Why doing design for Facebook is a thankless job

A friend of mine hates, HATES, the new Facebook timeline. She wants to turn it off, but can't. I happen to think the timeline is really cool, well designed, useful. On occasion it even gives me goosebumps. But. She. Hates. It. Wants to turn it off. Can't.

I was thinking, Facebook has something like 700,000,000 users, right? I don't know the right number or how many are online every day. But there are many.

So imagine you are responsible for the design of this important new Facebook feature called the TimeLine. You need to invent the look and feel of the new Facebook Timeline. You design your little heart out. You have user tests, A/B/C/D/E tests. Hundreds of people and thousands of dollars later you release your baby.

95% of the users love it. Success right?

35 million people still hate the design.

Bummer.

Posted on March 13, 2012 .