Facebook Has A Bad User Interface

I don't understand a lot of things about Facebook (vs MySpace and other networking sites), but somehow it's popular (perhaps the most popular?) - In my attempt to understand why, I'm listing the things I don't like about it.

  • Exclusivity / Privacy
    • This has to be what people like - the fact that for a LONG time, FaceBook was only open to students, almost no profile details are browse-able unless you are already a friend, etc. This is
    • I hypothesize that people have a bonding experience to the app since it is so hard to learn. And once they learn the intricacies, it somehow seems natural. This hypothesis is supported by the following
    • When Facebook launched an improved user interface, >10 million people joined groups asking them to switch back to the old one.
    • I, as a casual user who does not like to memorize arcane UI's, has ALL kinds of problems using the site. I classify it as the most frustrating site on the internet - with #2 being so far behind that I have no idea what it might be
    • Objectively, the number of clicks needed (and pages visited) to accomplish simple tasks, is very high
  • Terrible implementation of common use cases
    • Viewing a message sent to you after login
      • This will not be on your login page (which has lots of updates about everything in your network, but instead you must click on your name in the upper right before you can reply to your message
    • Changing a profile picture
      • It's not possible to use a picture you have already uploaded as a profile picture. You must re-upload the picture into a special profile picture section.
        • # clicks to get to this section and upload a new picture: 7 (+ clicks needed to browse locally for picture)
        • 4 more clicks to set a comment on the photo
        • also requires the learned secret that the "profile pictures" category is the one you must upload to in order to use as a profile picture
        • the whole process is very unintuitive - I would not want to teach it to ANYONE (and I am a teacher - I'd rather teach a 10 year old kid to create his own video game - trust me, it's easier)
        • On myspace it takes 5 clicks to upload a new photo, but 4 of those are (browse, next, next, save), so as intuitive as possible. That also includes optionally adding a caption, and this is a unified process for all photos.
          • An additional 2 clicks are required to make the pic your default pic (once again, very intuitive), myspace should make a simple modification to the upload process which showed a check box for "make this my profile pic", saving those clicks. (I'm not saying they are perfect at all - just that they are a more normal app - facebook is mysteriously complicated for some reason - it has to be part of it's "charm", but I'm having trouble figuring it out
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