Is it just me, or are the major social network UIs still counterintuitive and in some cases getting worse? I find myself going on scavenger hunts for common functions in LinkedIn. Ryan
and I recently discovered dozens of users waiting to join our LinkedIn groups because we were unaware they had applied. There are no email notifications and it takes four clicks
just to discover new members waiting to join your group. LinkedIn's UX designers are asleep at the wheel.
When showing Facebook to new users I find even computer literate people have a hard time doing the most basic functions such as uploading a photo. Do you go to the "Photos" subtab displayed on "Home". No. You have to go to a tab with the same name in "Profile". After you are familiar with the site the reasons for this become clearer, but why not add a quick "add photo" cross link in the home > photos area? Many (most?) new Facebook users require a tour before they can make good use of the site. This is a telltale sign of poor UI design. Term confusion is also a problem. Now we have applications and boxes. Great.
Finally, why aren't you able to easily segment different types of connections (friends, family, business, etc.) and quickly see what they see when viewing your info, updates, media, etc.? The sites's new lifestream approach isn't very customizable and its hard to determine who can see what updates. A good UI would provide intuitive control over the window you provide into your life for various types of connections.
On a related note, why is Facebook trying to kill social widgets? Relegating widgets to the boxes sub-tab gives users less control over how they express themselves and makes the platform generally widget unfriendly. Yes, I know you can go to the boxes sub-tab, click on the tiny pencil icon and select "Move to Wall", but unfortunately most people have no idea this feature exists. Many popular widgets apps have seen their once impressive traffic numbers plummet to a trickle because its hard to figure out how to prominently display them.
Its amazing to me that the world's most popular social networking sites still have such poor UIs.
- Design • Build • Localize | Web • Desktop • Mobile