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Trials and Tribulations

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Just over a month ago, Facebook rolled out a new homepage redesign. Now it looks like the social network isn’t completely satisfied with the results, as it’s now testing yet another homepage redesign.

We don’t know when the new design will launch yet, but we have analyzed several screenshots of the new Facebook (Facebook) that were sent to us. While most of the changes are minor, there are a few that really stand out and reveal Facebook’s strategy and future direction.

Here are our top five observations about the upcoming Facebook homepage redesign, along with screenshots:


Changes to Facebook’s Redesign


1. All of the notifications have been moved to the top left. Notifications, requests, and inbox are prominently displayed next to the Facebook logo. Chat remains on the bottom, however.

2. Search is far more important in this redesign. As my fellow usability experts can attest, placing the search box in the middle of the page instead of the right hand side increases the number of searches users make. Facebook wants to focus on its real-time search engine as it prepares to compete with Twitter.

3. Your profile picture and status appears on the homepage. If you look on the current homepage design, you’ll find the updates of all of your friends, but yours isn’t constantly there, reminding you to update your old, outdated status.

This is a problem Facebook has needed to fix for a while. Now it’s addressed with a new section at the top left of the homepage with your face and your most recent status update, along with a prompt to update your status.

4. There’s a new border around the main content. It separates your left-hand navigation and notifications from your Facebook news feed.

5. The ability to see your inbox from the homepage. We want to stress how important this change is to the new Facebook design. It gives you direct access to your most recent messages without leaving the homepage, which should increase engagement.

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