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8 Things That Totally Suck About the New GooglePlus UI

G+ changed its User Interface today, without any warning that I recall, and already the backlash is pretty harsh.

Here are my immediate reactions and issues with the new G+ UI:

(1) A lot more use of that annoying Light Gray Text on White Background. I don't mind using it for navigation buttons that get bright when your cursor hovers over them, but for web text it sucks. Like in all the comments now.

This trend is one of, if not the, worst developments in the web. Readability and usability suffer greatly.

(2) Where is the Feedback button now? It seems to have completely vanished.

(3) Just when people were happy to see the newer new +1 button (Google can't seem to decide how to present this thing, it changes constantly) going red -- it is now Light Grey on White Background, almost invisible.

(4) Video for the "New GooglePlus design" is annoying with that stupid "Look at the world" music that distracts. Should have had someone talking us through the changes, with soft instrumental music as background to sooth us into a begrudging acceptance.

(5) Circles button now demoted to a drop down menu called More, as though your Circles aren't that important anymore, joining Games and Pages in the nether realm.

(6) Pundits brazenly call the New Profile big image option "ala Facebook Timeline", which shows how lame this new UI is. Facebook sucks. And G+ is now imitating Facebook? Bad news.

(7) Chat box at bottom of page, replacing Feedback, is not good. I got rid of Chat in my Gmail UI because certain persons kept bugging me with it late at night. Since you cannot ban, block, or blacklist anybody on Gmail (for unknown reasons), I had to just delete the Chat button. And now here it is on G+, creeping back like a bad penny. Does this mean that my Gmail contacts can pester me with Chat on G+??? How do I delete that thing?

(8) Still no moderation control over G+ Hangouts, but they keep pushing this widget as a positive thing to get all excited about. If you can't kick trolls out of a Hangout you are hosting, it's not practical, especially for business or serious videoconferencing purposes. "Organic" means porous borders, random discovery, making Hangouts more of a trivial game than a usable communication / conversation tool.

Enjoy these 8 complaints. Many more will be coming later.

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Michael Howald's profile photoPantheria Endou's profile photoViljo Viitanen's profile photoJoe Philipps's profile photo
37 comments
 
I can address 2. It's on the settings menu (i.e. the cog icon).
 
I can also address 5. You can drag your circles button to whatever position you like on the sidebar. If you drag games off the sidebar, it will appear in more.
 
LOL your post reads a little bit like: "O no, they changed something, I don't like change... can't be better."
 
I strongly suggest everyone go up to the gear at the top of the page and click "send feedback" and give google a piece of your mind. IMHO the original g+ was a masterpiece of UI design that shouldn't be messed with.
 
A little poll I have running suggests that more people are liking the new UI, than hating it (8 for, 4 against, 11 undecided).
 
Uh, yeah, if you click the +1 button, it turns red.
 
+Søren Dalsgaard Brath make sure you get mine. I despise the changes. I am physically upset. It is now uglier, boxier, less pleasing to present. I will no longer use it as my calling card.
 
The circles is only demoted for some people, you can drag it out on the main menu if you please.
 
You raise some legitimate concerns +Steven Streight. Definitely a couple I agree with and a few I'm not on board with. I don't see the same concerns you do +Hervé Maas. These are well grounded and thought out with backing... Different than just complaining to complain.

1) I like the grey on grey. Until I saw some of the concerns in the stream, I didn't realize that there was an accessability / viewability problem - especially with folks having poor eyesight. Something that should definitely be addressed since accessibility is pretty important to Google.

2) I can understand moving the feedback button into a less obvious place, but not when the product is still in Beta - I'd like to see it still prevalent

3) Different flavors of +1 all over the place. Google is all about experimentation so I'm guessing there is still an effort to identify which styles are the most effective. Hopefully will stabilize as the Beta process moves forward (although there will likely always be a certain degree of change as Google continues to experiment.)

4) Video is simply meant as an introduction / viewport. I like it - especially with the music. Tutorial videos could definitely be produced but I don't see that as the point of this video.

5) One of the things I really like about the new interface is the ability to adjust the order / grouping of icons on the side bar. +Adrian Wells walked through a suggestion for getting it situated in a manner more to your liking.

6) Don't have timeline so can't really compare. I like the new / larger image with overlay but find it a bit distracting in the hovercard.

7) Hmmmm - My chatbox is firmly situated on the r-hand side of the browser window. I like it, but it would definitely be nice if it were "dockable" and you could move it to a different location.

8) Definitely a problem for a public hangout. However, for business, wouldn't you primary use pre-curated circles? I do think that the ability to remove someone from a hangout by a moderator would be a good feature though - perhaps it is something that would be linked with "Hangouts on Air"?

Good post though Steven. Thought provoking and well articulated.
 
I dragged Circles out from More and guess what? Photos took its place. But I had not even seen Photos there before. #fail
 
+Steven Streight It depends on your screen height. If you're on a 180 monitor, you can drag out all of the icons. More will be merged inside the "More" area as your screen height gets reduced.
 
+David Moore I appreciate your intelligent response to my post. You add value to the G+ experience. I had eye surgery and now have perfect vision. And I still think the Light Gray Text on White Background is a curse spreading across the web. Almost akin to accidental censorship. LOL
 
+Seth Moon Thanks. But this is a weird problem. What's wrong with stacking the icons and expecting users to scroll? As Jakob Nielsen says, drop down menus make options invisible temporarily. Not always such a good idea.
 
If I understand correctly, you don't want people to be able to contact you via Chat anymore, is that right? If so, just click on the dropdown arrow next to your name at the top of the chat box and hit Sign Out Of Chat. Boom, gone.
 
+Melina M Thanks. I was being trolled via Gmail Chat. That's what I'm reacting to. But it's too bad you can't blacklist/block someone in Gmail, and have to get rid of Chat altogether. This is stupid.

But I see now that G+ Chat is not yet enabled. And I can determine who can Chat via Privacy Settings. That's good.
 
+Steven Streight one last hint about Chat: if you hover over someone's name in Gmail chat and click the More button, you actually do have the option to block people. :)
 
+Melina M Thanks for taking the time and effort to inform me. I shall try this method. :^)
 
Hey, everybody on Google+ is usually happy to help someone who actually appreciates the help. :)
 
Overall I like the new look but I agree that the whitespace is too much. On my 17" work monitor it's not bad at all - some screenshots I've seen appear ridiculous. For such a tech savvy company like google, I don't understand why they wouldn't make the panes draggable - so people with long names in chat can actually be fully read (if one cared) or the posts/comments section could be expanded via css for less scrolling and better real estate management. This feature would also let someone customize both to be even smaller if they were chat junkies with little chat windows all over the place - or to even out the size of chat and posts/comments portions.

I have to agree on the grey on grey though - after a while my eyes start to hurt.
 
I definitely agree with #4. I had to mute the video because the song was grating. I was hoping to have a real person tell me something useful about the UI. Silly me.
 
+Frances Bowman Exactly. The changes were jarring, unrequested, and bad for usability in general. To have that stupid music playing while I was squinting to try to see what the heck was happening with the new design -- very annoying and absurd.
 
[user now BLOCKED as troll] - Thanks for your input. For an "ignorant, bad taste, fearful" post, you sure put a lot of time and effort into your reply. Sorry if my 12 years of web usability analysis and web content development give me a viewpoint that does not fit with yours.
 
[user now BLOCKED as troll] - My backlash against this horrible new design trainwreck is spreading all over the internet, as are all the other very geeky complaints that tech pundits are spewing forth. I'm sorry to tell you that you are incapable of stemming the tide of this criticism.

Web content development, if you knew anything at all about web technology, includes all forms of digital media, not just text or writing.

I'm not interested in Gmail chat or G+Chat, so the simple solution, for me, is to disable it completely.

You can keep talking about "evolving system" but in this case it seems more like a "devolving, deteriorating system".

For GooglePlus to imitate the Facebook Timeline, when droves of people came to G+ to get away from Facebook, certainly seems ironic and futile.

Have fun being a "pharmacy technician". Good luck with your "good memory for numbers and trivial facts" and your development of "virtual drugs" or whatever it is you do.
 
[user now BLOCKED as troll] - I don't spend much time discussing tech issues with someone who has only 39 people who have put them into a Circle. Sorry.
 
[user now BLOCKED as troll] - I don't waste time debating web tech with a person with no real web expertise. You can't even reason correctly. 3282 people have me in Circles because of my web expertise primarily. If millions follow Britney Spears, it's for other reasons.

You argue like the pathetic troll you are. Soon to be BLOCKED just to make you feel depressed. You will not use my stream to try to coax a following for your foolishness. LOL
 
1.) This isn't a problem for me personally, but I can see where you are coming from.

2.) The feedback button has been moved to the Cog menu at the top of the page, keeping in line with other Google products (such as calendar. This makes the interface cleaner overall, and means that chat windows won't overlap it. I agree that it could have better discoverability.

3.) I prefer the new +1 button on the posts, it's cleaner IMO. The +1 looks the same for comments to me.

4.) An interactive tour was added to the G+ interface. I guess this keeps with the idea that the best way to learn something is by using it :-) The video was more of an advertisement.

5.) This is customizable and, as others have said, is affected by screen size. One thing that people have been complaining about is that only the Family and Friends circle are shown as immediately available streams on the Home page. You can customize this as well by re-ordering your circles on the Circles page.

6.) The option is available for both styles. Sometimes Facebook does make good choices ;-)

7.) Chat windows always popped up down the bottom, and that hasn't changed, however the chat list will also appear there if you have limited screen width. If you are using a wider screen the chat list will attach to the right hand side, like on Facebook. As Melina M said, you do have control over who can chat with you.

8.) There are a number of ways to limit who can join your Hangouts. Only add certain people, not entire circles. Or create a circle of people you trust. If you are referring to hangouts on air or public hangouts in general then yep, moderation is a missing feature - but they have to start somewhere!

It's that people are quick to point out what they don't like about a new interface change, because there is always room for improvement, and I'm sure the Google+ team are monitoring our feedback.

Does there happen to be anything about the new interface that you like? Personally I love the new left sidebar, both for the customization and the fact that there are now textual labels.
 
I find grey on grey easier for my eyes than black on white, I even setup IDEs at home and at work to have with similar colour scheme. Unfortunately on some monitors and for some people some shades of grey might be harder to differentiate, so using these colours as main colour scheme is debatable. To be fair, if it's a problem that you notice on many websites, then it might be worth calibrating the monitor, and then who knows, maybe even some photos will look better :P.
 
The worst thing for me is the cartoonish balloons used for posts, but the grey on grey are a close second. And unannounced changes with no way to revert to old format are not far back.
 
Thanks for all the input on this post.

Users want to be able to master an interface, feel comfortable with it, so they can get things done.

Too often, designers forget that users are visiting a wide variety of websites, and don't have time to keep relearning an interface that keeps changing, especially when there is no advance notice that changes are coming, and no beta test period.

It is detrimental to the user community, you know, the folks who are posting all the free user generated content that is scraped, archived, and monetized, one way or another, to make them adjust to significant modifications, just when they had become proficient in the previous design.

During a limited launch beta test program, you should get all the feedback you can and make all the tweaks necessary. Then occasionally as the user community grows, you can make some additional tweaks. But to keep fussing with a design, in reaction to competing sites like Facebook or Twitter, shows a weak vision of what the site is all about and how the user community wishes the site to be.
Gyl Sky
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Agree and this new Google+ is the worst design I've seen from almighty Google.

It fails to the ground unless you are a tablet readers.

+ Performance is better, I will give it credit on this
- Many flows are not intuitive now
- Wrong design of layout, wasting space of chat layout, tutorials are everywhere, turn them off we don't need them after 1st time.
- So-called-customize your toolbar is bullshit, the limitation of 3 circles on top bar? Come on. Big minus.
- The saved search becomes very inconvenient to use, it is not always there when you need it and the flow sucks.
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