Facebook have launched another new redesign; the focus this time was on the calendar and events. Their previous events list design wasn’t very user friendly whereas the new calendar design allows you to easily see which days contain events from a birds eye perspective. This is visually far more logical and relates closely to their timeline design.
These updates are the result of a Facebook Hackathon project: ‘A few of us created a Facebook group called “Social Calendar Dreamers” to spark discussion around making Events more visual. At the next hackathon, engineers from the events, photos, messages and other teams hacked through the night to build a better way to view events. By 6am, we had a prototype that worked.’
Now the ‘List’ view combines the calendar, events and upcoming birthdays to provide a more clear overview so users can plan their time.
Events can also be viewed solely using the calendar view. Friend’s profile photos are displayed on the day of their birthday which is visually appealing. Events are just shown using the title of the event, much like on Google calendar. The position fixed events toolbar looks slightly odd as it stays in place as you scroll through your calendar. Minor details like this will be ironed out in time.
Export Events and Birthdays
I find this next feature to be the most useful. I don’t think I will start using my Facebook calendar more, but I do appreciate being able to export Facebook events and friends’ birthdays to my Google calendar, which I use every day. So, instead of seeing a friend’s birthday on the day itself, I can view them on my Google calendar, have warning of upcoming birthdays and prepare. Saying a quick Happy Birthday on Facebook has little meaning or sentiment, a text is more thoughtful, but a physical card still holds the most thought.
As Google+ launched their own events feature, perhaps this spurred Facebook on to improve their own, which they have. There is room for improvement but there is also great opportunity for expansion and opportunity to encourage Facebook events to be more widely used.