Early this morning Facebook decided to release an update to the site’s user interface. This new design changes are the result of collaboration with the community, which gave them a great amount of feedback prior to the launch of the new design.
Three weeks ago Facebook launched the Facebook Sneak Preview group, which was intended to allow the Facebook community to see upcoming design changes that the Facebook team had been working on and to give the community an outlet to give feedback. This was a clear attempt by Facebook to avoid a recurrence of previous controversies, like the addition of the News Feed feature and allowing open registrations on their site.
The Facebook team has learned that they can’t ignore their community when making decisions that affect them. They learned this lesson the hard way when they saw unique visitors decrease while those controversies were playing out, as reported by BusinessWeek. This attempt to include the community in the design process is a effective and useful preemptive measure to prevent further controversy over site changes.
The new design is centered around three fundamental changes; the simplification of site navigation, the consolidation of “My Shares” and “My Messages” into an “Inbox,” and making the Networks pages more social. The changes that have been made to navigation seem fairly natural, and the adding the social aspect to Networks should prove to be a success. Overall the changes shouldn’t be too much of an adjustment for anyone to make and certainly shouldn’t cause any controversy like previous site changes have caused.
Update: Facebook has posted a Redesign Tour page to guide you through using the new user interface.