Getty Images Makes Redesigned Web Site Official

Posted on 8/27/2007 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

After several weeks of running a beta version of the redesigned alongside the old site, the company has switched to the new interface.

The entire site has been redesigned and re-engineered. The principal new feature is the Catalyst search tool, which uses interactive tag clouds. Such clouds may be most familiar to Web users in their visual form, as lists of weighted keywords. Each word is set at a different font size that corresponds to its popularity. Getty's proprietary version of this technology is designed to make it easier to relate concepts, specifically during the early creative stage of brainstorming ideas.

From a customer perspective, the greater integration of Getty's creative, editorial and footage offerings is probably the biggest improvement. For the first time, different types of images and media are available through the same user interface.

This cross-pollination of content is deeply integrated into the new technology and allows the company to seamlessly promote related products to an already-captive customer. For example, it can provide editorial alternatives when a specific creative search yields no results, or handle  theintegration of creative imagery into the company's breaking-news offering, Getty Images Live.

This paradigm shift in product positioning is part of the company's push to become a broad-based media company. According to recent statements by CEO Jonathan Klein, the next step is to experiment with new product formats. This would take product integration a step farther, offering stills, video and sound as part of one package.

In addition to an optimized search experience, the new site offers existing Getty customers a seamless transition: User settings, such as login, password, lightboxes, shopping cart and account history, have not changed. Other features are now more user-friendly:, the keyword clarification feature now resides on the first search-results page, instead of prolonging the search by serving a separate page.

All features have been extensively tested, undergoing customer input and usability studies. According to Klein, the new site preserves the existing strengths, while taking agility and interactivity to a new level.

Still, the road to this launch has not been smooth. First, it has been notably delayed: The original launch was planned before the end of 2006. Second, the process has been accompanied by numerous management changes. iStockphoto founder and CEO Bruce Livingstone will spearhead future site development-such as adapting the English-only Catalyst to eight additional languages-in his new role as senior vice president of technology.

Copyright © 2007 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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