Facebook’s TimeLine: One-column Experiment


    The reason is that Facebook’s current, multi-column stream is amateur-hour design that subtly irritates and frustrates mainstream users.

    In fact, serving up a design that features undifferentiated multi-column stream layouts is the easiest way for social content stream companies to limit the broad appeal of their product.

    Facebook’s one-column experiment:

    When you click your name in the upper left corner of the current Facebook interface, you’re taken to your Facebook Timeline.

    The Timeline has two columns of equal width and “weight,” or visual emphasis, separated by a blue line. A mostly algorithm-selected list of reverse-chronological user posts begins top left. On the right are “modules,” such as “Activity,” “Friends,” “Photos,” “Likes,” “Places” and apps.

    When the modules run out, the Timeline fills in the space with more Timeline posts. As you continue to scroll down the page, you see two equal columns side-by-side all the way back in time to your birth, theoretically.

    From a design perspective, the current Facebook Timeline is a train wreck.

    The new experimental design makes a lot more sense. It gives more emphasis to the left column by making it wider — it spans about 60% the width of the page, leaving about 40% to the “modules.” And when the “modules” end, the space is left blank.

    This subtle change doesn’t entirely “fix” the Timeline’s busy structure, but it improves it a lot.

    If I was grading the design as a teacher, I’d give the experimental layout a solid B, and the current design a D-. Users will enjoy Facebook more once the company rolls out the redesign.

    ( Source Computer World )


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