This was originally posted on 2/13/2010 on an earlier version of artstin.com. It has been reposted because it has been referenced in a newer blog post.
If you have used Facebook the past year or two like I have, there’s no doubt that you’ve noticed changes to the site’s layout multiple times. It seems like every time Facebook changes their layout out it’s met promptly with criticism. “Why’d they change it”, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it”, “I hate this new layout”. Those are just some of the comments I hear about the style of Facebook whenever they change. All of them are valid points, Facebook has never really had any show stoppers with their UI (user interface), so why do they always change it? I can say I’ve been a critic myself, while I’ve never seen the layout change so dramatically that I can’t use Facebook, I’ve never really seen the reason to change it in the first place. And that’s exactly why they should continue to change their layout.
Yes, that may sound absurd, but that’s what they need to continue to do. Do we all remember when Myspace reigned king of the social networking websites? And do we all remember the vast UI changes that Myspace went through? Oh, you don’t? Well that’s exactly why Myspace isn’t a social networking dominance anymore. Yeah, some could argue that it’s for other reasons like it’s slow, it has too much ads, etc. and they’re right, but if it’s made well enough, users will put up through those ads – I mean they did, for the 4-some odd years that Myspace was king of the hill, right? Here’s the issue with Myspace… they never changed their UI- whether they needed to or not. This caused a huge lack of innovation. It was always the same with no change and people got tired of that. I can guarantee you that if Myspace would have made changes to their UI, they would have stumbled upon some of the things that people flocked over to Facebook for. But they didn’t.
Anyway, the point I’m trying to make here is that Facebook changing their UI is a good thing. With their changes they will continue to innovate and create a better user experience in the long run.