The Twitter redesign was hoisted on a huge audience with very little persuasive actions taken to smooth the introduction. No email heads up, no in twitter feed notification, just a little A/B switching back an forth between the old and new versions for a few days. Accordingly the backlash of comments at the hashtag #TwitterRedesign has been relentless. Enough to inspire a Twitter Disordesign video.
YOUTUBE Ocd_rRgY3-I Twitter Disordesign credits and copyright belong to Twitter, Joy Divison and AI mixing by Rave at MIT.
Twitter recently pushed its first desktop redesign in 7 years. Wired covered the backstory. The redesign changed both the client to a common desktop/mobile webapp based on responsive web technologies, called a progressive webapp PWA . PWA adds a cached version of the webapp using service worker to web browsers cache for off line usage.
Additionally Twitter has been under mounting pressure to attenuate harmful speech and increase opportunities to insert personalized digital adverts into to its tweet steam. Twitter selected 3 women designers to accomplish the requirements. page .
My own experience, based on 3 redesigns of Google News, its takes me about 1 week to get used to a redesign. I learned about HCI (human computer interaction) via talks at PARC and Stanford by practitioners such as Marissa Mayer, Ed Chi and Peter Norvig via BayCHI.org.
These experts used both A/B testing and interaction design to help users learn new features by using Interstitials.
Many on twitter have provided negative comments as feedback via the hashtag #TwitterRedesign. It
Big Bold Menu Text (causes banner blindness?)
I feel that Twitter's and Google's current cohorts of web designers have forgotten many of the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) lessons from earlier leaders such as Marissa Mayer. Who lead Google's product accession to prominence on the web through search.
In my case I was introduced to the Twitter Redesign over 7 days, gradually the new client replace the old one over about 7 days, this allows for the eyes attention to effectively develop Banner Blindness . i.e mentally detune parts of the UI that I do not wish to pay attention to such as the BOLD left menu text, while paying attention to tweet content in middle column, and ignore 'Trends for You' in third column (treating columns as banners).
It may simply be a case of introducing to much change all at once. Underestimating how effort is required to persuade adoption of humans accustomed to familiar user interfaces.
The 2020 Democratic Party presidential debates highlighted the biggest technical difference, static over real-time tweet streaming. i.e between this Twitter redesign and Twitter's original design by Jack [insert Jack's sketches here from Tumblr]. The new design is static and requires user interaction to load new tweets (a bit odd). Compare with TweetDeck, that will stream the Twitter firehose in near real-time.
Another real-time attention feature the Twitter redesign has detuned is likes and retweets by removing identity from the tweet stream, identity is available by opening the tweet itself. I hazard a guess this decoupling of feedback is probably to remove intentionally inflammatory harassment (my SWAG).
The Gillmor Gang led by Steve Gillmor developed high now know at the intersection of real-time and attention trust. I wonder what the old Gillmor Gang would say about the Twitter redesigns being rolled out if the Gang met now?
A coda. Twitter revealed it's Behind the scenes: Planning and launching the new Twitter.com; based on redesign goals. page
"With those goals in mind, these were our milestones: - Milestone 1: Defaulting the Twitter web team to the new experience. - Milestone 2: Defaulting all Twitter employees to the new experience. Additionally, we made the new site available to people on mobile.twitter.com on desktop devices. From this point forward we were developing publicly, getting feedback from early adopters. - Milestone 3: Giving people a chance to opt-in to the experience on twitter.com. - Milestone 4: Experimenting with defaulting people to the new experience and testing new navigation layouts influenced by feedback. - Milestone 5: Launching the new twitter.com to people who are logged in. - Milestone 6: Launching the new twitter.com to people who are logged out.
# What I liked about the previous Twitter design
It's very easy to lose your attention when presented with high density user interface that presents information related to your goal (but not your goal). Mobile designs generally have simple columnar interfaces reduced to show exactly what is searched (and nothing more).
Twitter's redesign breaks with the Google search omnibox clean page design, 3 columns are presented which is distracting to the eyes attention.
Anyone considering where to start on an app should think about removal of the 1st and 3rd column. Follow Google search and Twitter original design (less UI is more UX).
Google search (no distractions)