Facebook Timeline: +’s and -‘s of the biggest redesign ever

Today, Facebook launches the biggest layout redesign in its history – Timeline – and it is now available for all users to preview their profiles before they will all be published on Dec 22. By simply going to Introducing Timeline page, you will see a mock-up of your own timeline.

You are able to edit or hide information shown on your timeline and have kind of a feel how the page would turn out to be. Yet, before you go on monkeying with your profile, here are some important highlights of the redesign that you should be aware of:

Here is a preview of my personal profile (click to enlarge). As you will first notice, it now has a giant cover image that serves as the masthead of your profile (read more about masthead below). If you have blocked ads, you will find the page a little messed up with error-like blank space.

Now, first, you should know that you have exactly seven days from today to play around your page before it goes live. Second, the cover image can be uploaded from your drive or selected from existing albums/photos on your profile. We foresee that the masthead feature is going to be a blast for brands and organizations that can’t wait to personalize their page with tailor-made headers. The timeline archive on the right will move upward and downward according to your scroll.

The most annoying thing I find with this new layout is the moving navigation that keeps staying on the top of your screen. The poorly colored bar makes the eyes tired to differentiate the navigator from the background. Nonetheless, Facebook now showcase the number of friends you made and display their profile pictures as tabs on your timeline. Later on you will find another new feature to the “friends” function.

Photos and albums are now well arranged but difficult to distinguish on the timeline. Since all images have similar sizes on the timeline, one will need to read for the title in order to find the albums or photos.

Yet, if you have uploaded single/wall photos to your wall, Timeline will not resize your images and leave them disgustingly cropped. Be aware of this when you are uploaded group photos (you don’t want anyone to be cropped out).

Video sizes are great. Yet, the annoying scrolling bar still exist.

And because it is a timeline, the layout makes it authentic that you can see when you joined Facebook, when you added a job, when you got married, and so on. It also keeps track of the number of friends you added every month. Here’s an interesting shot of my friend convincing me to join Facebook back in 2008 (in orange box).

And of course, you get to showcase your baby pictures here (no screening necessary for nudity).

Here you go, the new Facebook layout, at least for the next couple months – before they would come up with something newer. Since you have seven days “grace period” you should really take time to look into your profile and screen out things that you don’t want to show. You don’t really have a choice of whether you want to use the timeline feature, so, present your best.

Timeline makes it easy to trace one’s entire life and happenings, but at the same time make it more of a hassle for current users to tidy up their profiles.

Read more about the new Timeline:
USAToday: Facebook Timeline’s here: Users have 7 days to edit profiles
Mercury News: Facebook ‘Timeline’ arrives today
Daily Mail (UK): “Creepy but beautiful”: Mixed reactions to Facebook’s latest changes

So, what do you think about the redesign?


About Jason Tham

Jason Tham is a PhD student at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. His research interests are digital pedagogy, connectivism and connected learning, computers and writing, and visual rhetoric.
This entry was posted in Design, Media, Social Media and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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