Thursday, March 26, 2009

Facebook bows to user pressure and tweaks redesign

LONDON - Facebook has vowed to make a series of adjustments to its home-page design following a deluge of complaints from users that its recent redesign made it more difficult to use.

Chris Cox, Facebook's director of product, posted a blog yesterday outlining adjustments that will be implemented over the coming weeks.
Changes will give users more control over what sort of updates appear in a new area called the stream, which displays the content a user's friends post on the site in real time.

The recent redesign was supposed to help users share more information more quickly, but instead sparked more than one million complaints in a Facebook poll and numerous anti-change groups on the site.
Users complained that the real-time stream, which some commented was made to make it look more like Twitter, was too busy while the highlights area in the right if the home page was too static.
Cox wrote: "Redesigns are generally hard to manage, in part because change is always hard and in part because we may miss improvements that any individual user may like to see.
"With the recent home page changes, we're trying to present the right balance between what's happening now and what's interesting over a longer period of time.
"We realise that both are important and getting them both right is crucial for the product to work
The modifications will allow users to turn on auto updating, so that they no longer need to refresh the page, and will add photos tagged of their friends to the stream.
There will also be tools to control and reduce application content that users' friends share into their stream.
The moves mark the second time in two months that Facebook users have pushed the social network to modify changes it introduced.
In recent weeks Facebook wrote new terms of service after users complained that some previous changes it made to its policies could be interpreted to give the company ownership over their information.
Report from Media Week.

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