Facebook Explains Mobile-Focused Design

By Justin Lafferty 

As more users check their Facebook activity on their phones or tablets, the company’s design team has had to follow suit. When Facebook announced the redesigned News Feed, Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the design was largely motivated by mobile. The Facebook Design team took users behind the curtain to share exactly what that means, and how the company is becoming more mobile-minded.

Michael Reckhow, a Facebook product manager, said the biggest challenge for the design team has been trying to translate the site’s big-picture desktop experience into a smaller screen. The News Feed designers also had to tweak plans for the iPad, giving it a unique experience. Reckhow said that on the iPad, stories are shown with more lines of text than on phones, and photos are in a 4:3 aspect ratio.

Reckhow described how Facebook tried to make sure that the new mobile News Feed (for both phones and tablets) made each type of story a little more prominent and interactive:

We’ve also paid close attention to designing for the wide variety of stories that we show in News Feed. Along with status updates, stories can range from an update about the event a friend is hosting to a post from the group a neighbor recently joined. Each story deserves to be presented in a way that best showcases the content and allows you to interact and connect with the people involved. This means that we spend time thinking about how to make it easy for you to read and comment on the article that your friend has shared, or to quickly RSVP to the party happening this weekend — all without leaving your News Feed.

Readers: How do you feel about the aesthetic changes that Facebook has made to the mobile News Feed?