For the last 24 hours, I’ve been seeing all kinds of excited chatter about the new design for Twitter on the web. It looks like this:
(Cute kid picture not included)
I was confused because my Twitter already looks like this. . . mostly. My profile is in the top left but it doesn’t show the full header picture. Big deal. Upon further investigation, I found out that I’ve been one of the privileged test cases. Who knew? And who cares. Sorry, but the only significant change here is the addition of the Compose new Tweet box on the left. (Or so I’m told. I swear it’s always been this way.)
You can still click the pen icon in the upper right corner to get the pop-up box, but you don’t have to. Now you can just stick your cursor in the left sidebar and start typing. This small change could lead to more posting and less lurking because it’s more like the update box everyone knows from Facebook. The only way they could make it more attractive would be to stick the Tweet box right in the middle of the screen, above your feed.
What’s also significant is the fact that this update brings the web tool more inline with the mobile tool. That’s something many companies are struggling with and it’s so important. People go back and forth between their mobile phones and tablets and desktops. The more seamless you can make the transition, the better. If you’ve trained folks to go left and up to post a Tweet on mobile, then left and up is where it should be on the web. The concept is simple, but the application isn’t always so.
Designers have their hands full trying to find a way to make a lot of information fit on a small screen. But we also don’t want to cut the PC info down to the point where it looks like a half-blank page. I saw people complaining that the new Twitter interface doesn’t stretch well on wide screens. I have a wide screen and it just sits in the center. There’s a ton of background showing on each side of the main section. The image above appears to be as wide as the browser toolbar. Mine’s not even close, but I’m okay with that. The information is centered and readable and that’s all I need.
If the new “refreshed” look is a little too blue for you, Twitter invites you to personalize:
— Twitter (@twitter) January 13, 2014
Anything Twitter can do to make the site more intuitive the better. If people can read and post easily, they visit more often and stay longer. That means you have a better chance of reaching them with one of your Tweets. Craft it carefully and make it count.