Facebook’s Much Needed Makeover
If you’ve been anywhere on the internet this last week you’ve surely heared of Facebook’s IPO. Now, there is much news and speculation surrounding the upcoming public offering, I really don’t care much about all that, I just have one simple question:
Why does Facebook still look like shit?
The two screenshots above are from the same iOS Facebbok app running the same version. The one on the top being the news feed which is the primary source of interaction for many users, while the bottom one is the profile view.
They look like two different apps.
The screen on the bottom is much cleaner/organized and makes better use of the small real estate of the iPhone’s screen, while the one on the top looks janky in comparison. This is the same app here I remind you.
Before anyone accuses me of being persnickety, I should mention that Facebook for iPhone is one of the most popular apps ever and that over 50% of its’ 845 million users visit via mobile apps. Design is going to be extremely important going forward, especially with more small, nimble start-ups like Path placing a premium emphasis on design in efforts to out-maneuver the larger incumbents in the space.
Of course most companies should focus on creating value before worrying about looking good, Facebook clearly doesn’t have a problem making money they are a profit machine and their incumbency in the space is gargantuan. Meanwhile, the underdog, Twitter, with its zen-like focus from creator and Executive Chairman Jack Dorsey, has dealt with growth by making it’s product simpler with a unified experience on the website and mobile apps, no easy task indeed.
Now what’s especially interesting is that in the last year Facebook has spent over $68 million in stock and cash on acquiring start up companies, some of these solely for their design teams, such as in the case of Push Pop Press, Sofa , and most recently, Gowalla. Mark Zuckerberg has left behind a graveyard of beautiful startups with currently nothing to show for it; either he loves spending money or Big Blue is cooking up something completely new.
If Facebook is going to be taken seriously as a publicly traded company and retain its crown as the de facto social network it will have to look better going forward than something cobbled together in a college dorm room.
I’ve reached out to some of Facebook’s designers but received no comment, will update if I do.