Recently I've read a little bit about Facebook trying to break into the corporate sphere with "Facebook@Work". From what I can gather this seems to be pretty much the pre-existing facebook platform slightly modified for a smaller work based network rather than the globe (kind of intruiging how on the surface this is somewhat similar to the way facebook used to work with 'networks').

The good sides of this from a UX POV seem fairly clear. People will be exposed to a system at work that they probably already use in their personal life. The learning curve is small.

However, I am pondering; downsides. I theorise that this similarity could bring lots of problems with it.

1: That it looks very similar but isn't exactly the same...this could lead to increased user disatisfaction from differing features. If they can do something on private facebook and not on work facebook (or vice-versa) then this will annoy far more than a completely different piece of software missing some features.

2: That this tool people use in their work life looks so similar to a very personal website...I wonder whether this could really contribute to putting people off using it. A sort of work/life overflow recoil- its quite a trend with young people that they tend to go to either extreme of being very relaxed about these boundaries being crossed or very protective about it, for the latter people...I ponder.

Does anyone know of any research related to this 'similarity recoil' ? A sort of 'uncanny valley' of UX perhaps. Is there any solid research for/against different interfaces looking (too?) alike?

  • 1
    It is important to not just look at the 1 to 1 features but also the intent of what you want the platform to be used for. If there isn't enough going on (events, birthdays, or workplace celebrations) then an internal facebook will fall flat regardless of how similar it is to an actual social media platform. It is facilitating a culture that is there or growing. There may be certain features that are more or less important for your company but that is really going to depend on how the organization wants to utilize the platform. Such as employee socialization vs official announcements. – Chromarush Oct 13 '15 at 18:33
  • yes, I agree that will be the big challenge of facebook at work (and from my limited experience in the past it was the big challenge of other attempts at enterprise 2.0). I am curious about the usability angle in particular here though. – the other one Oct 14 '15 at 7:24

It was a whole new market and a whole new set of objectives. It was successful for them and it still is. They now have over 2 million paying users. This created a precedent where, if done right, bringing a platform designed for your personal life to your professional life can be a success.

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