Facebook Blames Netbooks for Demise of a Proposed Redesign in 2013
Last year, Facebook unveiled a new and promising News Feed update that many initially thought would facilitate better user experience. It features multiple categories, bigger images, and a design that tends to be more mobile inspired.
But why is it still not rolling out? In case you don’t know, that completely new design is not pushing through. Earlier this month, the social networking site formally announced the abandonment of that plan. It did not make any excuse or explanation about that decision then. That is why there are speculations about it.
Interesting third-party speculations
Svbtle owner and UXdesigner Dustin Curtis posted his own theory during his recent blog post. He claimed that Facebook ditched the redesign proposal after the company determined that it could affect ad revenues. He said he had talked to several insiders who swore that during the testing phase, it was determined that the new News Feed design tends to cut users’ stay in the Website.
Mr. Curtis added that the design supposedly left users content. Because there would be no more need to browse areas beyond the News Feed, users would logically spend less time within Facebook. And because fewer ad impressions would lead to lower revenue, it is just logical to ditch the redesign, he asserted.
Facebook releases its own explanation
But Facebook denies that. Product design director Julie Zhuo answered Mr. Curtis’ speculations in her own recent blog post. According to her, Mr. Curtis’ points were just assumptions regarding internal decisions of the company.
To explain the decision to ditch the proposed new design, Ms. Zhuo revealed that the popularity of netbooks should be blamed. She said that the Website was just considering the user experience for the numerous users of the 10-inch, low-resolution PCs, which are still by the millions worldwide. She asserted that the new redesign would not be compatible with such laptops for obvious reasons.
Ms. Zhuo also added that the new redesign would be something that many users would still not be ready to adopt at this time. She insisted that many FB users may still not welcome any drastic change to how they currently use the Website. And Facebook is not ready yet to face any consequence of a major design change that may alienate most of its users.