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facebook-logo1The Facebook home page changed again! They are so good at it, aren’t they?  I’m not sure how I feel about this “gradual unveiling” thing.  I received the new and improved navigation design a few days before many of my friends, even my wife!

Facebook usually catches a lot of flack whenever any kind of change is made.  Part of it, I’m sure, has to do with the fact that people in general just do not like change.  Well, I would like to stand up and give 4 reasons the new navigation design Facebook has come up with is actually an improvement.

1.  Location & Consolidation Of The Design, New Requests, Messages, & Notifications

facebook_notifications

For me, my eyes are still trained to first glance at the top left of a website when I first visit it.  That’s why, as part of how the Facebook home page changed, I like the location of the notifications for new requests, messages and notifications.  They are almost the first place I look.  Also, they don’t take up much space because they are designed as icons with drop down menus.  In my opinion, very sleek and good thinking as far as location goes.

The new menus now drop down and you can instantly view pending friend requests, direct messages and notifications without leaving the home page.

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2. Good Use Of The Left Sidebar

facebook_sidebar

I like how I can easily find links to the news feed, see how many messages are sitting in my inbox and how many events I’m currently invited to and how there is easy access to my friends’ feed and recent media shared.  Like I said before, my eyes are still trained to glance over the top left of a website when I first arrive there.  Some of the notifications, such as unread messages and event invites, are easily missed.  Now they are right where I normally end up glancing first and I like that.  Was that Facebook’s goal?

3.  A Front & Center Listing Of Friends Online

facebook_friendsside

I used to have to bring up the list from the bottom left hand part of the screen to see who was online (for the complete list, you still do).  Now, with how Facebook home page changed, I can get a good idea just from glancing at most of my online friends.  Now it’s a bit harder to miss people.  Sometimes in life with friends it’s like two ships passing in the night, isn’t it?  Another good call, Facebook!

4.  A Good Conservation Of Screen Real Estate!

facebook_bottomscreenrealestate

Remember way back when the bottom status bar went all the way across the screen and stuck there?  Now, only what you are currently using (besides the quick link to the friends list) takes up screen real estate!  For instance, if you are chatting with a friend, the conversation will use a portion of the bottom of the screen next to the friends list.  That’s good for those of us who like as much of our screen to be ours as we can possibly get!  However, I would kind of like to see the top bar frozen.  Maybe they could give the option?  Facebook?  Please?

There is more I like about the current Facebook home page changes, like the quick glance at requests and suggestions in the right sidebar (is that new?).  There are also changes that are taking a bit to get used to but nothing debilitating.  Any change in life takes getting used to, right?

The new Facebook redesign will definitely help a lot of new users to adapt quickly since it’s quite intuitive. It also saves users a lot of time and several extra clicks from attaining the information they need. Are there any new features that you’re fond of? Let us know!

Also, check out the MakeUseOf articles about privacy on Facebook: Part 1 8 Steps To Regain Control Of Your Facebook Privacy 8 Steps To Regain Control Of Your Facebook Privacy Read More and Part 2 8 MORE Steps To Regain Control Of Your Facebook Privacy 8 MORE Steps To Regain Control Of Your Facebook Privacy Read More .

  1. Chemist
    February 25, 2010 at 1:59 am

    the new look of the homepage looks fine but the old one is better! why can’t they just put an option where the user can choose if they want the new or old homepage ?

  2. Abby
    February 22, 2010 at 9:36 am

    One thing that irks me is that I used to be able to hit a game to the left & it would show me all my friends updates regarding that game. Example: I hit Mafia Wars & the whole status is updated with my friends game play. Now that's gone & it sucks.

  3. Stephen Downes
    February 12, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    I was going to link to this page today, because the content seems good, but I notice everything above the fold on the web page is an advertisement. So, no link.

  4. Thirsten
    February 12, 2010 at 9:14 am

    I feel this revision is horrible. I've read some good comments (like the bookmarks being only on the homepage)but really I don't care what they do to the layout. It's the functionality that I hate to lose. Just as Imee said, I used lists to filter out people in my games. Certainly I want to see their feeds, but let me choose my default list as I could before among other things.

    Like I said move the layout around, I don't care but let it work like it did before please.

  5. Marton
    February 12, 2010 at 8:49 am

    I can't no longer see quickly just Status Updates, in old-way I was able to drag-reorder things in my left menu, and when I opened the home page I just seen Status Updates.

    I miss the bottom toolbar, where I could pin my frequently used apps, like EVENTS.

    Also the new photo uploader sucks, as doesn't remember local last folder used, while the old one (java uploader) remembered that.

    • Vatsala
      February 13, 2010 at 6:39 pm

      @Mason, I totally agree with you, the Status updates link is now just gone, and one has to wade through the ocean of farmville updates to get to an actual status update. Makes tracking status really difficult, when we actually signed up if facebook for that.

  6. Jonathan Bennett
    February 12, 2010 at 7:56 am

    This is my favorite layout of Facebook yet, and the whole site seems to be faster and more responsive as well. I'm glad to see a positive article about it. Unlike previous layout changes, I've noticed that not many of my friends have complained about this one.

  7. Pavan Somu
    February 12, 2010 at 2:51 am

    Overview is rocking.

  8. Imee
    February 12, 2010 at 1:43 am

    I like to welcome change as much as the next person, but I wish they didn't remove certain features like being able to customize your news feeds. I used to have different filters - for games (so I can easily get bonuses) and family/friend filters (so I don't have to read everybody else's updates that I don't really care about..lol). Now they're gone! :|

    • Tim Lenahan
      February 12, 2010 at 7:34 am

      You can still filter the friends feed, as far as I know. "Friends" is listed in the left sidebar in the top grouping. When clicked, a drop down of your lists should appear so you can click on the list who's feed you want to see.

  9. Cid Sinclair
    February 11, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    There's no way to see "All Friends" anymore. The only way I've found is by clicking on the link on your actual profile. You'd think you'd be able to access that from the friends page or even better, your homepage. I did note that as you type in the search bar at the top of the friends page, a drop down comes down sorting as you type. That's ok I guess...but it's not at all marked. How about a label that says "Friend Search" next to the search bar? I spent a couple days cursing the poor design that eliminated this feature. Then I figured it out, It's just not very intuitive for navigation.

    • Tim Lenahan
      February 11, 2010 at 9:24 pm

      If you are referring to the "edit friends" list allowing you to see all of your friends allowing you to see and choose the lists they are on and giving you the option to delete the connection, head to the Account dropdown menu at the top-right, click edit friends, then click all connections in the left sidebar. It's a pain but it's still there.

      A

    • Liza May
      February 12, 2010 at 8:56 am

      ... and they did away with the "Recently Added Friends" sort, so now you have no way of looking at the new profiles (this was useful for me cause I get maybe 2 new friends each day, so once a week I'd like to be able to look at the profiles of the new people to see who I'm "friends" with).

  10. Mel
    February 11, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    You must be one of the few people who found something likeable in this design. I on the other hand could strangle the person who came up with this design.
    Having to go to the home page to click one of your bookmarks is an inconvenience. If you are playing few games and they were neatly placed in your bookmarks, you could reach them w/o leaving the game currently played and go to the nex game with a single click.
    To logout, you now have to activate a pull down menu and navigate, which is not cool.
    I also have not figured out how to sort the bookmarks' ordering yet, which was quite trivial in the old version like dragging them to the order one liked.
    Most importantly it was working and nobody was complaining. Don't these people know the meaning of the phrase, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" ?

  11. Tripp
    February 11, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    For the most part I like the changes, but like everyone else, I don't like that the "bookmarks" bar which is customizable is no longer available on every page. It is called bookmarks for a reason, to make frequently visited pages accessible easily.

    Also, another issue is taking the bottom toolbar away means if you are the bottom of a facebook profile/fan page (some can get very long), you have to scroll all the way back up to the top. Not necessarily a big deal but certainly less convenient before.

  12. Frost
    February 11, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    I don't like how before you could be anywhere on the page and still see if you had any new notifications at the bottom right. Now, everything's at the very top. If I want to see if I have anything new, I have to scroll all the way back up to the top. That's my only gripe.

    • Tim Lenahan
      February 11, 2010 at 2:16 pm

      I kinda wish they'd freeze the top bar for that reason.

      • Jonathan White
        February 12, 2010 at 9:15 am

        There's a Greasemonkey script called Facebook Fixer that works really well for Facebook. It will freeze the top and sidebars and will allow for enlarging pictures where they're hovered over. It even places a settings menu alongside facebooks to allow for customization. I highly recommend getting it.

  13. Jane
    February 11, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    It seems to me that the reason Facebook is taking such grief for making changes is the way they have been doing it-- no advance notice, and no instructions on how to return to the way things were previously, should the user prefer this, at least temporarily.

    Learning a new way of doing things takes time, even for something as simple as finding where something is located on a page. Not having any control over when I'm going to make this investment is frustrating, even when the changes really are improvements.

    • Jenni Brand
      February 11, 2010 at 2:11 pm

      I concur with @Jane. Facebook's deployment of new features is the problem versus the features themselves. The quick tutorial that was offered was dumbed down to a third-grade level. I need a more hands on resource for understanding the intricacies of the changes - something I can use to learn quickly and then teach others. I end up having to resort to various external blogs to learn the more advanced tricks. It would be nice if Facebook had more details (even how-to videos) about ALL of the customizations etc that can be done. Their "help" section is completely useless. Thank god for allfacebook.com...

      • Tim Lenahan
        February 12, 2010 at 7:36 am

        I concur. Even WordPress has WordPress.tv for tutorials. How do we convince Facebook of this though?

  14. Jace
    February 11, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    You had me until the last screen shot.

    Alexa? Sorry: credibility lost.

    • Tim Lenahan
      February 11, 2010 at 1:19 pm

      Sorry to hear that. Just part of a plugin I've had for quite some time. Nothing to do with Facebook, etc.

  15. jenifer
    February 11, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    I love the left-hand navigation except for two things:

    1) The bottom navigation for applications was present on every page. Now, if I click to someone's profile page or am inside an app/group/fan page, the left hand navigation is gone. That means that if I want to click to a new application or do something else, I have to go back to my home page first. This doesn't seem very streamlined.

    2) I have my friends in groups/lists. I like to read their updates within these groups, but that means I have to click "friends" then "more" to see all of my groups. I have to do this every time I visit my home page. I'd really like to have the option to permanently expand that.

    If anyone knows of a way around either of those gripes, I'd love to hear it.

    • Tim Lenahan
      February 11, 2010 at 1:21 pm

      Your number 1 bugs me too.

    • Esther
      February 12, 2010 at 9:17 am

      I agree with both your points, Jenifer, but especially #2. I used to have my favorite list as my primary default list for my newsfeed, and now I have to see everything! I prefer reading updates within special groups too, but it seems like Facebook thought the friends lists weren't popular enough and people weren't using it. =\

    • Esther
      February 12, 2010 at 9:17 am

      I agree with both your points, Jenifer, but especially #2. I used to have my favorite list as my primary default list for my newsfeed, and now I have to see everything! I prefer reading updates within special groups too, but it seems like Facebook thought the friends lists weren't popular enough and people weren't using it. =\ Same thing with the iPhone app -- it shows my Live Feed by default, and I have to scroll to select my favorite list manually.

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