cross-posted from my review @ The App Store.
I’ve always disliked Facebook’s desktop user experience. It has a baked in lack of intuitive navigation, suffers from seemingly non-sensical design, and is just plain corporate ugly. Oh, and let’s not forget about the ads and distracting noise strewn about every page.
Taken as a whole, Facebook always felt like the worst of “enterprise quality” design—you know, functional from a software engineering point of view, but sorely lacking in UX.
Venus changes all that in a choice of beautiful ways. The choices: five distinctly different themes. I currently switch between the gray (for daylight usage) and black (for lowlight usage) themes. I can totally see a business model for this by offering affinity advertisers the opportunity to create custom skins that Venus makes available for in-app purchase. Like dogs? Maybe one day there will be a Purina skin for that.
Venus also makes the most of what iPad excels at: allowing the user to sit back and engage. Unlike Facebook, Venus’s navigation is completely intuitive—and fun to use. I was, literally, sitting on the front porch listening to the cardinals sing and checking Facebook when the app asked me to rate Venus. Normally, I’d find is this a mild intrusion, but in Venus’s case I decided “heck yeah, people need to know about this.” Front porch. iPad. Facebook. Nice.
One other thing: no ads—just the posts, pictures and data you want. Hallelujah!
The app’s not flawless (what’s with the notification number that never updates after checking notifications) but for a brand-new app it shows a massive amount of promise. And (as of this writing) for just 99 cents, it’s well worth a try. Your mileage may vary, but Venus fits my Facebook workflow perfectly.
All in all, I give it five stars because it enables me to do one thing I thought I’d never enjoy doing: Facebooking.