An Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg

mark-broke-it

Dear Mark,

I know the Huffington Post ranted about it, and that you’ve probably been inundated with commentary recently, and that realistically, dear Mark, you’ll never read this, but I wanted to write you a letter about how to fix your website, “The Facebook,” which is broken now that someone hacked into it and did a “redeisgn” of the news feed functionality to make it look just like Twitter.

So, here are six things you can do to  remedy your digital accident, none of which include what you are doing right now, which is nothing:

1) Respond to the negative comments. Your blog is full of comments like “you have ruined something that i used to fully enjoy” and “I HATE THE NEW FACEBOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and “, but you haven’t said anything to your most vocal users. Be transparent and ask them to be patient if you’re sticking with the new design.

2) Allow users to “opt-in” to new features. Take a clue from Gmail, which lets users revert back to “old versions” — and add a button so I can go back to the old Facebook interface. Maybe you could even allow interface customization with plug-ins? Plugs are not just for hair anymore.

3) Roll out changes iteratively. Changing a home view of a site people visit multiple times a day can’t be done like tearing off a band-aid. You need to do it gradually, and test the results over time. Oh wait, you can’t really do anything about that now. Just saying…

4) Let users vote on design. Blue M&Ms could do it, so can you. A social network not listening to the wisdom of crowds is just plain crazy-talk. Maybe you can come up with a few design alternatives and let people vote, like, next week?

5) Outsource design to an experienced agency. There isn’t a design or ad agency in the world that wouldn’t jump at the chance to do a pro bono redesign on Facebook. I know of a great one that’s ready for the challenge called Modernista! Allow me to hook you up with some contacts there, buddy.

6) Get you UX lead some help. Unprofessional, perhaps, a few beers at work is never an awful thing. However you clearly hired someone with an alcohol problem. Drinking and redesigning do not mix, as is indicated by whomever you hired to head up your user experience and usability efforts.

Well Mark, I hope this was as therapeutic for you to read as it was for me to write. I feel better now that I got all that off my chest. But for serious, you broke your site dude! FIX IT!

I love you,
– Frustrated Facebook user