A while back I was invited to help out with BETA testing new LJ services (I got this invite via lj_releases).
They have just announced BETA testing of a new friendslist.
LJ is planning on redoing everyone's friendslists in the style of the new comment page and update page. They want to copy tumblr and make your friendslist into a dashboard-like system page (infinite scrolling and all). It's also been renamed to "feed" (this I don't mind too much, though). In fact the whole dashboard idea with infinite scrolling wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that everyone will be locked to one specific layout. The system style comment pages are bad enough, but now I'll have to strain my eyes reading my flist? That defeats the purpose of this entire site. The font, use of whitespace, oversized boxes and UI elements ... all contribute to making the page difficult to read, on a site where all you do is read. Aaaah. Even just the possibility of adjusting the font (style and size) would make this suggestion easier to swallow, but it's still not something I'd want for my journal. It would not improve my LJ experience in any way (in fact it would most likely make my daily LJ activities more time consuming).
Now, I wasn't able to make the BETA page display my own friendslist, so I apologise to the random users who are featured in the screenshot, but to give everyone an idea, the below image shows you what your friendslist probably will look like in a couple of months.
(Click for big)
I never switched over from Dystopia, so that adds to the weirdness. You're going to have to picture this with the standard LiveJournal drop down navigation + no blue sidebar to the left. Click the screenshots for bigger versions.
Top of page with links to journal, archive, profile
Example of text heavy post as displayed on friendslist
New buttons to the right replace the navigation strip. One tab for filters
One tab for Archive/Calendar, you can filter your feed to display posts from one specific date. These buttons follow along as you scroll down the page (infinite scrolling).
All friendslists will look the same.
Snippet from the locked post at lj_releases:
The friends page has been redesigned as a system page for all users, and is now available for Beta testers. There is a link at the top of your friends page allowing you to switch between the new and old versions, and will later go into public beta testing. You can switch back and forth between both versions throughout beta testing.
PUBLIC POST AT lj_releases ABOUT THE NEW FRIENDSLIST: http://lj-releases.livejournal.com/7948
You can also see the proposed changes for yourself by enabling the BETA on your own journal (instructions from ruljautonews):
It's trivially easy to test beta features.
1) Go to lj_ru_beta and request to join.
2) Wait to get confirmation that you've been accepted into the community (this could take a few hours.)
3) Go to this page and choose Go To under Beta.
4) That's it, you're now testing the beta release. All site-scheme pages should now display a big "BETA BETA BETA BETA BETA BETA" in yellow letters across the top.
5) You could make comments in the lj_ru_beta post, but if you do please keep this in mind: the majority of commenters there don't speak English and if they do it's not their primary language. Machine translation of Russian is lousy. "My hovercraft is full of eels" lousy. While you can engage in basic dialogue and get a feel for what the other person is saying, don't get too hung up on anyone's phrasing.
You can easily switch back to the old version.
Make sure you let LJ know what you think of these proposed changes, I can't be the only one who thinks this is a horrible idea.
ETA: It's nice to see that I'm not the only one worried about the proposed changes, but please direct your feedback through the proper channels. This is a private journal, I have no affiliation with LJ. Please also be respectful when addressing the LJ staff. They are just doing their jobs. Thanks!
ETA2: Russian news post about the BETA test: http://lj-ru-beta.livejournal.com/7
ETA3: Added more screenshots.
ETA4: Additional info at ruljautonews: http://ruljautonews.livejournal.com/279
ETA5: An update on the new site scheme.
ETA6: Public beta has now been announced. Official announcement.
ETA7 (really?): RUSSIAN NEWS POSTS CONFIRM PAGINATION AND ABILITY TO CUSTOMIZE FONT AND BACKGROUND IN THE FUTURE, ruljautonews HAS MORE: http://ruljautonews.livejournal.com/282