Facebook has begun rolling out a major redesign of its social networking site this week with a cleaner and less cluttered user interface. The new design will gradually become available to Facebook’s more than 80 million users over few days.
In the new design, Facebook removed the leftmost column that contains the ‘Search’ and ‘Applications’, and moved the search box and applications menu to the main menu on the top. The site content width has also being expanded by about an inch. These two design changes give a less boxed-up feel to the whole site.
“We’ve made the changes rolling out today in order to highlight the most recent and relevant information that users value, give users even more control and ownership over their profiles and simplify the user experience,” said Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “Facebook’s new design makes it a lot easier for users to share information, and we encourage them to check it out.”
The news feed and your friends’ activities is now prominently displayed on your Facebook homepage. The appearance however remind us of the pages on Friendfeed, another popular social networking site.
The profile page has a much needed makeover, finally bringing some order to Facebook applications that frequently overwhelmed a user’s profile. Applications in the profile page are now organized into tabs, you can add additional tabs to feature applications on your profile page. The initial tabs are ‘Wall’, ‘Info’ and ‘Photos’.
The Wall application now has a ‘The Publisher’ feature, allowing users to update status, write notes, add photos, share links etc, all within a single place. This is convenient for users to quickly and frequently enter little piece of information, similar to what is provided by micro-blogging platforms such as Twitter and Friendfeed.
Advertisement, which appeared at left-bottom corner in the old design, is now occupying the rightmost column for the profile, friends, applications and inbox pages.
Overall it is a successful redesign in making it cleaner and easier to use. If you do not get the new design yet and you can not wait, Facebook provides a staging site www.new.facebook.com for registered users to preview and test the new design.