Facebook Home and the trap of perfect data

May 14th, 2013 § 0 comments

Marco Arment on the disconnect between the photos in the Facebook Home demos and reality1.

Facebook Home was flat-out badly designed: it’s designed for optimal input and failed to consider real-world usage.

Chat Heads

The two fundamentally flawed assumptions that Facebook made in designing their app was that a) people have recognizable profile pictures and b) people post great pictures that I want to see on my lock screen. If I was using Facebook Home to chat with friends half of their icons be of babies and the other half would be pink equal signs2. Great for representing solidarity with gay marriage, terrible for representing whom I’m chatting with. Also, their pictures suck.

Which brings us to this fantastic advice from Lukas Mathis.

Don’t use placeholder data when designing. Get as much real-life data generated by real human beings as possible and design for that. If you don’t, you’re in for a surprise.

  1. Mediocre pictures on the lock screen, chat heads that rarely work and esoteric settings. []
  2. Caution: hyperbole []

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