Over the past few months, we've been testing several different designs of the home page to improve navigation to and discovery of commonly used features. Today, we started rolling out the most recent navigation updates to help you find what you are looking for on Facebook. Now from the top and left menus you can quickly get to what's new and important.
Stay Updated from the Top Menu
In the top menu, you will find your newest notifications, requests and messages. For example, when you receive a Facebook notification about someone writing on your Wall or tagging you in a photo, you'll see a red bubble appear in the left-hand corner near the search bar. When you click on the icon, you'll see a drop-down menu with your most recent notifications.
The Home and Profile links can now be found in the top-right corner along with your Account menu, which includes your privacy settings and the ability to log out.
Discover Content from the Left Menu
The left menu has been organized to make it easier for you to communicate with and discover content from your friends. You can now access your messages and other core features all in one place, to the left of your News Feed.
With the Photos dashboard you can browse recent photos of your friends, and the Events dashboard lists your upcoming events along with events your friends are attending. The Friends dashboard will help you find friends, see which of your friends have recently updated their profiles and filter your News Feed by Friend Lists you may have already created.
We have also made Chat more prominent by showing you a list of some of your online friends in the left-hand menu. This list is not comprehensive, but includes people who you communicate with frequently. To see a list of all of your online friends, you can open the Chat bar in the bottom right-hand corner or click "See All" at the bottom of your left-hand menu.
Interact with Games and Applications
We're making it easier for you to find and interact with applications and discover new ones, with the new Applications and Games dashboards, accessible via the "Applications" and "Games" links on the home page. The dashboards will surface the applications you've interacted with most recently as well as your most recent application activity and your friends' activity.
You will also start to see counters next to the applications you have bookmarked on your home page. Counters will notify you when you have a specific action to take, so that you never miss your turn in a game or an update from a friend in an application.
You can bookmark your favorite applications using the "Add Bookmark" button in an application, and then you'll have one-click access to them from the left-hand menu beneath the Applications and Games dashboards. Click the "More" link to see all of your newest bookmarks.
Another way to receive personalized updates from applications will be in the Applications and Games dashboards. News items will appear alongside applications in the dashboards with actions such as "Clean Stinky" in Pet Society or "Joe just beat your high score!" in Bejeweled Blitz.
We think sharing information about the applications you use enriches the shared experience between you and your friends. At the same time, we feel strongly that control is an important element of any information sharing on Facebook. That's why these features are launching with an entirely new privacy setting.
If you would rather not have your recent application activity visible in the dashboards to your friends, you can change this through your Privacy settings . We're also working on a more granular set of controls for specific applications, so that you can turn off activity for certain applications while leaving it on for others. We'll have more information to share on this soon.
We hope the simplified design of the home page will make it easy for you to stay connected with the people, applications and activities that matter the most to you. To learn more about the new design, check out the site tour.
Jing, a Facebook engineer, is moving fast around the site.