Details Matter – Facebook vs. Google Plus

This week, we had a lot of spirited discussion about the initial experience people will have using our as-yet-only-internally-named project and one of my mantras for the week was “we are absolutely going to have to get the details right”.  There’s a difficult line to walk with “don’t worry about the stuff that doesn’t matter” or “don’t sweat the small stuff” and “getting the details right”.  And I don’t know what that is.

So I’ve been keeping an eye out for examples – and one of the examples this week was Facebook vs. Google+.  I shared my previous post in both services – and here’s how each service parsed the shared link.

Here’s Facebook:

Here’s Google+

Is this small stuff? I don’t know, I don’t think so. In the context of both services, you know what you are getting in terms of design.  And both are functional.

But detail-wise I think that Facebook gets this right.  It doesn’t repeat the title, it doesn’t add what is likely an extraneous (particularly if you click through) post date, author string, or comments indicator coming out of the wordpress post html.  It appears that Facebook understands a little bit more about wordpress’s html – and just that little bit extra makes Facebook’s implementation more approachable and less confusing with the initial impression.

This is the best example this week of where my thinking has been with “details matter”.

This pretty much sums it up

I’m a pretty open dude. My job responsibilities also lead me to leaving a tremendous number of “electronic footprints” out there – mainly so I can help and understand and empower others to navigate that online aspect of their lives.

Twitter giving my tweets to the Library of Congress? That’s okay, I wish they’d ask, but if my inanity will befuddle a future anthropologist – well that’s a little cool.

But some settings are a bit creepy. And Facebook is the creepiest of all. Not that you’ve ever been able to trust Facebook with your privacy – but it’s now gotten a whole lot worse – they will be using your friends to share everything with advertisers that you have chosen to keep private.

These were the defaults presented to me seeing this for the first time. After I’ve gone and pretty much restricted everything to just friends.

Even worse, if your friends use “instant personalization” ? You’ll have to explicitly block the applications they allow – at least according to Facebook themselves:

If you’ve never signed up with Facebook, don’t do it now.