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Why the Twitter Redesign Is Foolish Don't Redesign Twitter When It's Working Just Fine

With its mostly pointless redesign, Twitter is hoisting a common internet mistake onto tens of millions of satisfied customers.

“You’re using an older version of Twitter that won’t be around for much longer,” says a new banner note shaming anyone who dares to tweet via the standard but soon-to-be-phased-out Twitter interface. The 15th most popular website in the world will apparently be updating its design soon, forcing all of its 145 million users to adopt a new way of microblogging from the people who invented microblogging. GOOD has just one question: Why?

Far be it from us, staunch proponents of better design, to pooh pooh web progress, but in the case of the new Twitter, we’ve got to scratch our heads and wonder what the benefit of an update is. To begin with, consider the new “features”:

You will now find @mentions, retweets, searches, and lists just above your timeline – creating a single, streamlined view on the left of the screen. On the right, you can see the features you’re familiar with, including whom you recently followed and who recently followed you, favorites, and Trending Topics.


In other words, the normal Twitter functions will remain—they’ll just be moved slightly to the left.

Other renovations are similarly drab. On the new Twitter, user profiles can be viewed without navigating from the homepage, as can TwitPic images and YouTube videos. Never mind that these are things anyone adept at opening new browser tabs could do quite simply on the old Twitter, for whatever reason, we’re to consider this innovation.

Ultimately, it seems as if Twitter has fallen into the trap of changing for the sake of change, a common but foolish mistake on the internet and in design in general. For whatever reason, many websites seem to believe that if they’re not revamping something at least once every two years, they’re destined for the dustbin. As long as the site is working well, however, nothing could be further from the truth.

Sometimes you get it right the first time, thus the spoon, socks, and, most pertinently for our discussion, Craigslist. Indeed, the 60th most popular website in the world is headed into its 16th year of barebones aesthetics, and this despite entire articles of graphic designer whining for a change.

On top of all that, increasingly popular third-party programs like TweetDeck are already offering users different ways of experiencing Twitter not reliant on Twitter’s meddling.

To Twitter, a piece of ancient but solid advice in just 18 characters: If it ain’t broke…

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