Beaconfire Survey: The New Facebook

, Friday, April 10th, 2009

Editor’s note: Periodically, we do a survey of Beaconfire staff to get impressions on a variety of non-profit technology issues. All opinions expressed here are solely those of their authors. In light of Facebook’s recent changes to its interface, we thought we’d ask: The new Facebook – love it or hate it?

Tim, Functional Consultant: I like it personally, but I can see how this redesign is rubbing some users the wrong way. The reason I like it is that it has pretty much stripped it down to what I’m interested in: the status updates, postings, and wall conversations of my friends. I don’t really make use of groups or applications, so the feed on my homepage is pretty much just things that my friends have said or posted. It seems a bit shortsighted for Facebook to have assumed that all users will be interested in the same things I am. I guess I’m just lucky this time.

Just don’t get me started on the new Digg.com toolbar!

Elizabeth, Senior Consultant: Hate it – I can’t find anything, and I can’t seem to move certain elements around to where I want them (i.e., putting the birthday reminders at the TOP of the right column rather than the bottom) or control my settings for what shows up in my news feed as finely as I’d like to.

Also, some of the applications I have liked in the past are so buried now, I rarely think to go to them. And I can’t figure out a way to change where they show up.

Mark, Functional Consultant: I mostly like the new layout of Facebook. The home page body cleanly gives most of the real estate to what people really want most: a regurgitation of all the witticisms, “bon mots” and general brickety-brack from their friends. I also like the “hide all chatter from this person” feature (perhaps this isn’t new, but I like it) so that you can filter out overly eager types who give you three posts between taking the dishes from the kitchen table to the kitchen sink. The right-column gets glossed over and runs together, perhaps due to a lack of design elements, or perhaps because I’m just fixated on the body.

Rahul, Tech Lead: I love it. Except that the Filter to hide people and applications on the feed needs to be fixed so that I can set it to only show me people’s normal activities, and not what their favorite cities, philosophers, etc. are.

Jo, Production Specialist: I’m fairly indifferent to it. All the things I use most often (like status updates, posted items, etc) are still right there. So, I have no problems with it.

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