community Ambassador
    evan at flock dot com

  2. I can’t believe that Flock actually did this. Do you know any browser site that have flash in it? I truly loved the previous version.

    The only goodlooking browsersite left is Firefox…

  3. Tayfun says:

    What a piece of shit!!

    It looks like the result AOL sodomising istockphoto with a bad jpeg compressor.

  4. And I thought I was just crazy. I just couldn’t figure out why they thought they needed a new site. The old one was excellent. Why change it? If I were them, I would ask Bryan to just extend the old design.

    As far as the browser, I like the concept but it going to take a while to get it right. Each time I install it, I uninstall it about 10 minutes later. I do hope the project is successful. It just doesn’t seem to be for me.

  5. […] looks like Matt of WebRev is more than upset with the recent redesign of the Flock homepage, and with good reason: it’s ugly as hell, and […]

  6. Charles says:

    I don’t like Flock, althrough it is Firefox based, i am running Firefox 3 Beta 3

  7. Tom says:

    August 2008
    A couple months after installing Flock, and about a year after Firefox, they both have become rather unstable. Lots of problems with history and favorites/bookmarks. Flock died completely on me today and will not let me open it now at all. So it is back to Firefox which at least has a bigger screen than Safari, if a little more annoying in the way it makes up addresses for bookmarks sometimes and sticks them in for others. Poor Flock, though — beautiful screen, but it just won’t come back. humaniores@gmail.com

  8. Wonderful write-up and good style, is this a normal theme?

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