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Too Much Whitespace

Yeah, I'm not sure what Google is thinking. People will never use a site with too much #whitespace .
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64 comments
 
It's where the white space is, also once you type in that Google box the page blows out. If there was a lot of white space around the part your reading and it was centered, then that would work. The white space is off center to the right and makes the page look like there's a hole in it.
 
Have you seen Google's new UI for Google+? There's a lot of whitespace next to the stream on big resolutions.
 
Yeah but the bit you want to interact with is at the center of the screen.
 
yeah and whats the deal with the weird name and zany colors? Back to the drawing board braniacs!
 
Come'on now, that's just lame.

You think seeing one post per page on this new layout is good UI design?
 
+Richard Terry and others. Yes, I'm not a huge fan of this huge blank whitespace. The point of my post is that given the amount of attention it is receiving you would think it was the end of the world. Yes, I hope they do something about it but at the same time, i really do trust Google knows what they are doing.
 
The whitespace is not the issue as much as the justification. Imagine the Google homepage top left justified.
 
True Terrence. but given that the only way change happens on these services is though people voicing their opinions of it, it kind of has to happen otherwise people think everything's great with the new interface and it stays the way it is (which is find if everyone loves it, but that's clearly not the case)....

Plus it's a slow news day and here ya go.
 
There is no content on that page. Compare the white space on a results page to G+, then we will talk.
 
I just worry that they'll fill it with ads.

Not that I can blame them, but its certainly keeps things cleaner looking by not having them.

I don't know why they don't just have the posts scroll and leave "TRENDING ON GOOGLE+" and "YOU MIGHT LIKE" stationary to fill that space.
 
They are planning to add other services to the white space. What services can that be. Search results, previews, hangouts, play content.
 
I want to play music or see search results
 
in addition to the whitespace+alignment issues people have mentioned, the google search home page has no content, so the whitespace is causing no harm; here the whitespace is wasted space that could be reducing the scroll distance in the guaranteed-to-run-off-the-page stream by a factor of two or more . . .
 
+Terrence Lui, that's great to hear! I tend to believe people until they give me a reason not to. So I feel better now. Thanks!

I honestly felt that the new look was a little busy at first. It might be smart to start off with a simpler look, even if it includes #whitespace .
 
+Richard Terry , oh, I think people should complain away. I'm not a fan of all this whitespace but I just think its a little overdone. Not by any one person mind you, just collectively.

I also understand that people just love Meta post. I've been a big beneficiary of it myself. I think I basically got my start on G+ because I talked about G+ on G+ and became some sort of resident expert. So I'm all for people being meta, just think in this case people should have a little faith.
 
Not when people use the site for Content Viewing which would be a better way to fill the space
DrWex
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See, that completely misses the point. Whitespace is measured against the available useful content. Google search has exactly one useful thing on its start page and thus is appropriately designed. See for example Google News for how one can lay out an information-dense page in a reasonably readable way.
 
+Terrence Lui I'd like to provide a meaningful comment, but I'm laughing so hard after reading your post... that I can't catch my breath... long enough... to respond. :-)
 
+Alan Wexelblat I didn't missed the point. I just think others are creating a mountain out of a molehill.

The people at Google aren't idiots. Its not like this whitespace just went unnoticed. Nobody at Google has a monitor < 24". They all saw this. They pay people lots of money to know a thing or two about design and how to make a webpage that people will use. I am choosing to give Google the benefit of the doubt.

If you don't like it, complain away. Its your right. I hope Google is listening. I hope they come out with their plans soon. I just think its crazy that #whitespace is trending and that my stream is just filled with all the complaints.
 
I kind of like white space... we are constantly bombarded with stuff. The white space creates "quiet" areas and allows us to focus.
 
For those who haven't tried it yet, one way the whitespace is already being used is for chat. That's where the chat windows go when you open them up. Just tried to chat with someone now and that space is getting used. Maybe that's where Google is going. Trying to put more emphasis on chat, video,and hangouts.
 
If I wanted to chat, I'd choose an application far more robust than GChat, That is for certain.
 
When important tools are changed, and it affects individual usage behavior (or perception of that behavior), it is normal for people to spend time commenting about said changes. When Apple comes out with a new service or product, my Stream is often inundated with discussions about that.

There are hundreds of very smart engineers at Apple, yet few seem to complain when users debate the pros and cons of their updates. Why should it be any different for when Google launches a major update to a tool that many users find indispensable to their daily routine?

Also, when you say, "I just think its crazy that #whitespace is trending and that my stream is just filled with all the complaints", to be fair, you started this thread about white space. My red notifications box is primarily being filled with notifications about new posts in your thread about white space. ;)
 
+Robert Cooper I just did a search and there was more white space on the Google search results page than on Google Plus. The column width and justification are identical. If you do any search than doesn't have ads, the right half of the page is blank. (I searched my name)
 
There's nothing wrong with white space in and of itself. It's the placement that counts. White space is useful as it draws the eyes to a focal point. This works wonderfully in your example +Terrence Lui of the search homepage. But the way it's used in the new layout of Plus is VERY disorienting to say the least. And in retrospect I don't think it's the white space per se that's doing it. But the fact that there's now a highly visible bounding box around status updates and comments that wasn't there before. In the old design the content area just flowed right into the right side bar even when the right was entirely covered in white space. Now there's a clear division which makes the white space more obvious and distracting.
 
+Brian E. Young that screenshot illustrates my point. While everyone is harping on the white space, it's not the white space per se. It's the new bounding box around status updates that draws too much attention to the white space. The use of white space is to draw the eyes towards a focal point. But the bounding boxes now draw the eyes to the white space instead by creating a clear and obvious separation of space. There are no bounding lines on the main search page and there are no bounding lines between the results and the white space on the search results. It is also because of these line the content area feels more cluttered when it's pretty much the same.
 
This is incontestably my favorite response to #whitespace !!!! Don't change a thing. I like the new look and I'm sure most everyone else will too.
DrWex
 
+Brian E. Young Thanks. That's good to hear. So they now have a CEO who's willing to talk about design, but they still put out designs people hate... well, it's a step forward I guess.

As I said elsewhere, +Vic Gundotra's message is "Live with a sucky UI now because someday we will release something that might or might not make it suck less." I suppose you might claim that was listening to designers, but I find it unconvincing.
 
+Alan Wexelblat As a graphic designer (not for Google unfortunately), I can promise you that no matter what we do people hate it. Many of the discussions we have among ourselves is how much work and thought we put into something. It goes to the client or the public, and they hate it. Do something very similar or identical for someone else or in a different context, they'll love it. When it comes to design, people tend to be much more vocal or opinionated than with other skilled or creative professions.

Usually prefaced with something like "I'm not a designer but" or "I don't know much about design but". At my office, we have fun imagining the same response to a writer, computer programmer, a dentist. It's much more personal :)
DrWex
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+Brian E. Young Trust me I sympathize. I've been doing UI/UX work since... erm, 1999 at least.
 
+Brian E. Young , I feel for you. I have lots of friends who are graphic designers and have worked with plenty. It's not a profession most people apprecaite. They always think they can do better.
 
+Terrence Lui I feel like I should cut someone a check for all the great stuff I learned from your two posts today. The design perspective, etc. that was provided by you and your commentors was fascinating!
 
+Terrence Lui it IS the end of the world - G+ provides the interface, everything else is US and our content. so if the interface is shit people will be out of here faster then a fox on fire. ;)
 
I know I'm late, but I just discovered that if you actually click on the GChat that no one wants to use, you can open up windows that actually do USE the white space for real.
 
There is a direct correlation to how much people complain about the G+ whitespace and the size of their monitor. On my 24" at work, the whitespace is almost unbearable, but there's almost none on my 19" at home.
 
I took some screenshots of the old and new design. And while the layout is different at the end of the day there isn't any more white space in the new design than there was the old. It just looks that way because the page is left aligned instead of centered like it used to be. Now it's just unbalanced. I tinkered around with changing the new bubble boxes to the original boxed in look. I was right in my initial assessment in that the new bubble boxes draws more attention to the white space.

https://plus.google.com/109278962630081587362/posts/hWCPP7LXeA4
 
I missed this one from earlier. I thought nothing will top the penguin at the north pole whitespace post. :)
 
+Terrence Lui I didn't even see it in my stream. I came to the end of the day and thought "hey I wonder what Terrance thinks about the new layout" so I popped over here to see this epic post. I knew you would have something interesting to say...
 
so what do you think Terrence, if we all complain
and threaten to delete, will they change it back? =)

I mean I'm sure their inbox is burning up with the complaints right?
 
62 Comment over 100 shares. 120 +1s- yep clearly no one using this #whitespace site #irony
 
+Elaina Zee , I think Google listens but I also think they have a plan. So I think all the complaining about whitespace isn't going to make anything change.
 
+Thuan Pham-Budin , if it really drives you crazy, I know there are already extensions that basically shift the content over to the right. Sorry, I don't have a link off hand but if you do a search, I'm sure you can find it.
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