martygreene: (boring)
[personal profile] martygreene
LJ has a new profile page. Some people like it, some people are ambivalent, and some people hate it. Following many months of beta testing (in which I took part, and which was announced in a lj-news post and open to all users) the new profile recently went live.

During beta testing many suggestions which were made by users were taken into account and applied to the profile page.

Upon the release of the new profile page, immediately people starting screaming and wailing. LJ-design opened up a post for people to specify what they had issue with. The comments primarily consisted of non-constructive comments, many of which claiming that the majority of LJ users were against this as evidenced by the copious amount of comments. There were a few comments which specified issues and were quite constructive and I suspect useful to the designers.

I strongly suspect that a lot of the dislike of the new layout is the newness and change. People don't generally like change.

A common complaint I saw in the various comments against the profile was that the journal stats were "now public". Journal stats of most recent activity, post count, tags, etc. was always public and easily accessible- it's just now grouped with other journal stat and action links (which makes a lot more sense to me).

Another complaint was the use of the horizontal rules. While I can see these being somewhat aesthetically displeasing on profile pages with the minimum of content, on profiles consisting of a larger bio area, a large interests field, and a large friends field, in my opinion it really breaks the content up into a much easier to view section.

People also were complaining that their profile no longer allowed them to differentiate themselves from everyone else. I find this befuddling- isn't that what the bio area and the entirety of your journal for? Having common layout and appearance for bio pages makes sense from a navigational standpoint. Your journal is where you shine and pour in your personality.

I personally find the edit links quite handy, rather than hoop jumping link to link to link to edit a section of my profile.

While I can understand people being upset I feel like this kneejerk reaction of railing against LJ and threatening them with the great flounce off is a little overkill. If you are honestly that concerned about the design and layout aspects of common LJ pages why not take place in the beta testing? I was shocked how few people actually took part. LJ also simply needs some time to figure out the best way to approach this, if it should be approached at all.

As of today, 1,880,805 active accounts exist on LiveJournal. If every comment on the lj-design post about the profile update were a unique user it would calculate to approximately .25% of active users who had issues with the new design. If I go so far as to take the number of comments as of this morning, prior to a few comments of my own with these numbers, into the number of accounts which have updated in the past 24 hours (172763 accounts) I still only get 2.7%.

While every user is important, from a business standpoint this is well within reasonable operating perameters. Those who are jumping up and down claiming that the majority of users hate this as evidenced by comments simply don't understand the true size of LJ.

My mind is getting fuzzy again from my cold... more to come on this later...
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martygreene

November 2008

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