Facebook Redesign 2009

I have recently been receiving quite a bit of traffic to this website from those who have specific questions about Facebook functionalities. If YOU are one of those people, I am more than happy to do my best to answer your question. To do so, simply leave your question in the form of a comment on this post. Hope this helps!

A few days ago, I had written a whole post (which is still in “draft” mode on my computer) about how every time Facebook changes its design, people get unnecessarily upset. The post went on to say that it’s was really a reflection of how it’s human nature to be inflexible and resistent to change. But, that was all before my account was updated with the new layout…

So, now, let me say that I am extremely disappointed in the latest redesign. I’m usually an avid Facebook supporter and could see the power of previous updates. This time around, I think Facebook has strayed from its core mission to make connecting with others easier. 

I really think that Facebook had almost perfected the “lifestreaming” concept. (In lifestream, your actions from within a site and from around the web are broadcast in chronological order – it really is a snapshot of the path you’ve taken on the internet.)

In this update, Facebook has segregated the way I see my friend’s actions on my “home” page. Status updates (and comments left for other people in the form of wall posts) are the primary focus, while joining of Groups, posting Photo Albums, and organizing Events are secondary. I think Facebook would have been wise to leave the home page alone except for having the page self-update. (This was previously possible to achieve by choosing the “live feed” option rather than the standard “top stories”. The page would automatically update as Facebook contacts took actions on the site.)

With this update, the way my actions are displayed has changed on my profile as well. I HATE the way that the “recent activity” is lumped together. Again, I liked that people could see that I had posted something, added pictures, joined a group, etc. Now the main focus is on comment and status updates. (A smaller point is that they’ve removed the option to pick how visible stories appear – before you could choose how prominently and how much information/space was given to each action.)

During the last redesign, individuals who so chose were able to provide feedback on upcoming changes. I wish that Facebook had leveraged the community once again this time around — maybe that would have helped flesh out some of the more misguided updates.