Enlarge /. The new design includes at least one dark mode. In general, I prefer bright layouts, but if you have the bad habit of going to Facebook late at night in bed, this is less likely to prevent drowsiness.
Sometime last night, the new Facebook design layout was transferred to my personal account. It assured me that I could switch back if I didn't like it, so I tried it out right away. I switched it off immediately and never looked back. At least I didn't look back until this afternoon when the powers of Ars said – and I quote – "don't hesitate to check it out if you want to."
I am a professional if nothing else, so this is not a hate assessment. But I have to admit it is a "visceral aversion" and maybe some readers will appreciate the things – or at least don't mind – that scare me so much about the new layout.
If you like to surf in landscape mode on a smartphone, you will like the new Facebook
This is the current "old" Facebook design, which has been largely unchanged for several years. It is reasonably information-rich and, apart from the huge story header, usually fits several posts per page.
Personally identifying information (and the strange profanity) is blurred.
Welcome to the new Facebook layout. On a standard 1080p monitor, it looks like the largest sideways-turned phone in the world. Dislike.
I surf most of my Facebook on a desktop PC – a serious desktop PC for serious people with two 24-inch monitors in 1080P. I like layouts that give me less information and waste a lot of real estate, and Facebooks The new layout does just that in spades.
The old Facebook layout usually fits at least two or three posts per page, at least if you roll past the huge stories banner. You can also keep multiple Facebook Messenger chats open in separate floating divs at the bottom of the screen.
As soon as you switch to the new Facebook layout, the first, overwhelming impression is of the greatest improvement. The text sizes are larger, the elements are further apart and it fits very little on the screen at once.
Fortunately, the stories banner is less uncomfortably large than on the old layout. Unfortunately, this is a pure necessity; It has to be smaller so that only half of a post fits under it on a new scale. I couldn't find a single pair of posts on my timeline that would fit on a page under the new layout – and at least half of them alone were at least two pages high.
Messenger functionality is also limited because only one chat is visible at a time. If you click another contact or a different group in your contact list, your current chat will be hidden and replaced by the new one.
Notifications are less bulky
The notification area of the old design randomly hides several elements. I didn't know how disgusting it was until I saw the list of the new design on the far right.
Aside from dark mode, the new notification area is nice – it hides the contact list instead of just accidentally covering the posts on the page itself.
I don't like the new layout much, and I loathe a lot. However, I will say that the new notification list is nice. The old notification list only spans all the parts of the page it happened to land on, and basically makes the whole thing unusable while notifications are visible. In the new layout, the notification area is pinned on the far right so that the posts remain uncovered.
With the new design, you can still scroll, search, and comment on posts in your feed while the notifications are on the far right. Unfortunately, messages are handled – and only a single message is displayed in the new layout, regardless of whether the notification list covers it or not. So you have to close the notifications if you want to chat with your friends – and it is much more difficult to chat with multiple friends at the same time because only one message can be visible at a time.
I suspect that this new layout – similar to the auto moderator mistake that started pseudorandomly eating valid news stories this week – is another example of the famous motto of CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg: "Move fast and break You things. "
The design feels like what happens when you try to unify a layout code base between phone-based apps and the desktop website but don't care about validating or getting user feedback. The new design will likely stay and eventually replace the current version of "classic" completely – but I really hope that it will be refined a bit first. Until then, I'll stick to the old layout.
- Now with dark mode!
- The notification list is much better pinned to the far right rather than occupying about the third fifth from the left
- Switching to the new layout and back is instant and easy
- Switching dark mode on and off is just as quick and easy within the new layout
- Only one post is shown on the screen at a time. Or less – usually less.
- Only one message is ever displayed on the screen – no matter what your resolution is.
- Huge text is huge
- Wasted space is wasted
- The layout itself basically