I love the new visuals in this redesign, but I completely disagree that this has made Twitter easier to understand.
Usability is absolutely part of design. How can you position Twitter as a “real-time news service”, and then have out of date tweets from hours ago shoved into the user’s home feed, with no way to turn it off? That’s not intuitive. It detracts from the content people are looking for. In some cases, old information is mildly annoying. In other cases, it’s downright dangerous — what if someone logged into Twitter during Hurricane Irma, and the tweets that keep popping up in their feed when they’re looking for the most up-to-date information are from six, eight, twelve, or even eighteen hours ago? It’s poor app design.
There needs to be an option to entirely disable all “recommended”, “X person you follow liked this”, “Tweets about #hashtag”, and everything else detracting from that core mission of being a “real-time news service”. And a clear, obvious option, not “click the little carat at the top of the tweet and then click 'show me less of this' and do that a bunch of times and maybe hopefully Twitter will learn to not show them at all”. Because at the moment, Twitter is absolutely not the “real-time news service” you’d like it to be. It’s becoming harder and harder to use for that purpose. No amount of beautiful new design elements or bold typefaces will fix that.
Other than that, I love the visual redesign, as well as the effort to make the iOS app and the Android app as similar as possible.
(I’m on Twitter at @tibutler if you feel like chatting.)