Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Facebook: The current controversy

Now, I am not opposed to change. Generally, I am in favor of change. In one of my prior jobs, I redesigned (i.e. changed) the newsletter twice and was about to do it for a third time. I also created a new logo!

Facebook has sowed the seeds of its own destruction with its latest moves. Awhile ago, they introduced a new look. They let users try it. Some liked it. I did not like it. The new design took away the kind of graphic design which design professionals say is most effective in a web site. There was a column on the left with tools, there was a column on the right with tools (and ads). The middle had "the meat" or the content. Look at sites like the new L E Phillips Memorial Public Library. It also has a bar and boxes on the top. It is what a professional graphic designer would have done. (Although I am kind of proud that we had the talent in the building to create it!)

Facebook made a critical mistake this week. They FORCED everyone to the new format. Some developers created a work-around. Now Facebook has blocked/disabled those. Over 1.2 MILLION users have joined a group against the forced move. That is in a matter of days!

If Facebook is not careful, they soon will be replaced in the marketplace by someone else. (If I knew who that would be, I would invest some of my limited resources!!)

The new version asks for input/feedback. Who knows what happens to that feedback. I have offered any number of comments. Have I heard anything? No!! It is not good to build a frustration level with your core constituency and talented users. (I am in the first, but not the second.)

It will be interesting to see how this shakes out.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008