Today I was forcibly moved over to the Facebook Timeline. I hate it. Why? Because it’s different. Oh, I have a list of rational-sounding, maybe even convincing, reasons why – but the real reason is simply because it’s different.
I’ve been on the other end of a UI change for an online community. Four years ago I spent months, months!, working with the PGDP community to implement minor changes to our navigation menu. That’s right – a menu. My cohorts and I felt the new menu made it easier for newbies to find their way around as well as a better behavior with narrower browser windows. We didn’t please everyone, but I think we pleased most people.
So I don’t envy the position of the Facebook UI developers when even someone like myself, who has been in their shoes, automatically jumps to hate when things change.
My experience reveals both that people are highly resistant to change and that once change happens people eventually get use to it.