I find it amusing that Facebook despite its high valuation and increased interest from Microsoft is still amateurish at times. One of the areas I find is in usability - there are some basic issues that any modern (or even 10 year old site) would handle better than facebook but haven't been addressed as the site grows and scales.
Here are a few examples!
One of the areas that is really week in Facebook is group management. It seems that the whole assumption around being a group admin is that your group has about a dozen people.
For example, here is a simple but telling bug - try to remove a member in your group. About 2 months ago, this feature didn't seem to work at all. It now works, but there is no way to search for members! So in our case we have 1900+ members, and if we want to remove or block a member we have to scroll through 70 pages worth of names!
Sorting of Lists
Another example is the basic way that Facebook sorts lists. By default your friends list is sorted in alphabetical order by last name. If you do a search for Classmates, the sort order is the same - but this is not always what is needed. For example, I want to know recently updated Classmates because I've already scanned the list previously. There is no easy way to do this in Facebook.
Paging of Lists
Another basic usability issue - paging through lists doesn't actually page properly! If you click next, you'll see people who were on the previous page.
Inviting People to Groups
In groups, you can invite your friends to join. In previous "versions" of Facebook, it would only show friends in the invite list who you hadn't previously invited. Now it seems to show all your friends but if you click on the friend who has been previously been invited, it pops up a warning and doesn't allow the action. How is an improvement?
All of these are basic usability issues related to scale - what works for a friends list of 20-30 people doesn't scale as an interface if you have 2000 friends, group members, etc. But as Facebook tries to be a "platform" it needs to be able to address these concerns - these are pretty basic and most applications whether Web 2.0 or traditional client server have basic functions for sorting, searching and filtering lists!
- ► 2009 (24)