July 31, 2009 – While there are lots of reasons to love Facebook, the popular social networking platform is far from perfect in both usability and design. Slate magazine published a great article detailing some of the most painful Facebook problems from inbox issues to the basic design flaw of never being able to find your own information easily or intuitively.
In fact, when Facebook launched its last major redesign in March, over 1 million people responded to an online poll asking users about Facebook’s new look and feel, and 94% of those users hated the new design. Slate even goes so far as to name Facebook, “one of the world’s most-annoying, least-intuitve websites”.
Here are some highlights (which I whole-heartedly agree with):
Groups: It’s almost impossible to find the groups you belong to, since you need to click on the incredibly vague “info” tab then 2 other links just to see your groups list in its entirity.
Photos: There are 3 different areas of your Facebook profile labeled “Photos” that take you to 3 different pages. WHY??
Inbox: It’s impossible to sort messages, forward them, put them in folders, archive older messages, or essentially do anything other than reply immediately to the sender, since if you receive a lot of messages, the older ones get pushed down to obscurity.
Hopefully the Slate article and the many complaints by users that have come before (and will come after), will inspire Facebook to take on these projects, remove the bugs, and get some of the user-friendly-ness back that it had in its infancy. After all, and as the Slate piece reminds us, MySpace was #1 until Facebook came along with its easy to use, cleaner format, and if they don’t get these kind of basic usability issues fixed, another social network will come around that does.
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