What do Facebook, del.icio.us, and last.fm, all have in common this month?

Yes, that’s right; they are all suffering from functionality issues due to design flaws introduced in their last look and feel upgrades.

Looks like this is the month for it, because in rapid succession we’ve seen changes at all three of these web2.0 stalwarts.

So how have these changes effected functionality, and what’s the real problem at hand ?

  1. Facebook
    If your a Facebook user then you will have noticed the option to use ‘new’ facebook, which, although keeps the quite fixed layout (and color theme), moves applications onto a seperate ‘page’ (or tab rather, although it behaves as a page).
    The major problem with this is settings between the new and old Facebook layouts don’t appear to be compatible, which points to access control being about the UI and not about the data itself.
  2. del.icio.us
    So del.icio.us have introduced a ‘richer’ look and feel, but appear to have lost some of their elegant simplicity. A shame, because for a service like del.icio.us I’d rather have function over form.
  3. last.fm
    Similar to the issue with del.icio.us, but in this case their is a huge user community hankering for backwards compatibility with the old look and feel, who want a similar ability to the recent Facebook refresh in being able to ‘swap’ between the two UI designs.
    Perhaps this isn’t such a good idea, because like the current Facebook issues, who’s to know what settings and access controls are locked into the UI and not the user data.

Along with the recent problems at Twitter around “outbound SMS messages” it’s turning out to be quite the month…