Building The Failed Facebook Home again in 2021

My approach towards building facebook home in 2021
Image Source
  1. What was the major problem with Facebook Home?
  2. Agitation
  3. Outrage | Media Attention
  4. Solution in 2021
  5. Risk Assessment

What was the major problem of Facebook Home?

The home shows facebook’s social updates, contacts, messaging services, most importantly, Facebook ads directly on an Android user’s home and lock screens. The home was supposed to make Facebook more easily accessible even without opening the app. Isn't it awesome to be able to see every single update from your friends without doing anything?

Entering into a saturated market

I would never like to travel on a train that has no space or that's too crowded until it delivers some extraordinary results. The same goes with products, there were already many launchers on the play store that was good enough. So this was not something of a major pain point for a user.

Agitation:

The Facebook home was an awesome feature for those who used it often, but it became a really tough time for those who wanted to use other apps. People found it really difficult to find another app, which created a disconnect between the vision vs the use case.

agitation due to facebook home

A world outside Facebook

Facebook is an awesome tool. It's of many use. But when the home came, they tried to capture the market they didn't aim to. It was too much Facebook for people who didn't use it much. The problem started arising because it became too “much sugar in a coffee”. This goes well with the saying “Excess of everything is harmful”. With the new home, all users saw was facebook and apps around it. It was too much for users to digest.

Proposing a solution for Facebook Home in 2021

We talked about a lot of problems and agitation. Now let's discuss the solution. If I had to launch Facebook home again in 2021 this would be my approach.

  1. The user opens his/her mobile phone and sees the homepage
  2. The user finds the app using slides or searches from the home screen
  3. Select the apps, starts using it
  4. After using it for a few mins, the user might switch to some other app.
  5. He/she might come back to the home screen to search for another app, and the loop continues.
  1. Use data to prioritize different apps on the home screen, this would thereby reduce the number of clicks to reach the desired app
  2. Allow users to star/pin different apps on the home screen
  3. Provide a Top search bar to search and thereby sort considering the analysis done at step 1
  4. Sort the Apps screen with the most used apps at the top
  5. Show other apps like Instagram and WhatsApp
score card for different metrices
  1. Data Analysis to Prioritize app: Facebook has a ton of data. They can use it efficiently to find the behavior of the users and build an AI around it to predict the right time considering the time, demographics, and semantics of the user. If this works well, it would be a complete game-changer like the autocomplete google keyboard. Let's say I am standing near a street trying to find a cab. Being able to do the right analysis and showing recommendations for cab apps would be really cool! But this comes with a risk factor, which would include a lot of time to build and test. So that is the reason for the high risk and effort score.
  2. Allow Pin/Star Apps: Pinning apps on android is a default feature in android. So I assume it won't require effort like the previous one. So give it a medium to a low score of -2.
  3. Providing a search bar: Being able to index the app's information and finding out the right app using a search functionality would be easy. As it requires soft matching of text. That is the only reason for low scores for this feature.
  4. Sort the App on Recent Used app: Being able to see the most recently used apps would save time for users. Gave it a comparatively high score for efforts as this might need comparably more effort that.
proposed solution and UI

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Abhishek Patnaik

Abhishek Patnaik

I build product with passion. Follow me for product related blogs.