The Skinny on Google+’s Redesign: Did it Help?
Subtle improvements slowly made Facebook what it is today. Let’s face it, when Facebook was initially released in 2004 as “Thefacebook,” it was hideous. Today’s standards of web design are phenomenally high—we want it pretty, but extremely fast, and also easily-navigable. In true American fashion, we want it all.
So now, to the haters of Google+’s slow start, we say, lay off ‘em! To even take on a project that dares to challenge Facebook is incredibly ballsy. And, it’s sites like Google+ that may someday (or possibly already do) post a threat to Facebook that continually motivate Zuckerberg and his team to improve it. In order to be the best, one must stay the best. Right now, Facebook is still the best. But Google+ is taking strides in the right direction.
Let’s take a look at the recent Google+ redesign:
Bigger is Better
Similar to Facebook’s recent Timeline improvement, “panoramic cover” photos are featured at the top of the page in a prominent 940 x 180 space. Or, if you prefer, your brand page can feature 5 “scrapbook photos” along the top, each 110 x 110 with 16 pixels in between each. Profile pictures on brand pages have been enlarged as well to 250 x 250 pixels.
Photos and videos within newsfeeds are now presented in a larger format. Additionally, reshares and +1’s are now more readily seen under enlarged photo albums. These subtle changes give a nod to our typical preferences as humans for visual layouts—there’s now less text, larger photos and happier users.
If there’s one thing Google should be darn good at, it’s navigation—they are first and foremost a web browser, for goodness’ sake. So naturally, their recent redesign included a handy dandy navigation bar along the left hand side of the page. This new bar, called the “navigation ribbon,” allows users easy access to the most popular features of Google+—there’s a link to photos, hangouts, circles, games and the new explore page.
Multiple Accounts? No problem
Realizing that many employees have multiple accounts on Google+, it’s now easier to switch between your company’s page and personal page. Users can now access multiple accounts using the Google bar or Navigation Ribbon.
The changes were met with mostly positive feedback from critics, who gave Google snaps for updating their look and making better use of their real estate. Few questioned whether or not these changes will make any difference—but we applaud Google+ for taking one more stride in their race. What do you think of the changes?