Simple tasks should never be this cumbersome
Let me first say that overall, the aesthetic of the new interface is beautiful. The move to Material Design is a welcomed change for me and being a web designer, I understand just how much time, intelligence, and long hours of development must have gone into this move.
With that said, there are some obvious problems with the interface, primarily in regards to usability and performing simple, common tasks.
Let's first look at the most basic task...
Creating and sharing a post on the New Google+
The following is an example of the workflow to create and share an image post...
The Old Workflow:
1. Click the Camera icon
2. Type your post since your curser is already there
2. Drag/drop your image(s) into the image area
3. Click in the To: field to type/select your destination (or tab once)
4. Use arrows to select from the list and hit Enter
5. Click the Share button (or use tab, and Enter)
5 steps, 3 clicks
The New Workflow
1. Click to initiate a new post (or use the 'c' shortcut if you're saavy)
2. Click the destination (previously the To: field)
3. Click See more because your intended Collection/Community/Circle(s) aren't in the pre-populated list
4. Click the Search input because you're not going to scroll through the entire list
5. Type your desired destination then Click it in the list (because using the arrows on your keyboard don't work to select from the list)
6. Click in the text area to type your message
7. Click the image icon because simply dragging and dropping images don't work anymore (or maybe just not yet)
8. Click to upload a photo (if it's not already in your list of files)
9. Navigate to and double-click your desired image file
10. Click the Post button (or tab 3 times and hit Enter)
10 steps, 10 clicks (unless you count the double-click as 2 clicks)
This is more than double the amount of work to accomplish the same task.
Resharing a Post (A piece of feedback I've already sent to Google)
The resharing experience has now become incredibly cumbersome. After the initial buzz that will be created from the redesign, user fatigue will likely creep in fast and I anticipate a HUGE drop in resharing activity.
It now takes roughly 8 clicks to reshare a post.
The previous reshare workflow:
1. Click the share icon
2. Type your post (since the cursor is automatically place where you need it to be)
3. Tab (or Click) to the To: field and type/choose where that post is shared
4. Click Share
4 steps, 3 clicks
The new reshare workflow:
1. Click share icon
2. Decide (and Click) where you want to share it (as if the choice is going to be something other than Google+ 99% of the time)
3. (Hopefully) realize that the pre-populated destination (formerly the To: field) isn't where you want it to go and thereby Click to choose a different destination.
4. Click See More because the destination you want is likely not pre-listed
5. Click Search because nobody wants to scroll through all their Collections, Communities, and circles.
6. Type the destination and Click it in the list
7. Click back into the text box
8. Type out your message
9. Click "Post" (or tab 3 times to get to the Post button)
9 steps, 8 clicks
There couldn't have been a single person in usability testing that thought that was in any way fluid, easy, or intuitive.
Order of Operations and Assisted Actions
In my opinion, most of the clunkiness of these new workflows could be avoided by simply paying attention to the order of operations. Placing the destination before all else causes some kinks in the workflow by not allowing users to simply start typing.
If I could engineer the process myself it would look very similar to the old method. Order of operation should be:
Typed content, attached content, destination, post
This is a Wide-Spread Problem
Many users are voicing an overall feeling of having too many clicks between them and accomplishing common actions. (Another example is GIFs: https://plus.google.com/+DustinStout/posts/SD4BjFFVBXy)
Each click is a barrier to entry, and it seems like although simplification of the network was the overall goal, over complication of the engagement with the network has been the result.
I believe the team is listening, and I hope they hear this one loud and clear: Less clicks please!
#newgoogleplus #feedback #uiux
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