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Overhauling Twitter Profiles


Alumnus David Bellona (Class of 2012) has been busy leading the redesign of Twitter’s layout. Over the next few weeks users will be moved to the latest profiles. The new look emphasizes a user’s interest in diving deeper on a Twitter subject, an activity that contrasts the typical everyday consumption of Twitter’s up-to-the-second timeline feed. Over email, Dave expressed to the department how much the program prepared him for “tackling a project of this size, could not have done it without the skill set I gained from SVA.”Wired reviewed the design thinking behind the new look.   

What to expect: 

Visually, the biggest change is the introduction of a full-width header image, a la Facebook’s cover photo. Gone are quirkily charming tiled backgrounds of the old profile page.Tweets appear a bit differently too. Users can opt to put a “pinned tweet” at the top of their column, plucking one from the chronological stack as a sort of 140-character slogan. In the list of tweets itself, popular tweets will appear in slightly larger text, making them easier to find in a quick scan. Why the fresh look: “We asked, ‘how can we make this more like a magazine cover–almost like a summary of its contents,’” Bellona says. If Twitter hitherto has been about aggregating a digest from all sorts of sources, the new profile offers a polished entry point for those who just want to catch up with a single subject.Other small touches emphasize the profile’s new status as a useful place to park yourself. The new design pings Twitter’s servers for updates every 30 seconds and automatically threads new Tweets into the stream, instead of forcing users to click a notification to reveal new tweets. The team conceived of it as a sort of “ticker tape” effect, especially useful in the case of someone live-tweeting an event.Twitter will undoubtedly continue trying to push their newsfeed into more mainstream territory. The new profile design, though, is a slightly different play. It does make Twitter easier for newcomers to understand, offering a shinier, more product-like public face to people who arrive directly at a user page.But it also positions the Twitter profile as a destination unto itself, apart from the newsfeed entirely. It’s a concession to an entirely different use case than the one Twitter was built upon. “For some people, it’s all about that real-time newsfeed,” Bellona says. “For some, it’s just like, ‘I want to see what a celebrity is up to.’ Both should be really great. And that’s where we took a big step forward.”

This is just an excerpt, read the full article at Wired.

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