Last evening, Twitter went into a frenzy after the social network rolled out a new user interface across the platform. Most noticeable were the changes in fonts and icons. The solid icons were now just linear 'Clip art' like figures with no 'fill'. Gauging by the initial reactions, Twitter users were not very happy.
Just saw the new Twitter design. I didn't move, speak, or change my facial expression in any way during the awkward silence that followed.— Dan Sandler (@dsandler) June 15, 2017
the new @Twitter design is what happens when you let companies have too many meetings. ban meetings and this never happens again— The Mountain Goats (@mountain_goats) June 15, 2017
However, over the years, Twitter has tweaked and changed its interface design regularly. And every time, there are protesting noises initially before acceptance sets in. Here is a look at 10 years of design changes on Twitter.
Retweet? Like? What's that? You can just post tweets.
Not much changed in the core tweeting experience but trending topics and suggested users were introduced to Twitter.
There was more cohesiveness in the interface now. Besides suggested users, lists were introduced to group people of your choice.
After gaining millions of users in 2009, the microblogging website actually delivered good looks on the design front. To increase business, Twitter launched 'promoted tweets' and 'promoted accounts'. It also allowed users to add location to their tweets.
A lot of subtle changes — there were buttons replacing links for 'following' and 'tweet'. Twitter also debuted photo sharing and link shortening services.
Profile page refresh was in the centre of the 'changelog'. The social network now allowed users to put a header picture to make their profile look more stylish. Also introduced were 'tailored trends' and 'suggested users' based on whom the user was following. And, there was a new Twitter logo as well.
On the home page, the link to profile was moved to the left. Trending topics and other sections were also left aligned. Some of these elements remain in today's interface.
Just when the smartphone race commenced at full throttle, Twitter decided to make a splash with a common theme across platforms. Notice that the black bar is now gone, replaced by a flat white top bar with the direct message button on the right. The notifications are still called 'Connect'.
Feels like home? This was the year when Twitter shifted to elements that are closest to the current design. The small profile picture on the side, all the buttons on the top with 'notification' replacing 'connect' and more.
Just a few days ago we were all using this interface. There were a few running changes through the year. The 'Moments' tab visible in the screenshot was not there for a while. The profile only had the direct DM button, instead of tweet and DM buttons.
This is the Twitter we will be using now. The new icons and fonts might not appeal to many but this is a much cleaner interface. Twitter will surely work on the small anomalies after the roll out.
The social network's design team too has gone through many changes, in terms of personnel. So individual preferences are probably reflected in the evolution of Twitter's interface design over the years. Twitter is known to tinker with its interface regularly, so don't be surprised if you see something new in a few months.