High school was hell for me. I was neither cool nor a total outcast; somewhat tossed between ever evolving groups. It was a daily dread, the impending doom of what group would decide to use me as their scapegoat. I was the perpetual friend, the mediocre student. Thank God we had a pool.
With Facebook one has the chance to reopen all those old wounds and secretly rejoice in the failings of those that threw stones at you when you went on that end of the year camping trip your sophomore year. Where suddenly those who never wanted to sit with you at lunch poke you, send you plants and even attempt to kidnap you. Facebook exists only to remind us that we're all desperate for friends and peer pressure still works, even at 36.
But I'm not here to commiserate about high school geekiness but rather to dissect the anti-MySpace social networking site. At first glance, with all the text and updates and friend images, Facebook feels as if its haphazard and overwhelming, which in one sense it can be. But when all the nuance of images, colors and text variance is removed, Facebook stands as a solid, fairly organized interface.
Its easy to pile up hatred for anything popular in the web world (for every MySpace there's a Facebook, for every Facebook there's a LinkedIn, for every LinkedIn there's a VIRBº), and become persuaded by what you hear. I'm no different. Facebook isn't as bad as I want it to be -- and believe me, I really want to dislike it. The grid (of the profile page, which you see here) is simple and straight-forward, columns, the middle as the largest with the most relevant and revolving information and the right sidebar entirely for (nearly) seamlessly incorporated ads.
Where the site begins to fall apart is in the header (notice a theme throughout these posts?). At the top most you have a your main navigation (in a different color which makes it stand out without taking over), below there the columns begin; first in left sidebar (containing your profile picture and other profile related information), the main column contains your most recent "status'. There needs to be more distinction made between the "tabs", which are more "pages" of your profile (and inexplicably breaking the established grid system) and the functional, action tabs (which are used to allow users to quickly add photos, videos, notes, etc). The functionality is actually more than expected (using complex AJAX elements for inline updating, etc), but the placement and differentiation of these actions elements could be vastly improved.
Overall, compared to its counterpart, Facebook is a far simpler and far more functional social media website (for the general, at large, user), and if I could find more things to complain about (in its form and function), I really would.
Facebook has recently updated their pages, going for a more compact layout, removing redundant buttons and tabs, creating a much more simple interface (seems as if they heard what I said? Yeah, probably not)