THE BIG PROBLEM
Facebook uses a plethora of dark UX techniques to keep users using their product without realizing that they've been doing little more than wasting time. This project began when I noticed myself and everyone around me spending countless unproductive hours on Facebook without actually connecting with people, and not even being aware about it.
Data privacy blunders
Facebook has been involved in some major data privacy blunders, taking a big hit to the brand's credibility. Corporate messaging and organizational action aside, how they design the interface around privacy control will be crucial in recovering the lost trust and brand credibility.
Fake news, scammers, and filter bubbles
Another phenomenon that Facebook has been at the core of is the spread of fake news, propaganda, malicious viral content, and the formation of steep filter bubbles formed around confirmation bias because of bad algorithms.
A list of sources with extracted insights for additional reading is available here.
PART OF THE PROCESS
Time to make actual friends
We have way too many "Facebook friends", but very few friends we actually get together with. We need to stop posting, commenting and scrolling, and have more real conversations. Time well spent is more important than more time spent. One way to achieve this is by peppering the feed with alerts when a friend is nearby or when an interesting event is happening nearby. They cannot be only at the top of the feed, but slipped in between posts as a user scrolls, in real-time.
The Newsfeed is never-ending. And with tricks like autoplay and an endless scrolling interface, users can easily lose track of time and get lost in the ocean of posts. A quick daily summary of what’s happening—the weather, trending posts, top posts by friends—above the Newsfeed could remedy this.
Sometimes, I just want to check the news, or see what my friends from college are up to. Other times, I want to catch up with work buddies, or just stumble upon something fresh. Newsfeed preferences and access to custom feeds should be one click away, not 3–4 steps deep inside Settings.
Deliberate, clear permissions
The current permissions screen is designed to be effortless, and biased towards affirmation. Users should have more clarity and control over third-party permissions, with choice of optional permissions, clear copy, and a deliberate flow which is not subconscious but biased toward deliberate action, not blind affirmation.
P.S. This is one of a series of fun concept projects I did when I was learning UX design. It might have some rough edges. More updates coming soon!