Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The new Googleplus layout is terrible.

Google had their big conference yesterday and announced changes to Google+ among several other more important things. I didn't pay attention to the details since I thought they had already done as badly as they could earlier in the year by introducing a grotesquely huge banner image requirement. I logged in today and discovered to my horror that the new Google plus layout is terrible.

The new googleplus is terrble

Firstly, the navigation is now incomprehensible even for someone like me who knows what the options are. They have taken a clear and simple navigation and made it impossible to follow - impossible to locate, in some cases. New users will probably never discover which features are available since it's impossible to find them.

Secondly, they have taken the full screen, linear post layout and turned it into the multi-column, narrow, fixed-width display that makes viewing posts a headache, to put it mildly. On my monitor, with the two column default display, I could hardly follow my own posts, which I know quite well, obviously, let alone follow other people's pages. Posts vary in height, so trying to read what's there in two column format is gruesomely nightmarish. On wider screens, it's three columns - absolutely nuts.

PS: If you go to your Home page and click on the tab "More", you have the option "Stream Layout" where you can select the single column display. However, you have no control over the public display of your page - your viewers have to know about the single column option. Furthermore, it remains in narrow format with vast amounts of wasted white space (well, grey, actually) on either side (is this format especially for mobile devices?). In addition, the "You muted this post" notice is now the same height as the muted post, meaning that you're forced to scroll past it to see the next post. Why this waste of space everywhere?

Thirdly, they have added this incredibly intrusive "complete your profile" thing that pops up everytime you go to your page, despite it having been closed in the previous page view. It's in a revolting purple colour and mine insistently asks "Are you in a relationship?", whatever that is. Well mind you own damn business!

Fourthly, the easy to use dropdown menu listing your communities has gone. It's hard enough to find the communities link and when you do, instead of a simple pick list, you're forced to confront a display of communities that you've previously made clear don't interest you.

Quadruple fail, Google!

These changes will not only discourage current users from visiting Google Plus to read or add posts, it will turn off new users and greatly slow adoption.

Author: Anna Maria Baldini

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