Facebook Ditched a Fancy Redesign Because Your Computer Sucks

Illustration for article titled Facebook Ditched a Fancy Redesign Because Your Computer Sucks

Last year Facebook debuted a nice redesign that featured big, beautiful pictures, seen above. But Facebook never rolled it out. Why? Because most people have crappy old computers.


Entrepreneur Dustin Curtis had claimed that the reason for the redesign abandonment was because it didn't drive enough advertising dollars. But Facebook product designer Julie Zhuo said he's wrong, and explained in a Medium post that your old-ass monitor is really the reason we can't have nice things:

It turns out, while I (and maybe you as well) have sharp, stunning super high-resolution 27-inch monitors, many more people in the world do not. Low-res, small screens are more common across the world than hi-res Apple or Dell monitors. And the old design we tested didn't work very well on a 10-inch Netbook. A single story might not even fit on the viewport. Not to mention, many people who access the website every day only use Facebook through their PC—no mobile phones or tablets. Scrolling by clicking or dragging the browser scrollbar is still commonly done because not everyone has trackpads or scroll wheels. If more scrolling is required because every story is taller, or navigation requires greater mouse movement because it's further away, then the site becomes harder to use. These people may not be early adopters or use the same hardware we do, but the quality of their experience matters just as much.


Zhou added that the foregone redesign would have actually been better for ad money in some cases. But Facebook decided that it wasn't the best for most assholes with low-res monitors of yore. In the end, they went with something that worked better for everyone. Next time you're looking for someone to blame for a Facebook design you don't like, you should probably look at yourself. [Medium via Business Insider]

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How about one of the biggest and most-used websites in the world learns how to use adaptive / responsive design techniques to shape itself to the equipment its users have instead of being all lowest-common-denominator? I mean, we do live in the future and all. They have $bns to buy little companies and do whatever with them, but they can't hire/teach a design team to build a site that scales?

Oh, wait, this is Facebook, of COURSE they can't do what their users want, ever.