Facebook Readies (Yet Another) Home-Page Facelift
The paint has barely cured on Facebook's new home-page design. But as users continue to gripe about the new look's rearrangement of many popular features, the popular social-networking site says it will adjust the way its home page looks and works.
In a "Responding to Your Feedback" blog post, product director Chris Cox promised a variety of upgrades that would give users more flexibility. The most useful will be the ability to remove certain applications' updates from the home-page news feed -- i.e., no more "Joe Schmoe took the 'What frozen dinner are you?' quiz, and the result is 'Hot Pockets'!" fluff.
The home-page news feed will also allow you more ways to filter its contents by groups of friends, spotlight photos of pals and refresh itself automatically instead of only showing new items when you reload the page. In addition, Facebook will give new friend requests and event invitations a more prominent spot than their current, cramped box at the top right of the home page.
Those seem like good ideas to me. But I'd like to make another request of Facebook's developers: Please fix the applications infrastructure so add-on apps don't stop working if you move them from your wall to a tab on your profile, or from a tab to your page's "Boxes" Too often, an app will only function in one of those spots, then break down the instant you try to rearrange your profile.
If you've got a public page set up, the problem seems to be even worse -- even though Facebook says they should work more or less like regular profiles. In my own experimentation with a public page, I've found that even Facebook's own apps, like Notes and Photos, will vanish from view if I try to reorganize the page in the "wrong" way. And third-party apps -- Twitter's is especially horrible -- may not work anywhere on the page.
Facebook says it's open to further suggestions, so what design fixes would you put at the top of its to-do list?
March 27, 2009; 12:50 PM ET
Categories: Digital culture , Gripes , The Web
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