UX Learnings from Facebook

Every designer aims to make products that touches life, designs that make an impact and create master pieces that no one can ignore. Nobody is born to create a Monalisa, people have evolved to create one. Inspirations from bigger players in the domain have always served to nourish the making of great designers.

Here are few UX learnings from design team of Facebook –

  1. The BIG little things.
    As the design bar keeps raising every moment, one requires to keep focus on small things as much as the big ones. Let’s have a look at a very small (according to you and me) change Facebook had to go through –
(The modernization of the LIKE button)

Would you believe me if I say that the designer who led this project estimates that he spent over 280 hours redesigning THIS button over the course of months?? Yes it’s true!

There were upfront challenges of retaining the specific height and width parameters, dimensions had to be uniform for a bunch of different languages Facebook provides, extra care about using fancy gradients or borders because it had to degrade gracefully in old web browsers, and so many other un-talked off challenges..

But just imagine, this innocent little button is seen on an average of 22 billion times a day and on over 7.5 million websites.. Ohhhhh. Now that makes it sound really HUUUUGE. Isn’t it?

That’s the impact small things can have on your business.

2. Drilling really DEEP into the issues.

The detachment between designers and users is probably not a very healthy sign for user experience. Let’s see what Facebook did when then faced a user experience issue –

“Reporting a photo/video as a spam”

Facebook received so many photo/video reports daily. But only a small percentage of these reports were actually violation of community standards. And then the team thought that there has to be some kind of a problem. They investigated deep into this and shockingly, majority of the photos that were being reported, had the person himself/herself. Maybe they did not want that photo to be on social media or any other reason.

So Facebook gave an option to tell your friend to remove the photo. But only 20% of the people reporting, were doing this. The team was back to work. What they came up with next managed to increase this 20% to 60%!

(Report a photo as spam)

They now had a pre-written text expressing to the friend why they feel the photo should be removed. Interesting and thoughtful. Isn’t?

3. Know for whom you are designing

We live in a particular surrounding with a particular set of living conditions. But are all the users under the same umbrella? More than often not..

(The low end phones having Facebook)

There are still so many users who are using the low end phones and are still crazy about using Facebook.

“Designing for these phones is not glamorous design work, but if you want to design for the whole world, you have to design for where people are, and not where you are.” — says Margaret Gould Stewart, Facebook’s director of product design.

Wrapping up — Hope you could relate few of your challenges too. Such case studies are always an inspiration for rest of the design community to pick up from. This article could not end without quoting the adage ” Good designers copy, great designers steal.”

Happy designing.

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