Twitter Redesign Critique

This week Twitter launched a major redesign among all their primary platforms. Updates to Twitter’s design included the website, iOS app, and Android app. This article/screencast is my own personal Twitter redesign critique. I hope you enjoy!

Initial Impressions

While I cover my main thoughts on the video I will be one to say I appreciate the new Twitter redesign. I think a lot of people were hoping for an edit feature but I don’t think Twitter is ready to offer that much control. Why is this? I’m not really certain.

Despite my positive response, I saw a number of tweets from the community that thought the update was poor. There are some things I’m not immediately drawn to as well but I would classify the redesign with the key term of fresh.

Typography

A mockup of Twitter's new typography showing type over a full screen image of fire on an a held held device

I really enjoy the new typography. It seems as though Twitter is following the trend of bolder type on cleaner backgrounds. Apple and YouTube have released similar updates in the past which is what I immediately thought of upon the first review. Font sizes have increased a great deal on headings to stand out more. While I like the typography itself I will also add that the vertical rhythm is a little varied. I would likely tweak line-height and font sizes a bit to make things feel a little more balanced.

UI Patterns

A big improvement in my mind was the reply icon itself. I’ve always viewed the previous icon as a back button before learning the UI.

Replying to a tweet now uses a comment icon which is more clear to me. The icon suite itself is now outlined. Only icons that are in an active state will appear “filled” which is very clear. I think this is a great improvement.

Rounded Stuff

Much of the redesign involves attention to corners of any type of bounding box. Huge rounded corners are now found when composing new tweets, replying to messages, and editing your profile thumbnail (which is now completely circular).

It’s a big switch for some but I think the idea translates well across all the UI patterns seen on both the site and on the mobile applications. Messages are now very rounded which almost feels like an instant messaging type of client.

Tweets that stood out

My Biggest Takeaways

  • I feel the new Twitter redesign is very fresh
  • Typography is bigger and bolder but a little inconsistent.
  • Older rigid corners are now very round.
  • I’m personally not a fan of the large number of use cases modal dialog boxes which make an appearance on Twitter’s website.
  • The mobile applications feel more polished than the web presence overall.
  • Twitter may be pushing for more users to utilize the app for messaging and interacting with the updates to UI. “Chat bubbles” are now what you commonly see throughout. This could potentially give a user the feeling of being inside some sort of real-time messaging platform.