Anyone who has even breathed in the vicinity of a website redesign knows that there is no more perfect time for every single site user to say exactly what they think about the terrible, horrible changes that never should have been made in the first place. Now consider Facebook FB, with its 1.23 billion subscribers, most of whom feel quite proprietary about the site. Who wants to mess with a billion avid users?
Margaret Gould Stewart does. As Facebook’s director of product design, it’s her job to make sure the site’s latest layout changes don’t tilt the love-hate Facebook equation too far toward “hate.” The Silicon Valley veteran, who led user experience teams at YouTube and Google before joining Mark Zuckerberg’s crew, says that designing for the masses brings up particular challenges: Any pixel tweak could rankle half the population of the internet. Here’s how she does it