Tuesday, March 24, 2009

FindingDulcinea's Redesign: Better than Facebook's

Facebook recently redesigned its homepage, and the results are overwhelming. ly. bad. In a poll, 94% of Facebook users preferred for the old homepage. Farhad Manjoo of Slate argues we'll learn to love it once we give it time, but I'm not of a mind to give it time, and many other users feel the same way. Heavy Internet users are adding new sites, tools and functionality to their repertoire every day. And Facebook friend requests I get from new members is skyrocketing. And each of these groups, when frustrated by a drastic, befuddling change that no one asked for (except Facebook executives envious of Twitter's growth), may be just as likely to largely abandon Facebook as they are to figure it all out again. At the very least, they'll react as my young niece did in this story: her family moved every year or two due to his career. Shortly after arriving in a new city, my brother tried to wake her for her first day of Kindergarten; she looked at him through sleepy eyes and said "naaah, I'll go to Kindergarten when we get to the next city." And that's how I feel about the new Facebook redesign; I'll figure out how to use the next one.

By contrast, the redesigned homepage of findingDulcinea has received nearly unanimous plaudits. True, most of the people I've asked work for the site, but we think you'll like it, too. We've significantly reduced the number of photos on the home page, as they made it difficult to concentrate attention on any one spot. And we've given more prominence, and more permanence, to our most popular features, On This Day and Happy Birthday. And we've invited Elvis Presley and Harry Houdini to help us launch it. Elvis sings "Unchained Melody" while Harry tries to unchain himself and leave the building before Elvis finishes the song. History addicts will be able to see a whole week of On This Day features as at a glance. Please check it out and let us know how you like it !