Link sharing service Bitly angered the Internet earlier this week with a convoluted redesign that obscured one of its most favored functionalities, URL shortening for Twitter. Even Roger Ebert was really mad about it, and if anyone is an accurate portrayal of the zeitgeist, it is clearly him.
Following the debacle, Bitly took to its blog to defend itself against the hoards of furious Internet types, writing, “We’ve clearly heard the concerned feedback of our users who were used to the old bitly and relied on our service for daily usage….We’ll continue to quickly iterate based on what we hear from all of you, so keep the feedback coming!”
Actually acting on user feedback is typically a sign of a successful startup, so we were happy to see that Bitly already addressed some of the UI gripes its users had. For example, it already added an automatic place to grab the shortlink when you add a new Bitmark, instead of having to blindly click around the site a million times to find it.
Still, we’re no UI experts, but we’re guessing the new Bitly redesign wouldn’t be described as ‘intuitive,’ since they also took the blog post as an opportunity to explain how to use the site. Hint: if you have to take the time to define new terminology and demonstrate to users how to do something that was previously an easy part of your functionality, you’re probably doing it wrong.
Luckily Bitly seems to be very responsive to user feedback. “This is just the first of many changes and enhancements we’re making in the coming days and weeks,” they write.
But the blog post’s commenters weren’t satisfied with this explanation. Retorted one user: “Your site was simple, easy to use and great. Now it[‘s] just a hot mess.”