Matt Vella wrote an interesting article in BusinessWeek about the redesign of Facebook (which includes a few quotes from me). Here’s an excerpt:
<Facebook> is readying an extensive overhaul of its core profile pages in an attempt to bring back the sleek aesthetic that helped fuel its early popularity… The moves come in reaction to Facebook’s becoming “more cluttered and harder for users to parse,” according to Katie Geminder, the site’s director of user experience and design… the redesign represents a major simplification.
My take: I really like Facebook’s move to simplicity. As I’ve mentioned in my work on disruptive customer experience strategies, offerings tend to get overly complex over time as companies add new features and capabilities. So there’s an opportunity to disrupt many industries with an ultra-simple alternative.
Facebook must keep involving its users in the redesign. The relationship between Facebook and its users is like a landlord and her tenants. While tenants recognize that the landlors owns the building, they don’t want her to redecorate their apartment at will; it’s their space.
The bottom line: My advice to Facebook: Keep it simple, keep it real.