The “new” Facebook

In the end, one needs to ask this: has it really changed enough to warrant the extremes of Facebook nerdrage witnessed yesterday? Because the core is essentially the same, there’s the stream of news and the stream of randomness (person X likes something, person Y becomes person Z’s friend etc); it’s just that the two things are separate now. Essentially, it’s the same thing, there’s just more structure and the, in my opinion, quite obvious distinction between what might be more “important” and what’s actually just an activity log.

The locus of interest (at least for me) resides within the reactions the new design caused among the user base. There was a lot of yelling about what really qualify as minor changes in the UI/UX paradigm (and my initial impression is that these changes are for the best). Because, I suppose, users are, despite their best efforts to seem liberal and open to new web-based solution, conservative and easily distracted by minor changes in the routine. Yet if there is one thing which characterises the Web/Internet, it is constant change. From the users, this demands mental agility, yet based on on how people reacted, there is a distinct lack of flexibility and willingness to embrace the new. Furthermore, there is a tendency to react overtly emotionally and not actually look at what has been done.

Granted, not every change is always positive and there are many examples of failed UI innovations, yet I believe that Facebook has managed to both pull off an elegant shift in it’s interface paradigm and also make Google+ seem even more irrelevant.