Apparently the bulk of the people leaving comments here are trying to impress you too much by telling you what a great job you have done with overseeing the rework of the Google+ interface. You need to look at comments elsewhere that are not in direct response to you to get a true measure of the issues that have been raised with these changes.
Naturally, many folks are just resistant to change, and any
change is going to cause a bit of "I liked it better the way before" reaction.
I will mention what I consider to be major DISlikes in response to the new layout, based on my own immediate reaction as well as culled from other discussions.
1. The layout is clearly aimed at a smaller width form factor, such as tablet or phone. The desktop view has a tremendous amount of wasted white space in the middle of a standard-sized display browser window. Cynics have noted that this is probably where all of the ADS
are going to be displayed ! :(
2. Putting 'apps' down the left column has removed other uses of vertical column space by things which are, and will be, far more numerous than a relatively small number of 'modes of use' main menu type icons. Google+ is, after all, the APP
. This suggests that you want Google+ to become a world unto itself where you plug all kinds of 'apps' into it. Fair enough, but you have done so in a way that is way
premature for that view of the universe, and which in turn hobbles the ability to have quick access, in the left-hand column to frequently accessible stream filters, circles, and searches. Consider the implications of the same design paradigm to, say, gmail folders down the left hand column. Would you remove all of those quick access points, in a nice outline, and put them under yet-more-clicks-and-dropdowns-away dialogs that require extra work to access, and waste the left-hand column space with 6 main menu icons ? I think NOT
3. Bottom line, why not use the creativity and skill of your designers and software engineers to CUSTOMIZE
the look and feel of the Google+ layout based upon the needs and requirements of Google+ users ?? Allow the stream column to be resized. Allow menu icons of modes of use to be put in a top header and stream filters and searches to organize Google+ access in the left column. Or vice-versa, if the user is a 'gamer', or developer, or business, with tons of 'apps' that they need to eventually select.
Why not distinguish between different browser platforms (e.g., mobile phone, tablet, laptop/desktop ) and taylor the information architecture accordingly ? That is soooo 1998 !
The impression here is a "lurch" forward that is (a) aimed at the mobile/tablet market, and (b) trying to look like Facebook more so than offering a definitive alternative to Facebook. Me-too syndrome.
The ultimate value for Google+ in a very large
demographic is going to be the ease with which Google+ can be an informational vehicle to locate, filter, contribute to CONTENT
, not a facebook-like 'my friends told me to get this model refrigerator' gossip column.
You would be better served emulating some of the information architecture aspects that, say, TweetDeck provides in regard to filtering and accessing the large fire hose of content that flows into the 'Twitter-verse' from all points - NOT
trying to be another amalgamation of feudal social estates revolving around coagulated and relatively static collections of 'friends'. THAT would be the best way to interface Google+ as an interactive, information sharing resource among communities that properly leverages the massive amounts of Internet information and content which the legacy Google search facility provides. Marry THOSE
two together, and you have a compelling and unique service. Becoming a 'me-too' Facebook copycat is, in my opinion, allowing yourself to be led down the primrose path of social 'faddism', and, ultimately, to ruin -- or at least a complete missed opportunity to do what neither Facebook nor Twitter can do.
The rigidity of this layout, what it implies, and what it takes away, make it a half-step forward and easily two steps backward.
Just sayin' ...