Oprah wasn’t always on Twitter…
A few years back, South By Southwest Interactive Festival attendees began using a little web app called Twitter.com which began simply as an aggregator of everyone’s away messages so people wouldn’t have to visit various sites to quickly review what their friends and contacts were doing. At sxsw it was used to mobilize folks and thousands of people trying to figure out where the hot happy hour was, so much that the old fail whale resulted.
Now, Twitter is a household name- Oprah and my dad tweet, which is a far cry from us sxsw geeks back in the day. For those of you new to Twitter, you may not realize that once upon a time, there wasn’t a standard culture and best practice for Twitter and as early adopters, we helped mold the culture. Recently, Twitter has made a variety of changes to their terms of service and now to the design of their site and those of us who are immersed in the culture are watching closely- some object, some support and honestly, some don’t care, but change has not gone unnoticed.
What interests me most because I have an affinity for web design (although I don’t design anything, I’m more of a fangirl) is the tiny changes Twitter is rolling out that aren’t mentioned on their press releases. So I ask those of you who have been around since BackInTheDay, is change good or bad? Does it matter? Let’s peep some of the changes and then I want you to opine…
Innovate or cling to the old for nostalgia?
First up, the default avatar has been changed from the standard brown with blue eyes wonky person face to a variety of colors with a bird-ish figure… does this change your wardrobe? Am I the only one with a now-vintage twitter avatar t-shirt?
Besides that, is Twitter getting further away from their logo of the standard bird? Have you noticed there are like three versions of the Twitter bird now generated by Twitter themselves? Does YOUR company have multiple logos?
Secondly, look below… Twitter has changed the font to a helvetica, check out the numbers on this picture… Does it matter? Is it cleaner? Is it an indication of a newer UI on the way? Is this like mom trying to chop up carrots and sneak them into the meatloaf so we eat healthy crap?
Lastly, the overall community has designed a variety of “follow me” buttons and although I lean toward the polished icon and the Practika logo set, does it distort the “follow me” message your site is sending when a user doesn’t recognize the logo or are you showing you are creative and innovative? Which of the below do you lean toward?
What are YOUR thoughts? Are these hidden carrots or are they tiny changes that show Twitter is still a diamond in the rough and the polish is on the way?