Have you ever wondered what are the things that your favorite social media platforms are cooking up to improve your experience in their site? Well, for starters, social media platforms like Facebook is investing heavily on user experience (UX) and user interface (UI).
User experience is part of the design that dictates how a service is used – what buttons do, what buttons are next to what, and what happens if you click something. It refers to the design principle that is meant to enhance consumer satisfaction by improving usability, ease of use, and pleasure provided in the interaction between the user and the product.
On the other hand, user interface refers to the overall cosmetic or look of the product. It usually deals with colors, the position of elements, fonts used, among others. While the purpose of two design disciplines is separate, they usually go hand-in-hand to improve overall customer satisfaction.
Services like Facebook depend heavily on their UX and UI designs as that is the only thing that connects the user to its product. That is why Facebook has always been experimenting with different UX/UI design in its platform to improve the experience of its billions of users in the app.
While some of these experiments are usually unreleased unless the company decides to give them a go, there are people online who uncover these secret experiments to give us a glimpse of what is in store for us in the future of Facebook and other social media platforms.
One of these people is Jane Manchun Wong, a Singapore-based tech researcher who reverse engineers different social media platforms and apps to uncover what secret features they are testing. She usually reports her discoveries on Twitter for people to weigh in and create an expectation on what could be the future of their favorite social media sites.
Last week, Wong posted a series of minor and major feature tests on Facebook. Most of her discoveries were about UX/UI, but there are some that are major updates and specified features for special cases. Here are some of the latest Facebook features that are on test right now:
FACEBOOK GROUPS FUNCTION UPDATE
According to Wong, Facebook is testing the “Manage Groups” feature where a user can adjust notifications, pins, following, and membership setting on groups. A user can now edit the notification preferences for the different groups that he is a member of and can “pin” their favorite groups on top of the list for quick access. You can then follow or unfollow a group to gain more control on which groups you see in your News Feed, and you can also leave a group that you are no longer interested in without opening the group. All of these features come in a new setting menu specifically made for managing the groups you are a member of.
Wong also added that Facebook might no longer require inviting someone in order to create a Group. In the current Facebook algorithm, in order to make a group, you have to request one of your friends to form a group with you. But that might be not necessary anymore as Facebook is testing a revision where you can create a Group by yourself and invite people to join the group after you have created it.
Facebook is also working on redesigning the Page Admin buttons in Pages.
FACEBOOK UI OVERHAUL
Interestingly, Facebook is also working to overhaul its entire user interface with a few updates that they are testing right now. Firstly, the social media platform is redesigning the app to include the logo on the top left corner in its home screen. This kind of design is similar to how the Instagram logo is strategically placed on the top left corner of the app.
The app might also see a move of the search function as a button now instead of an entire search bar and is testing new icons in bookmarks. In the words of Wong, “buttons now look like buttons.”
Another cool thing that Facebook is trying to copy from Instagram (well, they own Instagram anyway) is their redesign of its story tray. They are now working on a new Stories feed tray design that is almost similar to what we see on Instagram and Messenger.
While these new updates are just in their testing phase as of now, there is a chance that Facebook might roll out these cool features soon. Are you ready? /apr