Facebook, the world reknown social network, has developed a couple of mobile websites. It has both Facebook Mobile and Facebook Touch. In this analysis we’ll focus on Facebook Touch, developed for mobile touch devices such as the iPhone.
Facebook Touch takes the mobile approach of websites and adds one more element. This element, known as touching, allows a user to press down on the device’s screen, then drag, slide or release without the need of a mouse.
The login, seen in the picture, has expanded the text fields and buttons to allow appropriate room for the use of fingers. I find this a delicate change from other mobile websites, which you’re often forced to zoom in and click, then zoom back out to view the resulting information. Additionally, the login page provides a rather unique feature: the ability to login using your phone number. Few sites have yet to add this feature, most rely on the typical e-mail approach. That said, Facebook often tends to be a trendsetter, and I’m guessing we’ll be seeing more of the phone logins in the future. And like the traditional Facebook site, their simple layout and use of few colors, allows for quick loading times between pages.
Once a user logs in to the Facebook Touch site, they’re presented with the Home screen. On the home page you can easily navigate between your News Feed, Events, or Places; however, it can become a little tricky when trying to search or click on notices. For some reason Facebook decided to include the search button as a tiny magnifying glass in the top right corner – when looking for the first time, this threw me off. Additionally, a typical user scrolls down their News Feed without even noticing the small icon for their updates. I think a more prominent positioning, or widening of the red notifications would help eliminate this issue and alert the user of their notifications quicker.
The non-mobile Facebook page does have its advantages. For one, the News Feed is quite short on the Touch site displaying as few as 8 updates at a time. On the full Facebook site, not only does it display almost double the posts, but when you scroll to the bottom, it automatically loads more. The Touch site doesn’t include this nifty feature, you’re forced to click a small icon that says “Older Posts.”
All-in-all, it’s quite a useful site for any touch device. I tried using the traditional Facebook site on my iPhone as well. I was quite frustrated after a few moments of zooming in and out to navigate through anything and resorted back to the Touch site. While most of the Touch icons are large enough, I felt a few of the important elements such as search and notification icons could have been stressed more. On a scale of 10, I’d give the site an 8.5, nicely done Facebook.