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
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.
Detail of change below
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”.
“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
OK so I have sent my feedback in.
Let’s see where this goes.
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
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
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.