Why the new bitly design sucks

Bitly is my favourite url shortener. A few things I like particularly about it are:

(i) it has had a very simple & uncluttered design;

(ii) you can customize the shortened url. So instead of some gibberish like bit.ly/xyres, you can use bit.ly/cool_post

(iii) you can monitor the number of clicks each link is getting and also the total number of clicks in a day, week, month etc. You can also check which location the clicks are coming from.

(iv) you can could have used your own domain instead of bit.ly. E.g. New York Times could be nyti.ms.

However, the recent changes made by bitly are far from pleasing. While the ability to customize the url and track the clicks is still there, the usp of the earlier design which was its elegance and simplicity seems to be gone now.

Bitly has faced a barrage of complaints from irate users on twitter though its standard response is “Give it time; you’ll get used to it“. That may well be true. Given time, one can get used to anything. But that’s not the same thing as instinctively loving it.

Also, the option to have your own domain (like nyti.ms) also appears to have gone (or at least, I couldn’t find it in the new design)

Anyway, the time has come to look at some alternatives to bitly. So, lets look at a few of them:

(i) goo.gl
(ii) t.co
(iii) TinyURL

While there are other url shorteners, it is best to stick with the well known ones because you never know when they will find the business unsustainable and fold up.

Of course, one may just be overreacting to something innocuous. So long as bitly does the job well, does one really care about the design?

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