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Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google

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Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Toby S. 4/11/12 6:20 AM
See this Google Blog Post to learn more about the more functional, flexible version of Google+ we're rolling out over the next couple of days.


Leave your feedback on the changes here!
The Google+ Team
Legacy2000 4/11/12 8:03 AM <This message has been deleted.>
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Legacy2000 4/11/12 8:05 AM
So basically, you've Timelined G+.

I liked Google+ because of it's simple, clean look, and I had been planning to switch to it completely when FB Timelines me. So much for that idea.

Things are harder to find, and not just because we're not used to it, but because less is visible and more is hidden. Posts take up much more space, which makes scrolling through them a chore. I want to read what people post, not be visually accosted.

There are many functional improvements that you could be making to G+ to help it realize it's true potential, and offer something different to the market. Cosmetic changes that imitate Timeline will not put Google on top.
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Silver-Streak 4/11/12 9:22 AM
Most of the changes are ok.
However, there is a ton of unneeded wasted space. Major improvement: What's hot is no longer forcibly added to the feed.

Major issues: Please tell me there is a way to remove the nonsense "Trending" Bar that's taking up half of the feed, and the other excess recommendations nonsense on the right side of the feed. If not, please add the option, this would also allow feed posts to take up more of the usable space.

Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google veritas1 4/11/12 10:32 AM
I fail to see most of your points legacy2000, but it's all personal preference.

The only resemblance to FB timeline is the new profile option (which as stated is optional).

The general layout is nice. I don't like how the stream is hugging the left side of the screen instead of front and centre. This gives the illusion of there being more white space than before.

I hope Google has something in mind for that white space. People have heard from Google that it is not going to be for advertising, but we'll see about that...
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Max_E. 4/11/12 1:33 PM
Love the new "show activity" design. Not wild about cover photos (they take up a lot of vertical space, although I'll probably go ahead and set one on my profile if I can't make it go away altogether.) The "trending" thing is pointless and does not interest me (same reason I disabled "what's hot" posts from appearing in my stream.) I like the new left and right sidebars. Of course the whitespace is a problem, but it looks like you guys are on top of that.

My biggest gripe is the visual design. I don't like the areas with different shades of grey. You should just have all the backgrounds be white again with no outlines, just the way it used to be. It looks so much cleaner that way. The new visual design too much going on in my opinion.
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Kaleh 4/12/12 6:55 AM
It is certainly common to have a wide range of opinions about any changes that Google makes.  We all have different expectations and comfort levels.

For those issues that you really find unappealing and don't think that you will be able to adjust to, please remember to use the "Send Feedback" tool (in addition to any discussion generated in the forum or Google+ posts.)

Google needs to hear about the specific things that people like and also needs to hear constructive criticism about those things that you don't care for.  It seems to me that explanations about why you don't care for a particular implementation and how you think it could be improved are more likely to be considered for any modifications.

In the new design, the  "Send Feedback" tool is accessible through the "Gear Icon" in the upper right area of the main part of your G+ pages.  At the present time, it is missing from the "Profile" pages, but you can still activate it from a different page and describe what you want to provide feedback on.

In addition, you can review your previous feedback reports to see if you have forgotten to report something that is important to you.

View your feedback reports
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Dirk Talamasca 4/12/12 9:42 AM
The New UI has eliminated the ability to remove or edit descriptions when posting a URL and I feel this is a very grave error. Many web sites simply do not adhere to rules or recommendations with regard to sharing content. The text and descriptions that are pulled into G+ posts can often be incoherent, inappropriate, or simply strings of code if the site owner is collating real time results from a news or weather feed into their posts. The new inability to edit URL descriptions will give rise to unsightly posts that totally negate the goal of enhancing and beautifying content on G+.

This is an issue with the UI that I and many others consider a showstopper. For even if users post their own lovely and informative descriptions and details into the post that they are sharing, it may very well be followed by text and descriptions that are ill formatted and unpleasant to look at. It is highly likely that such posts will be given a quick glance and passed over rather than engaging followers. 

This has been a problem with YouTube videos from the inception of G+ and even though I and many others have submitted requests to address the issue, it seems to have gone unnoticed. The ability to eliminate and/or edit titles and descriptions of YouTube videos is an ability that other social networks allow freely, with no ill effect, and I would imagine to great benefit of their respective platforms. As things stand, when a G+ user posts a YouTube video into their stream, they must accept that the description of the video inserted by the original poster is going to appear in their stream whether it is appropriate or not. Many text descriptions on YouTube videos often encourage people to click on links to download pirated software, are misspelled and inaccurate, or make political or racial comments that you do not agree with and that you certainly aren't looking to share with your followers. G+ users should have the ability to correct these things and beautify the overall look of G+ while delivering accurate and on topic descriptions of the content that they wish to share.
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Kaleh 4/12/12 10:10 AM
@Dirk Talamasca

This is an issue with the UI that I and many others consider a showstopper. For even if users post their own lovely and informative descriptions and details into the post that they are sharing, it may very well be followed by text and descriptions that are ill formatted and unpleasant to look at. It is highly likely that such posts will be given a quick glance and passed over rather than engaging followers.

When I run into problems with the snippets that Google is pulling and automatically inserting, I mouse over the text area containing Google's inserted material and use the [x] that appears,  to remove that content.

Then, I manually paste the link in the body of my post and add my own Title and Details.  I realize this is not the ideal situation, but it is an option.
 
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Dirk Talamasca 4/12/12 10:36 AM
@Kaleh

I had assumed that I was making myself quite clear in the very first sentence of my feedback by stating that the method you are recommending is no longer an option. You can no longer remove text from the description area. The only [x] now available removes the URL and the description entirely so that nothing may be shared. That simply cannot stand and it needs to be rectified.
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Kaleh 4/12/12 10:59 AM
Sorry Dirk ... I had never tried removing/editing only the text from the description area before, so I was not aware of the fact that both the title/link and the description were separate components.  

However, with the a loss of functionality, as you were previously accustomed to, I would think it very wise for everyone concerned to also be certain to use the "Send Feedback" tool.

This forum post is a great platform for generating awareness, but that "Send Feedback" tool also has power in numbers.

Please note: I'm not sure I was clear in what I was trying to convey about how I sometimes post such material.  I am able to do things the way I have always done them by totally bypassing the link insertion option that Google provides.  I only make my suggestion as an alternative until if (and when) Google returns the previous functionality.

I still post links manually in the body of my comment and add my own title/snippets ... then totally remove what Google+ inserted in the "link insertion" area.

My title and the actual link are separate components, but it is preferable to the alternative of html or undesirable snippets sometimes being posted in the area where Google automatically inserts data.

I didn't like what Google inserted for the Title or the Description when I originally inserted the following link.  

Feedback [View your previous feedback reports here]
https://www.google.com/tools/feedback/reports

So ... I put the above text in the body of my comment and used the [x] to remove all of what Google had inserted.  Note: the [x] doesn't appear until I mouse over the text area where Google did their insertion.  I don't recall what the previous behavior was in regard to visibility of the [x].
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Dirk Talamasca 4/12/12 11:28 AM
Kaleh,

Yes, I understand that you can post only a link and have the link appear within the body of your post. In fact, you can have several links appear there and also add an image if you remove the resulting link that populates the description field automatically upon first insertion of a URL.

Posts can be shared in this way, but images that accompany the content being shared also vanish when the URL is removed from the description field. What is likely to happen is that users will quickly become frustrated with the fact that the descriptions they are sharing are broken, completely unrelated to the content that they are sharing and/or poorly formatted as to appear messy. They may then take it upon themselves to grab the nice image that is available in the story that they wish to share, upload it themselves, insert a proper title and description and insert the URL into the body of their post. This is a regression which encourages users to upload images that may be copyrighted into their own accounts in order to nicely format a post that they feel is substantive and worthwhile. 
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Kaleh 4/12/12 11:36 AM
Dirk,

I fully understand and agree with  your concern.  I have flagged this for the Community Managers in hopes of generating a higher level of interest in fixing it.  I also hope that others are flooding Google with feedback through the Send Feedback tool.
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google jvanroekel 4/12/12 1:07 PM
You do not beat facebook by copying facebook.

You were gaining ground by being the grownup version of facebook, the more you act like them, the less reason there is to be here and not there.

Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Jack B. Erhart 4/12/12 1:37 PM
I discovered in the profile area of a Google+ for Business page there is no feedback capability. There is on the home page, but that doesn't help if the problem is visual, and it's accruing in the profile area of the business page. No screenshot.


I sent feed back from the home page, but wanted to follow up here also.

The issue: Title of the business, or business name is cut off. It doesn't show completely. That doesn't do much for branding credibility now does it?

I added the full title to the introduction area to compensate until there is a fix, but this is a biggy guys.

Thanks for your attention.
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Kaleh 4/12/12 2:08 PM
@Jack B. Erhart

I also reported the lack of access to the "Send Feedback" tool from the profile pages yesterday.  I encourage others to do so as well, using the "Send Feedback" tool from any page where you have access.  

In the meantime, users should do as you have here ... use the  "Send Feedback" tool from any page where you can access it and describe the problem and location as best you can.  Posting here, in addition to the Feedback tool is great, too.

I have sometimes included, in the Feedback tool report, a link to a forum post, a Google+ post or a link to a screen capture that I have stored elsewhere.  I don't know how much it helps, but I give it a shot anyway.
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Kaleh 4/12/12 4:09 PM
@Jack

Perhaps this will help you with the absence of the Send Feedback tool on certain pages:

Send Google+ Feedback from any page
To make this easier you can create a bookmark with the url javascript:appfeedback.startFeedback({});void(0);

Perhaps you can tell me how to make it work.  So far, on my CR48 (Chromebook) I haven't been successful.
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Jack B. Erhart 4/12/12 4:25 PM
Make a bookmark of any page. Once you have the bookmark say in the bookmark bar, go in to edit the recently created bookmark.

Add the javascript in where the URL is, and rename the book mark Feedback.

Seems to work very well.

Thanks for the heads up.
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Kaleh 4/12/12 7:05 PM
Thanks Jack!  That's pretty cool!  
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Jack B. Erhart 4/12/12 7:09 PM
Your very welcome Kaleh. Ya, I thought it was, especially once I figured out how to make it work. LOL! 
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Legacy2000 4/15/12 10:59 AM
Further to Dirk's comment about , this is a big problem not only for third-party sites, but for Google-hosted sites like blogspot blogs.

I use Blogger's Jump Break/Read More feature to give my one of my blog's main page the appearance of a table of contents. When posting a link to a blog post on G+, it tends to ignore the text before the Jump Break (which, being a description of the post, is exactly what I want), and pulls text apparently at random starting anywhere from the beginning of the post (after the break) to the third paragraph. I have looked at the source code for the post pages to see if there is anything that would explain this, and have found no relevant differences.

For most posts, I have to remove the jump break, and often move text around even after that to get G+ to pull the text I want, working only with trial and error based on hopeful guesses. After I publish the link to G+, I have to put my blog post back together again. This is a lot of time spent that could be avoided if G+ either gave us the ability to edit link description text, or worked with the Blogger team to give us some method of defining the text from within Blogger.

And not even being able to remove the description altogether makes no sense at all.
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Legacy2000 4/15/12 11:00 AM
*Further to Dirk's comment about link description text.
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Dirk Talamasca 4/17/12 9:08 AM
The Official Google +1 Extension is suffering from this regression as well. In addition to the inability to edit the description, the thumbnail image that is presented cannot be changed. This results in the post displaying images that are entirely unrelated to the information that you wish to share. That particular extension is also quite resource intensive, many times exceeding the resources required to have an additional tab open in the Chrome Browser. 
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Legacy2000 4/18/12 5:40 AM
When I first saw the Timeline-style stream, I was worried that because of the incomprehensible horizontal squish and consequent vertical stretch of post content, I would have to scroll endlessly to catch up, and this further worried me because of the additional strain the new format puts on my resources.

Not to worry. In the week or so since this was introduced, I have noticed a marked decrease in G+ activity from people in my stream, which means I can check in a couple of times a day instead of several, and still catch up. This has the added benefit of counter-balancing the strain on resources - since I no longer leave a G+ tab open almost all the time, I open one during those quiet moments when I do not need my browser for anything else.

Had I realized that the goal was to get people using G+ less, I would not have been so critical. Thanks for the fresh air. (That is not a metaphor for the New Look - I mean real fresh air, which many of the changes in the googleverse have been leading me to get more of.)
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Brian 4/18/12 1:28 PM
Hi Dirk, Legacy2000, we're looking into this and I've shared your feedback with our team. Thanks for raising this.

Jack, although the Send feedback links have been removed from pages, you should still be able to access the link from the Home page gear icon (even if you're using G+ as your page). The Highlight feature may not apply to your specific feedback report, but you can still share your suggestions or report issues to our team through the tool, and I've shared your feedback about re-adding Send feedback to more pages, thank you.
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Dirk Talamasca 4/18/12 5:50 PM
Hello Brian,

Thank you very much for giving this issue your attention. I have submitted feedback and I fashioned a Public post on G+ detailing the issues that I have raised here. Several users were in agreement and provided examples of how this regression has affected them along with the promise to follow through with feedback of their own.

Overall I am extremely pleased with the new layout. There are a few other subtle peculiarities which I have noticed and have seen others mention in passing conversation. They are probably well worth outlining here and in feedback. It seems that those details which are the most subtle often require the most complex explanations. It is funny how that happens.

I will prepare an outline of those issues for feedback as soon as I am able.

Thanks again for working to make the UI more visually appealing, logical and robust.

Dirk
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Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Legacy2000 4/22/12 8:08 AM
Brian, thank you for acknowledging our concerns. If my tone seems sarcastic at times, please understand that users sometimes feel proprietary about platforms we really like, and I really liked G+ before the changes. If we didn't care, we wouldn't be here.

I get that to a certain extent, the format is a matter of personal preference, and you can't please everybody. That said, beyond one's visual appreciation (or not) of the Timeline-style post boxes and the rearrangement of the menu items, the use of horizontal space is not well thought out, with less used "features" taking valuable space away from post content - even those who prefer the new look have criticized this extensively.

Also, the new interface is a much greater strain on resources (we're not all using CR-48s), and content sometimes jumps around at random when the page should remain static. I have noticed this particularly when trying to edit a comment on posts with many comments - the scroll bars in the comment section flashes on and off and it's a cat an mouse game to catch the green button.

While many of us still won't like it better than the old one, we can live with the new format if some of these practical concerns are addressed. It can be ugly, but functional - the former is a matter of taste, the latter is not.

Again, thanks for listening.
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Thomas Scholz 4/23/12 8:52 AM
Will circles be dropped? Now I can see just two circles, in the previous design I had five or six. Is this the new direction? There is space enough for more … 

I think this was a bad decision, the choice of different circles was useful. Now it just looks like a left-over.
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Acorn 4/27/12 12:15 AM
This update happened while I was on holiday and I was using my iphone ap for Google+. I was amazed at the amount of complaints people were making in my circles about the changes and how like facebook it was becoming.
On my return I have noticed that there is far less activity in my circles, I wonder if other people have noticed this, I'm sure that Google will soon have some data on this anyway.
The other big problem for me is the black background behind any images on postings, I have asked about this in another thread but have received no comments so far for that and other questions aked.
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Legacy2000 4/27/12 3:51 AM
I have noticed far less activity in my circles as well, coinciding with the rollout of the new format. It kinda works out - see my comment of Apr 18 above.

And I'm sure they already have data that confirms this, but I doubt that they will ever share it with us.
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Acorn 4/27/12 4:50 AM
I have to agree with what you say Legacy2000.
 
How long do you think it will be before all the white space will be covered with advertisements?
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Legacy2000 4/27/12 6:45 AM
I hadn't thought of that, but it makes sense. Blind us with lots of white space across all Google products, give users a while to complain about how it is visually disturbing, then announce that they have heard our pleas and are introducing new content (i.e. ads) to solve the problem and enhance our user experience.

I would have been okay if they had just added ads to the old formats. I don't mind ads - that is how Google pays for the services they provide - but I do mind the products I knew and loved being totally mucked up for some hidden agenda that need not be hidden.
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Lovely Chanda 5/10/12 2:21 PM
Lovely Chanda
Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google Lovely Chanda 5/10/12 2:22 PM

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Re: Toward a Simpler. More Beautiful Google TMcD 5/13/12 10:22 AM
I hope google has something in mind for the white space too, and it better not be for advertising. we need more entertainment!