In the latest version — which appeared to get teased earlier in the year but now appears to be getting rolled out to a wider number of people (see here, here, here, a tipster who sent us screenshots from Canada, and many others) — Twitter’s desktop appears as three columns, with trends shifted to the right column, and all of the menu and navigation items (plus a link to your profile) that had been at the top now listed on the left.
So far, the responses we’ve seen to the design have been on the less enthusiastic side. ‘”What’s happening? ” is the question I want answered about this #NewTwitter redesign…! ,” wrote Chris Messina (a product designer who’s credited with creating the concept of the hashtag). “What is this? Google+? “Twitter, I do not like the new new new new new new new new new new new new UI you have on web.
Twitter’s ongoing test mode — which has also been carried out on mobile, by way of its twttr prototyping app — is part of the company’s bigger effort to build a version of Twitter that works for everyone, or at least more people, more of the time.
One point of Twitter’s various experiments with its user interface is to try to address some of the issues the company has had with making the site easier to use for new users, and to also make it more user-friendly for those who are already there, whether it’s to make it easier to follow conversations (see Twitter’s experiments around threads), easier on the eye (dark mode introduced). easier to shut down trolls, and so on.