I’m on Facebook. I’m not that active there, but I use it sometimes to
stalk learn more about the cool people I meet online.
For this ranting, I’m gonna use Petros’s profile, because he’s a cool guy and I know that he started working on github some months ago. He also went on a trip to San Fransisco! How cool is that? I wanna see photos of that trip. How difficult can it be?
The mysterious case of Facebook photos
That’s Petros’ profile page, complete with goofy avatar. I see some random photos on the top strip, but I wanna see all of his photos. On the left sidebar, there’s a (6) right next to photos – so I guess there’s only six photos of him on Facebook? Puzzled. I click on it.
I don’t see 6 of anything, I just see two sections – “Petros’s photos” and “Photos and videos of Petros”, I guess posted by other users. That’s twelve thumbs, so I guess the (6) metaphor got lost in the way.
Let’s start with “Petros’ photos”. The six albums shown seem fishy – I know there must be more! There’s absolutely no other indicator for that, only a tiny link on the top right with a label “See all: Photos”. So there must be more, right? If you click on a link, you’ll see that there are more, indeed. sigh
Anyway, back again. There’s another link to see all videos by Petros. Video’s cool! Let’s click on it.
Nada. My question is – why have a perfectly normal link to something that doesn’t exist? Make it grey. Add a (0) indicator. Remove it altogether. sigh
Underneath that section, there’s “Photos and videos of Petros”. Well first of all, which of them are videos? You guessed it, there aren’t any, eventhough the title hints to it. And there’s a cryptic link on the top right that says: “See all Photos”. I click on it – nothing happens, except that the link text changes to “See all Photos and videos”.
Excuse my french, but what. The flying. Fuck.
Why so unusable?
There’s no question that Facebook is huge. Their developers and designers are hard-working and I understand their struggle to keep up with millions of users every day.
But they should get theis grip together and properly address the gaping UX holes they created over the years.
The whole situation is foul and dangerous. Not for the future of Facebook per se, I couldn’t care less about that – plus, people don’t really care about usability when they stalk their exes or poke random blonde girls.
I consider it dangerous for the future of all web applications though, and for user experience in general. I can already see a full generation of people, hardly ever using web services apart from Facebook, sitting baffled in front of perfectly functional design patterns because they learned it the Facebook way.
Naysayer? Maybe. Pissed off? Definitely.
And I didn’t even touch the “tiny 11px Lucida Grande font” or “horrendous new photo viewer” subject.