Facebook has brand new design – was that a good decision?

Have you met new Facebook? Yes? No? I haven’t been that lucky, but I can easily predict how it is going to be received. New Facebook is ugly, designed totally wrong and those in Menlo Park are complete amateurs. 

What do they know about designing apps? They sit in their corporate “ivory towers”, meet from time to time – even more rarely nowadays – and during these meetings they probably talk about brand new ways to annoy Facebook users.

You know what? I disagree. I absolutely disagree.

The difference between what we think looks good and design that actually works and looks good is huge.

Do you remember how, when they premiered, iPhones from X family were laughed at? Now no one is laughing and everyone – regardless of whether they produce them or purchase them – wants something similar. 

Good design is above all highly functional. It aims at being useful where it is desired and needed. Does the design of iPhone X meets this requirements? Just look at it’s sales records. I dare you to say no. 

Why should it be any different in case of Facebook?

Facebook users live in each and every corner of the world, in the places we know well and in the most remote ones. They use it in thousand different ways and if we thought about Facebook as if it was a country it would be the 3rd most populated one – behind China and India.  

80% of these people use Facebook on their mobile devices and probably the only thing that is common for 100% of us is the fact that we simply scroll it up and down. Number of posts we see on screen at one time is absolutely irrelevant. Especially when we take Facebook desktop version under consideration. 

If asked, any experienced web or app designer will tell you the same thing. Good design should be aesthetic. What’s bizarre is the fact that many tends to forget about it. One does not need fireworks, dragons, explosions and such to create good, aesthetic design. 

“I don’t know, something is missing, I don’t think “wow” while looking at it” these are the words that grind each graphic designer’s gears. You know that is true. 

Intuitive designing is vastly unappreciated, whereas in many cases (most of them actually) it is the best, almost perfect solution. You know that given design is good, when it has passed the greatest trial of all – trial of time.  

Creating good layout and such is not about impressing someone.

That’s not the point. Especially if you use screen with uncommon resolution, you shouldn’t expect that design will take your breath away. General idea and discipline are most important things.

Facebook isn’t only about the feed and scrolling. This is something bigger, a uniqe worldwide phenomenon. Many people say that they don’t exactly need Facebook account in their lives but they have to use, as it is simply nearly impossible to live without it. This is the point. 

Epic design or the perfect product solve many problems in mysterious ways.

Hairdresser no longer need its own website. Charities no longer need complicated, external systems in order to gather resources. Group of friends no longer have problems with setting up a date for a football match. All of that is thanks to Facebook.

When it comes to judging whether design is good or bad it is similar to reviewing Quentin Tarantino’s movies. You should sit comfortably, watch it, wait some time and then verify how well given movie or product coped with trial of time. 

This is why, looking at screenshots, I just can’t wait for Facebook to change its appearance on my account too.