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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Facebook Redesign Announced: Will It Work?

If you so far liked the Facebook’s user profile page, which has everything on a single page with special buttons right below your profile image, which will move your screen to point to the particular application when clicked, then you are in for a surprise. Facebook executives have announced on Wednesday a site redesign for the largest social network with more than 70 million members.

The new site design, aimed at lowering the clutter on the Facebook profile pages, would bring in a tabbed interface (everything is in tabs these days—IE, Opera, or Firefox). If you look at some profiles, you will see two dozen applications installed. Such complete mess of profiles would load in minutes in your browser, and would make you hope you hadn’t clicked. So, such a clutter-free design is a welcome change to Facebook, which remained without any changes for many months.

A redesign preview, released on Tuesday, showed member information under five new tabs—personal news feeds, profile information, photos, applications, and a customizable tab. The news feed, resizable in three different sizes, would take up the member profile home. And from the home page itself, you can post a wall message, update applications, or upload photos.

The member profile information will be moved to the information tab, the second one. And the third tab, meant only for photographs, draws a lot of attention. According to a Facebook executive, more than six billion photographs are extant in Facebook network.

The profile box tab, with applications will have all information on the application widgets they installed. Most probably, this is the one tab that will need a redesign in the days to come. But it seems that Facebook already addressed the issue that this particular tab may get cluttered soon: they put the last tab, meant for customization. Using this tab, people can add or remove newer tabs, specifically for particular applications.

Though the developers are concerned about the application compatibility issues related to the profile redesign, the executives of Facebook confirmed that this redesign would be a great success for them, and the profile rollout to happen within some weeks ahead, would give enough time for the developers to refine their applications.

But there are a certain community of people who love and would continue to love the current design. And most “Hate changes.” So, we should wait and see how much acceptance it would get. Voice your opinions, comment on!

Copyright © Gayatri Jayashankar 2008