Twitter makes some changes

If you have been on Twitter in the last few days, you may have noticed a distinct change. The company has changed its look, with most people commenting (for better or worse) on the change in font. But what is the reasoning behind these changes?

Why the changes?

As well as a different font, Twitter has also included higher contrast colours in its design and an emphasis on removing visual clutter. The argument is that this change has been implemented with users in find- by overhauling the look of the pages, it theoretically makes it easier to scroll through the various tweets, photos and videos that people see going through their Twitter feeds.

Not to all tastes

In a tweet, the Twitter design team acknowledged that there may be some reaction at first to the changes “While it may feel weird at first, these updates make us more accessible, unique and focused on you and what you’re talking about.

”The reason this looks so distinct is that Twitter have created a unique font known as Chirp for their purposes, something that Twitter’s Derritt DeRouen described as “sharp and legible but with personality and distinctive”. Some users were less complimentary, describing it as ‘unfinished’ or commenting that it ‘looks like the letters are doing the wave’.

One issue people have noted is how the follow function has been reversed- previously it went from white to coloured to indicate following, which is now the opposite (coloured to white).

Getting used to it

People are often attached to the social media platforms they post on, so changes are often something that can provoke responses. In other respects, features that people do want that aren’t implemented can become running gags (such as there being no edit or dislike button on Twitter.)

What is clear is that at the heart of Twitter’s intention is that they want to make the user experience easier and that is something to commend them for. However, companies do need to be wary- the New Coke debacle occurred after the company responded to feedback on the taste of the drink, without realising how changing an icon would be perceived once the new version was released.

While this is not to the same extreme, it is important to be wary of how changes are implemented and to make sure that you listen to feedback and approach changes in the right way.

If handled properly, what is most likely to happen is that people who initially are not fond of the change will learn to adapt or move on to another platform and the cycle is likely to begin anew when the next changes (necessary or otherwise) have to be implemented.

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