So… I’m not the first to point out usability issues with the new Facebook interface, but some of the issues I’ve seen strike at the core Facebook functionality – identifying and linking up with friends.
The first issue has to do with the fact that people’s “handles” change over time. No longer do we go by our birth names, hell or high water. I, myself, am hyphenated and have heard from a couple people that they didn’t immediately recognize my name. The issue is exacerbated by those of you that went through college using a nickname and then request Facebook friendship by your real name. It’s difficult to tell that “Pukey Joe” now goes by “J. Edward Wellington, III.” Facebook should allow for an AKA field, so that when friend requests come through the requestee can tell who it is requesting friendship.
The second issue is a plea to those making the requests: please be the only person in the photos on your profile when making a request. Some of us haven’t seen you in a while and when we see your name, we can’t tell if you’re the blonde, or the redhead, or the guy… If I have to guess which person in the picture is J. Edward Wellington, III and, after figuring that out, determine that it’s actually Pukey Joe making contact, that request will sit in my queue for a long time before I finally contact someone else and ask, “Who the hell is J. Edward Wellington, III?”
I love Facebook for its ability to put me in touch with folks I haven’t seen in a long time. I will love it more when I clearly understand which people from my past are reaching out.