Why did Facebook and Google forget their users?
October 21, 2008 7 Comments
Google last week brought out the new iGoogle UI and it is awful. To make matters worse, they did not tell anyone, one day you login, the UI is different and it has a terrible user experience, with no way to go back to the one you were quite happy with.
If you check Google’s discussion forum there is a ton of activity on how many users hate it. So why did Google make this mistake? Did they not usability test this with real users? Given how backward it is, what was the problem they were trying to solve? I am left to wonder.
Facebook was even arrogant where they asked the userbase to get 5 million signatures on their online petition before they would consider giving the users the ability to switch between the two versions. Facebook, you created the problem by releasing a less usable UI and you now want the users to do the work before you would listen?
Yes, it is very difficult to make UI changes that are pleasing to everyone – but I don’t think these companies will have a tough time justifying that the new changes are liked by a whole lot of people.
What do you think? Why do you think companies fall into this trap?