The best and worst of Twitter’s desktop redesign

Change isn’t always easy or appreciated, especially when it comes to the layout of your favourite social network. You’ve got things how you like it, you know where everything is and then they go and move everything around! It can be frustrating, especially for those that work in the social media world who have to keep on top of every little update and change. 

I’ve had the new Twitter desktop layout for a day or so now and I definitely have some thoughts on the redesign:

What’s good about it. 
For starters, it really brings the mobile experience and the desktop experience together, there’s a lot of similarities which helps users navigate both easily. There are also features from the mobile version such as explore and bookmarks which didn’t get featured on the desktop version before.  The ability to see latest tweets first has also returned which is about time!

The new settings which allow people to personalise the site more is also welcomed, I can change the colour, text size and screen lightness quickly and easily which I couldn’t do before. 

The other change I like is the promotion of lists in the left hand navigation which could only be found in profiles and inside the menu before. So many people I’ve spoken to about Twitter had no idea what lists were or how to use them. Lists are such a great tool to sort through all the content in our feeds in a more digestible way so It’s good to see it more visible.

Overall it’s a clean, organised layout which makes the information easy to digest and by the sounds of it, will allow Twitter to build better functionality in the future:

What’s not so good about it.
There are a few things that the old version of Twitter did well which are now missing from the site. Curated Moments for example, get featured in the explore tab but user made Moments have been lost from profiles. You can still access your own Moments by clicking the more option in the navigation but you can’t see Moments created by other Tweeters. You’ve also lost the ability to add tweets to the Moments straight from your feed which makes them more complicated to create create. Hopefully this feature will return soon. If not, it suggests Twitter moments may have had their moment. 

It’s also a shame that the new three column layout has forced the size of the profile page to decrease. The header image used to be the width of the page and is now a third of the size. The header was a really useful space for companies and organisations to communicate more about themselves in a visual way and is now too small for any real impact. With each redesign we’ve lost features which allowed greater control of how our profile pages looked, including background designs, link colours and more, to what we have now which heavily reduces the ability to clearly differentiate ourselves and our brands.

There are also some changes to the user experience which don’t feel as intuitive. The way retweeting/retweeting with comment has changed from a pop out window to an option menu. Clicking on tweets opens them up in the same window and returning to the main feed is a small back button in the top corner (I’ve clicked the browser back button a few times by accident already, losing my place in the feed). The design of the pop out window for clicking on images is also a bit off, especially for portrait images. All these add some frustration to my experience of the site. 

The new design is here to stay and it’s not the worst thing in the world, however, it still feels like there are a few bits here and there that don’t work properly or feel intuitive enough yet. These things should have been ironed out already. Hopefully, it can be improved sooner rather than later. The worst thing for me has to be the new three column layout. Even though the feed is the same width as it always was, it somehow feels a lot smaller.

What do you think about the new Twitter design? Let me know what you do and don’t like about it in the comments below. 

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