Everybody seems to be singing praises about the new FriendFeed design that was switched from beta to "all users" without any warning.
I don't like the new design - they got it wrong. And heres why:
No Feed Icons
I can understand why they did remove the icons that tell you where an item of content originated, but I think its a silly decision. Firstly, whats wrong with giving credit to the app that is actually facilitating the creation of this content. But more importantly, from a usability perspective, these icons allow you to skip over content more easily. For example, I used to ignore Tweets from people as I used Twitter to read these. Now I cant.
Room "Last Updated" Times
This is really silly. Telling me from the frontpage if a room that I subscribe to has been updated is really useful. It saves me a click. Now I have to click on each room to see if they have been updated. This is a huge, huge UI flaw. Sure, if I follow thousands of people and rooms, this wouldn't matter, but I don't. Either does the average user.
Subscribers Are Hidden Away
You have to click on your name and then click on "subscribers" to see who subscribes to you. This is an illogical placement.
From both a graphic designers and usability sense - this is a horrible design! It looks like it was done in 1999. We have learnt so much about colours and white space since then, all of which has been ignored. You can't just design a service for Robert Scoble (just look at his blog).
Let Users Have Control
As you have removed so much functionality in the new redesign, why not let the users turn back on some of those features with user settings. It doesn't make sense to waste your code and piss off so many users when you can easily allow users to control what they see.
FriendFeed, you are not Twitter - dont try and turn yourself into Jaiku or another Twitter clone. You were so much better before.