Twitter tweaks its UI and destroys its UX

Ben Moss.
November 03, 2015
Twitter tweaks its UI and destroys its UX.
Last month, when Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey moved into his new office and set about broadening the platform’s appeal, little can he have anticipated the twitterstorm he would unleash with one tiny tweak. In updates that are rolling out across the company’s apps, Twitter has replaced its ‘star’ icon with a ‘heart’; additionally the feature will now be known as ‘likes’ instead of ‘favourites’. The change appeared to make perfect sense: a ‘star’ indicates a value judgement; a ‘heart’ indicates liking, or loving.
You might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favorite…the heart, in contrast, is a universal symbol that resonates across languages, cultures, and time zones. The heart is more expressive, enabling you to convey a range of emotions and easily connect with people. And in our tests, we found that people loved it. — Akarshan Kumar, Twitter

The problem for Twitter is that that’s not how Twitter users have been using the feature. The ‘star’ may indicate a like, but more often it’s used to bookmark a tweet — if you like it, you retweet it. Twitter has always developed based on usage — the hashtag was a user invention that the social network adopted. But now it appears that declining growth has persuaded the platform to actually think strategically, and they prefer to court new users than appease existing ones. Whilst some power users were unfazed:

Many more were predictably melodramatic: Fortunately, for those who simply can’t live with the change, Wired have provided a helpful guide on reverting to the star icon. Featured image, Anthony Correia / Shutterstock.com

Ben Moss

Ben Moss has designed and coded work for award-winning startups, and global names including IBM, UBS, and the FBI. When he’s not in front of a screen he’s probably out trail-running.

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