Facebook is in the process of rolling out a new user interface but it appears the users really do hate what they’ve done. And it’s not just grumblings, for a lot of users, this appears to be the last straw, with many of them threatening to completely leave Facebook for good.
To make matters worse, Facebook announced they would be making the changes permanent on the 1st Sept. People are furious that they aren’t being listened to.
I myself got to try the new interface out around 6 months ago and as soon as I tried it, I reverted back to the old interface because the new interface was just so bad. It’s like they gave the design job to a product designer or architect and hoped the outcome would be good.
And if you don’t believe me, just have a search on Twitter and take a look at the moment of vitriol there is out there. This is massive. I even tried to find something that was positive but I couldn’t find anything.
I like this Tweet that sums up what I think is going on:
New facebook interface is awful *urd. Instead of efficiently using fact moderators of groups using PC, they turned 27′ inch screen into giant low resolution phone. UX designers who participated in this should be fired and blacklisted from such jobs.
— Denys Fedoryshchenko (@nuclearleb) August 21, 2020
When you look at what they are cross about, there is a consistent theme that’s coming through. It’s confusing.
Here’s what it looks like for me:
I’ve been in this game for a long time and I think I can see the ghosts of the things that went on in the design process in order for this to be such a monumental failure. Probably the first guess I’d have is that it was developed and designed on huge monitor screens with great resolution.
I can also see the way decisions have been made piecemeal and by committee in order to get to this point. I’ve worked on plenty of corporate projects in which groupthink from a group of very smart people has led to something completely mediocre or even utterly useless.
I’ve got a good idea about what they were going for. I’m sure part of the rationale behind the redesign was about the changing monitor technology, mobile phone use, trying to integrate the messenger app more effectively to create the much vaunted “omni-platform” and also mimicking some of Twitter’s successful and notoriously clean design.
The thing that is most annoying about this fiasco is Facebook has had months and months to sort this out. As I mentioned above, I tested their beta version of the design months and months ago and almost immediately went back to the normal interface because it was so confusing and full of holes that needed patching.
But it’s clear if Facebook wants to roll this out at the start of September they’re going to have to work over the bank holiday weekend (I know they don’t have bank holidays in the US but you get my point) if they are going to release something that’s actually usable for the majority of Facebook’s users.
This also makes me wonder what Mark Zuckerberg is up to at the moment. Historically he has been all over this type of thing but I wonder if his position has removed him from the day to day development and direction of the product itself. If that’s the case it points to some issues of process and delivery in the business. If Zuckerberg was closely involved in this you’ve got to question if he’s lost his edge.
Hopefully, Facebook will get on this and really pull something out of the bag. It would be a huge shame so the platform to lose more members when it’s already struggling to attract younger audiences in the numbers it historically had done.
But… You can change back to the old Facebook Interface. To change back to the old Facebook interface, click on the down arrow in the top right-hand corner and select “Switch to Classic Facebook”