The last time a major change was made to popular social network Facebook, it didn’t go over so well with the community. Users were outraged by the “feed” system that provides an overall summary of what’s going on with friends. As a result, people protested in major numbers saying that this was the “ultimate stalkers dream.”

Facebook apologized for that mess and said that they didn’t do a very good job of explaining the new features, and giving users control of them. They also made a serious effort to provide users will better privacy controls. Thankfully this turned into a learning experience for them and they learned that community feedback is important.

Fast-forward to mid-March when Facebook started their “Sneak Preview” group. It was created and open to any users who wanted to get a glimpse of what ideas Facebook had, and then provide them feedback. User feedback is always important in a social situation, and this is no exception.  Users joined the group by the thousands and offered all kinds of ideas and suggestions regarding the new design Facebook was planning.

That brings us up to now. Facebook had a New Year’s resolution of making Facebook simpler, more flexible, and make the network structure more relevant to users.  To meet this resolution, they’ve given the design of Facebook a makeover which launched today.

One of the first things you’ll notice is that the navigation is different. Prior to this change in design, just about all navigation was on the left.  Now they’ve split the navigation up, moving the “core aspects” to drop-down menus on the top, and “applications” like photos, notes, etc., on the left. The images below show the old design, versus the new design.



While it will probably take users some time to get used to it, there hasn’t been a huge outrage like there was when Facebook introduced the feed system, or even their last major change to the user interface. The design makes sense, it’s easy to use, and the drop-down menus are a great addition. They learned that they need to involve the community that keeps them afloat, or else face the wrath of millions of users. Kinda like what MySpace is probably going through over the whole Photobucket ordeal

Thanks for the tip Curtiss!