An Open Letter to Facebook/Android
Here's my monthly "Hey, Facebook for Android and Facebook Messenger for Android teams! Here's the stupid UI breakage you need to fix" posting. This is a copy of a tagged posting I actually posted on Facebook.
1) The new Messenger, which is trying its best to look like the new built-in Messenger, *is not usable on a phone-sized screen*. It's just barely usable on my tablet, but since it has no extra functionality, there's no sense in it being a separate app, and I didn't install it there.
2) The only real reason *to* install it is if you're trying to hold chats *and* use the actual Facebook app at the same time, in the first place.
3) The new Messenger UI makes it somewhere between difficult and impossible to get a list of who's logged on just now -- which is the major use case for Messenger in the first place: "I'm bored."
4) I am *just barely* convinced that merging Chat and Messages was a good idea in the first place.
1) Links from system notifiers should not go just to the target intent, they should go to the main app, with a pointer to launch the intent. This avoids user mental modeling breakage when there's a loose intent floating in the Running Apps stack that they can't Back out of properly without relaunching the main app. Yes, I know that this takes more memory.
2) When I pop up the notifiers list, and click on something, Back should take me back to the main page *with the notifiers list still extended*. You broke this 4 or 5 releases ago, and you still haven't fixed it.
3) If someone posts a FB video, and I click Comment or Comments -- I should go to a page with the embedded video stillframe *and the comments*. Instead I launch the player. So there's no way to comment on, or see comments on, a natively-posted video.
4) The native Photo Viewer has gotten both better and faster, but *still can't count*; comment and like counters now both still cap at 98, regardless the actual counts. The icons on the left are also too small for phone displays. Spread them out, and put the counts in between, biased slightly towards the Comment and Like icons.
5) In both the web and Android Apps, the semantics of "accept and decline" for friend requests may be the same everywhere, but it's impossible to tell that, because each team uses its own syntax. Comin' to Jesus time on that topic, people. I should be able obviously to decline the invitation of someone I don't know well without feeling like I'm going to adversely affect their account status.
6) On tablets, the Android app does not display the Timeline header and photos, for onesself or others; there is no way to set a cover photo on a tablet.
7) FONT SIZE, FONT SIZE, FONT SIZE. We know you guys are all in your 20s, but guess the fuck what? We aren't. On a phone, it's a little too small. On a tablet, it's Way Too Fucking Small.
8) Where Is The Share Link??
Facebook is purportedly all about sharing. And yet, the Facebook Android app has *never* had a share link on *any object*. With photos, I can get around it using the Android Intent Sharing facility, though this does break the original poster's crumbtrail and counts. For anything else, I'm screwed.
8a) Please make all blocks of text, postings, captions, comments, etc, long-press Copy-able. You've finally at least allowed copy and paste in text entry fields. That's half the battle; please stop fighting the other half.
Even the mobileweb app gets most of this stuff right; if you can't beat its feature set, much less its implementations, then you should just pack up and go home.
Oh yeah: If you don't stop making "Change the permissions on this posting" also switch "change my default postings for all posts on all devices", I'm flyin to the Coast...
Friday, November 16, 2012 @ 12:19 p.m. - Comment