Redesigning the world’s largest social network is a grueling task, or any task for that matter when the working team has to find the right balance between its investors and users.
A great way to improve user experience is through informational interviews, user feedback, and comments from analysts and experts.
But a presumed fact is not always what users expect to see.
Sometimes an organization has to come up with new, creative ideas to unveil surprising features that users will find nifty, even though they did not foresee its importance.
Facebook said the changes will include multiple feeds for several categories, such as Music and Close Friends.
During the announcement at its headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., the social networking giant said these initial changes are part of a larger attempt to give Facebook users more power to organize stories on their News Feed.
Redesigning the Facebook News Feeed
An official blog post by Facebook’s user experience researcher Jane Justice Leibrock explained in detail how the team came up with the News Feed overhaul based on feedback.
Leibrock said she started open interviews with users and found how people uncluttered their News Feed.
Some Facebook users said they saw lucid stories about their friends’ activities within the website, such as the songs they listen to and the games they play.
Leibrock wrote that the data she gathered showed posts people clicked, liked, and commented on are the very stories these people said they wanted to remove from their News Feed.
She added that users wanted to filter out page posts, stories on games and songs, and stories liked or commented on by friends.
People clearly took interest in a story they deemed to be important and worthy of sharing.
Facebook had to determine how to show the stories in separate areas on the News Feed the way people want to see them organized.
Then Facebook ran through the concept of multiple feeds, although it was still uncertain on the feeds to offer and the stories to add.
Leibrock applied a research method that helps understand how people relate topics with each other in their minds.
Facebook’s use of the “cart sort” research method had participants take a pile of recent stories on printed paper from their own feed.
The participants picked the stories they found as most interesting of the bunch, and then they sorted the remaining stories based on what they liked about them.
Leibrock said the social network’s analysis of the piles and stories presented clear themes.
Many participants created categories of the stories they liked based on photos, while most participants created a separate category for posts from people they consider as close friends or family.
Leibrock learned that many participants also created a specific category for stories from friends they were not close to but were happy to read status updates from.
She said these clear themes from her “cart sort” study applied directly into the News Feed team’s decisions on what feeds to offer.
The Photos feed is certainly a no-brainer, and the Close Friends feed were intially considered and received more traction because of the findings, Leibrock added.
The Following feed came from people who want to see stories based on their own interests, while the All Friends feed allows Facebook users to find updates from their full roster of friends.
If you want to make the switch, go to this link and click the waiting list button at the bottom of the page.
Featured images taken from Facebook News Feed website.