Redesigns of popular websites usually gain much attention. Attention which is easily transfered to severe protests and conservative shouts („give me back the old user interface!”). Users of the Internet are strangely Phlegmatic in terms of Hipocrates-Galen theory of temperament – they hate change.
Of course situation of protests happened recently to Facebook with the introduction of the new Profile Page. I bet folks in Palo Alto weren’t surprised.
I must admit that I admire the way Facebook is changing through the years. They certainly are reaching position of most effective masterpiece in social media. Yes, I’m aware of what I’ve said. In my opinion with every redesign Facebook is getting better in hitting business aims. Beauty of the design, and in some cases, usability, are not among those aims. Why? They are not necessary for creation of highly engaging social interactions and User Interface that will facilitate getting addicted to the social networking.
New Profile Page is a stunning example of that strategy. To visualize what has changed we’ve created the stop-motion video of Facebook paper prototype. Have a look on it:
Basically we can divide changes into two groups:
1.Social interaction enhacements:
- Facebook Profile as a personal introduction to your friends and passerbys (yop, disregard of privacy is still on). That’s why there are more pictures and personal information on the top of the Profile Page. You suppose to get more intrigued by information provided on Facebook and feel urge to get in touch with people. Why? It’s keeping you on Facebook and forcing you to spend there a lot of time. Smart move.
- Featured Friends – Facebook wants you to tell the world who’s important to you. Why? This is highly valuable information. Recommendation of people you love, respect etc. are most important. This is an important part of your psychological portait build by Facebook. Chat status, Poke and Send Message in top left corner – not much to explain in this matter. Great social enhacement move.
2. Advertisment efficiency enhacements - much more place to show you targetted advertisements means that the battle with AdWords is about to begin.
I’d say that’s great redesign with smart moves in the User Interface. Protests? Folks at Facebook know they won’t last long when people got more addicted.