Facebook has made another interesting move today, hiring away much of the design team from Teehan + Lax, who are responsible for the popular blogging platform Medium as well as Readability. The move is not an acquihire, as Teehan + Lux the firm isn’t rolling into Facebook. Some team members are, though, so it’s an odd hire-then-shutter scenario. It’s a great day for Facebook, who have hired in some talented designers. It could also be a banner day for you, and could signal a redesign is in-store for Facebook.
Teehan + Lax’s two major platform designs focus on minimal, easily digestible blocks of information. Both are still beautifully crafted, and keep minimalism as a core value.
Facebook could use a touch of minimalism. The cluttered page is often overwhelming, so a total re-working might bring users back to center with the social platform.
Then again, something else may be in store. Facebook is keen to knock out apps via their Creative Labs arm, so we could be seeing something from them. It’s also important to remember Facebook has new initiatives like Newswire, so we could be seeing some diligent design done there.
It’s hard to overlook Facebook’s ad philosophy of late when considering this news, too. They’ve made spammy ads and “please like this!” posts much harder to find, suggesting a more delicate touch is coming to their service proper.
Teehan + Lax’s entire team isn’t coming along; just the remaining brain trust at the firm. It’s not currently known how many are making the move, only that the leads are leaving and shutting the boutique firm down.
It’s also not clear what those making the transition will be working on. Facebook has some strokes of genius when it comes to aesthetics (chatheads is nice, Paper is special), but also some clumsy dogs (Slingshot, the home page, Rooms). Hopefully, the new designers can give Facebook the design direction it really needs.