I have about 20 minutes to give my initial impressions on the new Digg profile redesign but have arrived at my conclusion: it sucks.
A few things come to mind based on everything I’ve used Digg for in the past:
- Digg took a step backwards in social news and took a step forward on social superfluity. Digg is now letting you send shout outs to your friends but doesn’t emphasize the initial foundation upon which the site was created: Digg is a social news site. I already turned off shouts; I use Digg for news. Not for Facebook-Myspace-Yahoo! Mash-like social networks. Merging the two when there’s already too much of it in the open is totally unnecessary.
- Where did the descriptions go? Now, I can’t see descriptions of the stories I’ve submitted nor can I see descriptions of stories that my friends have submitted. Since most of us use descriptions from the article text itself, it’s rather pointless to remove story descriptions because now I cannot easily discern if I’ve read the story or not before.
- Digg just killed usability. Now, when I go to my friends’ submitted page, I can’t Digg their stories. I have to click on the link, a link that takes me to the original Digg submission page (which includes the description that is so prominently missing in concern #2) and then I have to click on the story to read the content. What happened to making Digg usable? Why should I have to add unnecessary clicks to improve my Digg experience? And if you tell me it’s because you’re forcing me to read comments, what if the submission has no comments yet? I’m not befriending users “just because” — I befriend users based on similar interests. And now it’s difficult to agree with my friends’ submissions which totally kills the experience.
Overall, I think this is a step backwards to making Digg what it was before: a social news site. It has become a place like Facebook where sharing stories has become secondary. We don’t need another Facebook. Digg was once unique, but not anymore.