“In terms of user experience, Facebook is like an NYPD police van crashing into an IKEA, forever”

Paul Ford on Facebook buying Instagram:

First, to understand this deal it’s important to understand Facebook. Unfortunately everything about Facebook defies logic. In terms of user experience (insider jargon: “UX”), Facebook is like an NYPD police van crashing into an IKEA, forever — a chaotic mess of products designed to burrow into every facet of your life. The company is also technologically weird. For example, much of the code that runs the site is written in a horrible computer language called PHP, which stands for nothing you care about. Millions of websites are built with PHP, because it works and it’s cheap to run, but PHP is a programming language like scrapple is a meat. Imagine eating two pounds of scrapple every day for the rest of your life — that’s what Facebook does, programming-wise. Which is just to say that Facebook has its own way of doing things that looks very suspect from the outside world — but man, does it work.

Facebook and Instagram: When Your Favorite App Sells Out – nymag.com

I need to learn to write this well!

Advertisements

2 thoughts on ““In terms of user experience, Facebook is like an NYPD police van crashing into an IKEA, forever”

  1. Hi Geoff,
    I’m not convinced that is good writing. Slagging off Facebook because of PHP is as intellectually dubious as questioning the suitability of the English language because the National Front publish pamphlets written in it – it’s all about the application.

    Facebook have some switched on, heavy weight PHP serverside developers. The UX issues (which aren’t really a serverside fault) I would completely agree with and is something that I constantly slag FB off for – but not because of their use of PHP.

    Joel

    • I meant the quality of the prose more than the argument itself. I don’t know enough about PHP to have a worthwhile opinion. I mess with it a little in the process of making WP themes — seems okay to me.

      Anyway, I think Ford is ragging on PHP to make a larger point about Facebook and Instagram.

Comments are closed.