Thursday, December 16, 2010

Facebook: Love you, love you not... let me count the ways

Dear Facebook:

We’ve been spending a lot of time together recently.  I think we should finally open up and be honest.  While there is so much I do love about you, you drive me crazy. And here’s why…
Over the past years working on the web, I’ve worked on and managed websites. If one of my projects ended up with your usability, I would’ve been fired long ago or at the very least been moved to the mailroom.
Your interface needs help.  It’s clean and things are organized, however it’s not intuitive, logical or friendly for ordinary people.  Being with you is too much hard work. In other words, you are "high maintenance".
You need an extreme makeover.  Hire some former Apple designers who understand how to use colors, space, gradients, fonts and titles for normal human beings.  How can your iPhone application be easier and nicer than your website?  Maybe simplicity is the key.  I’m overwhelmed by ALL the options that are available ALL the time.
But here’s the thing that’s so interesting about you Facebook – your value surpasses the need for good usability. Yes, people complain (do you remember the petitions from us users when you launched the new layout?), but we all continued to use the service including me.
Don’t tell the usability folks, because this just means legions of clients think they won’t need to worry about it. But the fact remains: clunky or not, people will make the effort to use something if it is of value.
It’s all a matter of degree – Facebook  is better than MySpace, who knows what will come next? Will you make it? Perhaps we all should go memorize "The Social Network" at the theatre and see how we can outsmart you and learn how to make something better. Or perhaps I am already too addicted and it just doesn't matter, I'm stuck on you. I do like the new profile design.

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