Facebook chat bubble – drag where to close?

Facebook, may I ask you to change one word in your user interface if I may?

A few weeks back a bubble appeared alerting me to private message conversations. I chatted, my friends and I said “bfn” or something like that most likely, but the bubble did not go away. This is on the iPad by the way, so I dragged the bubble around noticing the instruction to “Drag down to close”. I did. I flicked the bubble down, I dragged it down, I bounced it around but the bubble persisted. Was this a bug I wondered? Or me? The next day at work my colleague asked me “Have you seen that bubble on Facebook? Do you know how to get rid of it?” “Uh yes and no I don’t”. My colleague searched for a solution which instructed her to switch off the Facebook app running in the background. She did and the bubble was gone.

Days afterward, I happened upon the fix. Reading the instructions on the screen I had paid scant attention to the circle with the “x”. So I then dragged the bubble onto the “x” and just like that it was gone. Right. So that’s how you get rid of it.

May I suggest Facebook that you change the instruction from “Drag down to close” to “Drag here to close”. Test it at least and let me know if it works better.

Thanks, loyal user
ES

 

 Before: The very confusing Facebook Chat Head instruction on my iPad

The very confusing Facebook Chat Head instruction on my iPad
Before: The very confusing Facebook Chat Head instruction on my iPad

 

After: Changing ONE word might make the difference and ease the confusion. My mock-up changing “down” to “here” on the Facebook chat bubble.

Changing ONE word might make the difference and ease the confusion. My mock-up changing "down" to "here"
After: Changing ONE word might make the difference and ease the confusion. My mock-up changing “down” to “here” on the Facebook chat bubble.

 

Detail of change below

drag down to close. Detail of the tablet UI on the Facebook chat bubble.
Drag *here* to close. Detail of  proposed change to Facebook chat bubble.

 

I searched the problem to see if it was just me. Found out others had the same confusion and that the Facebook bubble is called a “Chat Head”. 

I Googled the problem to see if it was just me. Found out others had the same confusion and that the Facebook bubble is called a "Chat Head"
Google search found other equally confounded uses.

 

“How do I get rid of the chat-message bubble- I find it annoying with no added value” those fighting words are from a user one month ago on the Facebook user forum where instruction to drag onto the x answers the query. Source: https://www.facebook.com/help/community/question/?id=10151463220358075

"How do I get rid of the chat-message bubble- I find it annoying with no added value" those fighting words are from a user one month ago on the Facebook user forum where instruction to drag onto the x answer the query. Source: https://www.facebook.com/help/community/question/?id=10151463220358075
Searching the Facebook community section for resolution and came across more irritated users.

 

OK so I have sent my feedback in.

My Feedback About Chat
Feedback submission

 

Let’s see where this goes.

Your Feedback About Chat - submission sent response from Facebook form
Your Feedback About Chat – submission sent.

Update

30/06/2013

I am happy to report that the chat bubble copy has changed. The confounding “Drag down to close” was changed to “Drag here to hide” during the past week. I’m not saying it was me or anything — sadly there was no response from Facebook to my feedback submission ;). I had suggested “Drag here to close” but, no need to split hairs here. It’s a clear improvement for users.

New copy – Drag here to hide

drag-here-to-hide-new-hint-text-for-facebook-chat-bubble

 

Facebook have also added extra instructions on the chat bubble itself to guide users about what to do and provide two points of direction should one of them be missed.

New hint text adjacent to the chat bubble itself

extra-face-book-chat-bubble-instructions

This makes me wonder … what user testing did Facebook conduct for this feature? Any? It clearly caused consternation. And as Steve Krug says in his seminal book “Don’t make me think”, well, just don’t make us have to think about it too much.

 

Comments

Josey Biafasta
Reply

I know this article is about bubble chat on mobile, but facebook have just launched this bubble chat on the desktop version of facebook too. there is currently no built in way to revert to the old style chat on the desktop version

However, the latest version of the top rated FB Purity browser extension does let you switch off bubble chat and revert to the old style chat. You can try it out here: http://www.fbpurity.com

Anonymous
Reply

I had the same problem!! Followed the instructions and the bubble vanished, thanks!

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