Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Facebook Changes

I've been studying for about 10 hours and need a break, so I'm venting...

The new Facebook UI released today is getting some mixed reviews. I personally love it. It's about damn time they cleaned up the crap. It's funny that so many have gotten so used to the absolute horrible mess it had become that they now complain when it's cleaned up. Having worked on software development and UX projects for many years, I can sympathize. But I'd rather digress. Shall we? Let's!

Well, there were at least three ways to get to your "Friends". You had to dive into your personal Profile to get to your list of Groups. There was the "Home" link and your "Name" link. They had Live and News feed. The Inbox was barely noticeable and buried. The Search box was ignored. The Photo uploader sucked ass (pardon my French), and, well, I could go on.

When I joined five years ago, it was clean and simple. Cleaner and simpler than it is now actually. Most people liked it. But it wasn't "MySpace" enough, so they started bloating it with garbage (games, surveys, polls, fan pages, ads, ads, ads, and more ads) and then to fix the problem of it being too easy to get around, they started shuffling things around into a shell game.

Is it perfect now? No. There are still bugs. Facebook is aware of them, but they've pushed them down to lower priority for now. Hopefully they will get them fixed. One of them is the chat list, which loves to drop out categories without reason and to get them back you have to un-check and re-check them again. And there are still annoying AJAX problems (caused by clicking too fast usually), and the new Messages link (while a bit hard to see when nothing new is waiting) would be nice if it had little "x" links in the drop-down to delete the message right there (rather than having to go into the Inbox to do that).

I also bounce between IE, Firefox and Chrome (mostly Chrome though) and it's nice that as of Monday they finally fixed a problem with their new image uploader AJAX app. There were problems in IE8 and non-trusted zone settings also, but that appears to be fixed now. All in all: better.

Remember: "Software" contains "soft", which was the intent. Babbage (the guy credited with inventing the idea behind software in the first place) insisted that computer functionality should be easy to upgrade or modify without hardware changes. It's supposed to change. It will always change. Sometimes better, sometimes not. And it will NEVER make everyone happy. There isn't a software product on Earth that EVERYONE loves. But I'm glad they're trying. If you really sit and compare the mess Facebook was devolving into over the past two years alone, the latest change is a HUGE improvement in almost every respect.

Ok, good. Venting over. Back to exam studies. Unplugging...

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