Facebook has been redesigned, but put the pitchforks down and blow out the fiery sticks, this isnʼt as drastic as the the timeline changes or the introduction of the cover photo – and is actually quite disappointing.
There is nothing more amusing than reading the never-ending statuses of annoyed users threatening to leave if Facebook changes again. But with this update, that probably wont be the case.
This time around the update is more of a tidy up than a game changer. As Greg Marra, Facebook News Feed Product Manager (Yes that really is his job title), puts it
“People don't like us moving their furniture around, because you break muscle memory"
Not really selling it there Greg!
The update finally sees ʻGraph Searchʼ rolling out to everyone, as well as a host of smaller UX changes. The new design takes teachings from failed trails and sticks with a cleaner design; finally bringing inline the desktop version to match the mobile offering. The changes see Helvetica and Arial in place of Verdana, updated iconography, bigger photos that now sit horizontally rather than square and new story cards. All Friends, Groups and Photo feeds have been remove completely as Facebook drops plans to make the timeline a RSS style feed.
The update is far from their ʻmove fast and break thingsʼ motto – and really only achieves a consistent design across platforms, which though important - is not what Facebook needed. The feed still feels tired, slow and not really as dynamic as other social media offerings such as Twitter. It feels like Facebook have ʻsettledʼ rather than pushed the boundaries. When they introduced their 2012 updates, we saw a drastic change for Facebook pages as they switched to Timeline and they introduced more social interactions.
It would have been nice if Facebook carried on in this vein, updating the design is great, but with a number of sites using Facebook connect and their number of new acquisitions I feel like it could have delivered more.
For example, why not use Facebook connect to deliver the latest news in the same way as Flipboard? Or deeper integration to track fitness through Nike + or Fitness Pal. Facebookʼs platform is shifting with its focus on breaking the mobile and instant messaging markets, but it shouldnʼt take its eyes off what it already has. Facebook should look at creating not just profiles but a personal space that feeds all aspects of someone’s life. Make it the go-to site, with a dynamic feed that delivers more than just annoying ʻCandy Crushʼ invites. Facebook should look into getting back to being social, not just mobile.
Why not be revolutionary, introduce a little bit of chaos? Take a look at the following impressive feed mock ups that would have really put Facebook back in the social headlines >