New Twitter Homepage Design
Posted 22 January 2014
If you’re a Twitter user then you might have noticed the recent homepage update that has been rolled out in the last few days.
Whilst the update is more evolution than revolution, there are a number of changes to the Twitter homepage design which you’ll now be able to access. The update ensures that the desktop version matches current mobile versions.
Change to Cover Image
The new Twitter homepage includes your profile picture and cover image in the left-hand column. This has improved both the aesthetic appeal of the page and made it feel more personable for users. Twitter are very keen to increase the number of monthly users accessing the platform and this is clearly targeting that outcome.
Perhaps the most striking change is the new, white Twitter toolbar which sits at the top of the page. This helps to give greater prominence to the functions it contains. The flat design is very clean and low-key and will also create a sense of continuity for Android and iOS users for whom this is a more familiar look.
It also helps to create a subtle change in the way that users interact with the Twitter homepage. Before, this toolbar was black and the news feed white, helping to draw your eye to the activity of people that you are following. Now, equal prominence is given to both. Again, this demonstrates Twitter’s ongoing commitment to increasing the number of users and increasing the engagement of each individual user.
More Colour Options
Another update is the introduction of more colour options to personalise your account. This is a feature that distinguishes Twitter from Facebook, for example, in that you have some control over your viewing preferences. It’s another small adjustment, but enough to keep users interested.
Why The New Twitter Homepage Design?
You might be wondering why Twitter have made these changes. After all, the functionality of the platform hasn’t changed. Even the toolbar has exactly the same layout. What direct benefit does the update bring?
We’d argue that there are three primary factors behind this update – and updates from successful internet start-ups, social media networks etc.
The first is that by constantly iterating and updating your design you create two positive impacts. The first is that you’re able to ensure that your website remains cutting-edge in its design and interface. The second is that you’re able to do this without unhelpfully distracting or negatively impacting your users.
The second is that mobile integration is a vital part of creating a successful website. In Twitter’s case, this means that the desktop homepage, mobile homepage and apps need to be consistent. This creates a seamless user experience and helps to communicate that all of these platforms are important.
Finally, Twitter understand that the internet doesn’t stand still. If you’re not adapting, updating and improving your website then you’ve misunderstood what your users are looking for. Whilst a full-scale website design might only be required every 2-4 years (less if you’re web-based like Twitter) the process of moving your website forwards is crucial.