May 25, 2012, 10:40 AM

Facebook adds usability expertise

The social network has acquired design firm Bolt Peters.

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Facebook Inc. is adding usability, user experience and interactive design expertise with its acquisition of research and design firm Bolt Peters. The Bolt Peters staff will join Facebook’s design team.

“For more than ten years, Bolt Peters has worked with our clients (plus a robot and clay dinosaurs) to improve the design of their sites, apps, devices, video games and cars,” wrote Nate Bolt, CEO of Bolt Peters in a blog post. “But the time has come for our next adventure—at Facebook. While we’ll miss working with our amazing clients, we’re stoked about Facebook’s commitment to user experience, and the design team is a critical part of this.”

Bolt Peters, which was founded in 2002, has worked with retail clients such as Best Buy Co. Inc., Restoration Hardware Inc., and Sony Electronics Inc., according to its web site. In addition to retail, it has worked with companies across a range of verticals, such as Twitter, Home Box Office and Zynga. Best Buy is No. 11 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, Restoration Hardware No. 105 and Sony No. 16; HBO, the cable TV network that sells DVDs and show-related T-shirts and other items at Store.HBO.com, is No. 714 in the Second 500 Guide.

Bolt Peters plans to shutter its operations on June 22, save Ethnio, its corporate recruiting tool that it is spinning off into its own company. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

The acquisition continues Facebook’s recent buying binge, which includes mobile gifting app Karma, Tagtile, a mobile loyalty company that serves very small businesses, and, most notably, photo-sharing mobile app Instagram.

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