Facebook Comment Entry Fail

Posted By Debbie on March 22, 2011

For years, when you posted a comment to Facebook, you then hit the button to submit that comment. Facebook started taking that away recently, first in private messages. They even had to add a “what the heck does that icon mean” checkbox asking if you want enter to submit the comment or if enter should be a carriage return. People aren’t used to a website asking them what they want the enter key to do. Not intuitive. Ugh.

It’s reached a new low with this:

The UI kiss of death: instructions. This is supposed to be a clue to the website owner that something isn’t intuitive, natural, obvious, or clear. Once you’re adding instructions all over the place, you’re doing something wrong. And in a case like this, this is just a shame. The idea that Facebook needed to tell people to hit enter to post their comment tells all of us that people didn’t know what to do when their button got taken away.

And why take it away? How did that improve the user’s experience? Does it improve the user’s experience if 500 million people needed a tooltip-style hint on what to do?

I am not sure why, but Facebook doesn’t seem to have learned that change for the sake of change is normally not worth it. This is not an upgrade. I now can’t write in paragraphs since hitting enter posts my comment. The new messaging system is not an upgrade from how it used to work. The new way of showing a photo on a model window with a black background is not an upgrade from how that interface used to look and work. Perhaps they think that they’ll never have competition. Someday they will, and people will choose the site with the better interface (and privacy policy).