Is Facebook getting too complicated?
This article below from mashable.com explains and echoes the sentiment of many users.
Ever noticed how the remote for each new TV you check out seems to have more and more buttons? Or how that online game you used to enjoy is feeling less like fun as the options pile on? It’s not your fault. It’s a well-documented phenomenon, found in hardware, in software and on the Web: feature creep.
Engineers, bless their hearts, want to give us access to all the exciting new functions they’ve come up with. But they’re not great at making them simple enough for the average user, or at removing the buttons we no longer need. When a company does have the courage and discipline to slash away at its engineers’ wish lists, and adhere to the KISS principle of design (Keep It Simple, Stupid), it can rise head and shoulders above its rivals and delight its users. Apple is a great example of that, as is Nintendo (the Wii being one of the most simple — and successful — game console designs of all time.)
Unfortunately for its 800 million users, Facebook does not appear to be that kind of company. It used to be, and its inherent simplicity was part of the reason it was so successful. But now it is falling victim to feature creep — and a roster of settings that are becoming increasingly complex. Take the Ticker, for example, that real-time stream of information which now crowds the right-side of your Facebook page with a lot of distracting noise. Or look at the Like button, which recently celebrated its first birthday. That was a very popular all-purpose tool that spread rapidly across the Web. Everyone knows what it means to Like something. But Facebook couldn’t leave well enough alone.
At this year’s f8 conference, Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook Gestures, which will allow you to [any verb] a [any noun]. As Zuckerberg pointed out, this will allow you to “read” a book or “hike” a trail rather than like it. That’s great if you like a lot of granularity in your News Feed, but I fear that for the vast majority of us it means more confusion, more noise, and the decline of the social network’s single most iconic feature.
What We Think
We agree with the idea of simplicity.
Even Albert Einstein said “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
The “not simpler” is the interesting part here. As far as the Ticker and Gestures go, we think both are genius.
The ticker brings every Facebook profile to life- and with a little simple tweaking, allows each user to create an up-to-the-minute live feed of happenings in their friends’ lives. It is well executed, and we agree, it takes some getting used to, the movement at top right feels unnatural in the Facebook environment, but we like it.
Gestures are also a vital component to the flexibility that we’ve come to expect from the social network’s engineers.
At the end of the day, all arguments for or against all these new changes will boil down to subjective opinions, and no amount of analysis is going to reveal a ‘better’ way of doing things. As has so often happened in the past, the world rejects changes to their familiar social network at first, adopts them a short while later, then eventually utilizes them eagerly and comes to love them. It’s natural.
What do you think?
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