I logged into Facebook this morning to check out the new UI. As someone who used to complain about the amount of sprawl and clutter on the home page (the page you see when you log in), I had finally adjusted to the density of information on the page and was starting to appreciate the way they managed to cram so much info on the page without feeling overwhelming. Now with the new interface, the page feels too sparse.
As a user, I am tempted to infer intent from this page redesign. The thing I liked most about the old design was that it was a great way for me to keep track of people who I already know — the news feed was front and center and the right and left sidebars had most of the information that was relevant for my friend universe. However, there wasn’t a whole happening on that front page that would encourage me to browse around and discover new people.
The point of the redesign (from my point of view, at least) seems to change my relationship with the home page. It’s no longer a dense dashboard, it’s a jumping off point. With each of my networks having its own page and separate identity, I have a new way to discover new people and things going on around me. I can see how this redesign could/might promote users to grow their Facebook networks beyond their basic “comfort zones” (friends from school, people you know socially) by presenting more lenses through which to discover new people.