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Facebook interface: Good, but not good enough

Image: Facebook logoNote: This article is outdated, it was written before the big Facebook overhaul. Still, some points remain valid today...

Much as I enjoy the many novel features Facebook enjoys over other social networking sites, I don't appreciate its interface at all. Despite it having a user interface quite a bit better than its rivals, it still isn't good enough. Here are two of my biggest gripes…

Notifications shouldn’t be this painful

My biggest complaint is actually related to the way it handles email notifications by default. It will typically send you every notification it possibly could, immediately after it happens. This is what my gmail inbox looked like after 24 hours of joining: (click to zoom in)

At least, there is an easy way to at least reduce the amount of emails Facebook sends you. Click on the “Account” link on the top-right, and then go to the “Notifications” tab. Alternatively, here’s a direct link if you’re already signed in. You’ll find a list of options that enable you to easily reduce the level of clog in your inbox. Think about removing notifications for new friend additions.

Adding friends & the login barrier - why so many hoops?

When adding new friends, for example from the “People you may know” section, it’s reasonable to assume that before adding someone, you’d want to make sure it’s the right person. You’d want to look at their photos, etc. Sadly you need to be their friend to do these things.

I can understand why Facebook would want to stop users from visiting non-friend profiles; stopping spam, etc. However couldn’t they have implemented a privilege system, where only friends could view and comment on walls and see private contact info, but photos and a bio was accessible to everyone? (turns out they have - it's optional) I was extremely frustrated when a friend sent me a link to view their photos, but I was confronted with a login barrier. Since I didn’t have an account, I couldn’t do anything but turn back.

Room for improvement, but still pretty good

The heading pretty much sums up my experiences so far with Facebook. Did I mention how much I love the apps feature?

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