Little boxes, then big boxes, in case you missed them the ﬁrst time When Facebook introduced its second friends’ box last December, I thought it was stupid. I have one friends’ box up top, why do I need another cluttering up my Timeline?
Looks like those complaints fell on deaf ears because this month, Facebook has introduced even more superﬂuous boxes. The recent activity one has always been there, but I’m beginning to think it’s really useless since I can see my recent activity. It’s right there beside it.
Then there’s the photos’ box. But I already have a photos’ box up top. Sure, I can see eight photos and you could argue there is some utility to its duplication.
The new likes’ box—not so much. I really don’t need to know what my last seven likes were. And I can see my last two up top.
The new map box. Totally superﬂuous: it just repeats what I have in the top map box.
If Facebook is going to clutter half the width of the page with this stuff, then what was the point of creating Timeline anyway? Isn’t this just a really impractical version now of the old Facebook wall?
I used to call this, cruelly, ‘American design philosophy’. But what comes to mind with these changes is American automotive design. Start off with something really good—I thought Timeline was brilliant when it ﬁrst came out in September 2011 (and you can still see a screen shot of what it looked like then)—and add extra crap to ruin the purity of the design. It’s the 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado all over again.
This is like those 1970s Fords which had the spaced-out ‘F O R D’ lettering on the bonnet and the blue oval badge reading ‘Ford’ in the centre of the grille. I guess the bonnet lettering was to help those who could not read cursive. But it was totally unnecessary. Did Ford have to tell us that you were driving a Ford Ford?
It’s the same with Facebook in 2012. All this does is make that new Myspace look even cooler.