Monday, March 25, 2013

How Facebook Could Fix Its Forgettable New Features

The link to the full story is here

At least Facebook didn’t break anything, but the extra feeds and search box it recently launched have yet to drastically improve my experience. The homepage redesign is pretty, but I keep forgetting the Photos and Music feeds exist since they’re buried in the sidebar. And Graph Search is great when I need it, but I rarely do. With some design tweaks, though, Facebook could unleash the potential of its hard work.
When you’re talking about a service where one-seventh of the world’s population has developed deeply ingrained behaviors, not screwing up iskind of an accomplishment. There are a dozen ways Facebook could have made its new features overbearing or interruptive. They’re not, or at least don’t seem like it to me. Both are rolled out to just a tiny percentage of all users, though, so if there’s panic and outrage to be had, it’s still on the horizon. Here’s what the homepage looks like if you have both of the new features. Note that even among the few people with the rollouts, there are many different design variants in testing.
The feed redesign and Graph Search aren’t steroids for your social network, all juiced up and braggadocious. They’re more like a nice pair of running shoes. They’ll improve your performance, but they need breaking in and they’ll only help if you remember to wear them.
But that means their true value will be overlooked by most, like a pair of sneakers left in the closet. Just some quick-fading feel-good novelty. That’s a shame for two products Facebook spent ahelluva lot of time and money developing and that could make the service much better. With any luck, Mark Zuckerberg and company will be able to strike a design balance that serves their purpose without making them imposing.

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