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iGoogle Users Irate About Portal's Changes 321

Posted by kdawson
from the without-the-option dept.
bhhenry sends in an InformationWeek report on a recent unannounced change in the iGoogle portal. Quoting: "Google insists that its revised iGoogle personalized home page generates better 'happiness metrics' than the old design, but a vocal group of users isn't happy about the changes." The recent change introduces what Google refers to as "canvas view," which the Official Google Blog claims "... makes iGoogle a more useful homepage and a better platform for developers." Unlike the last major change made to Gmail, there is no option to revert to the old version of iGoogle. iGoogle users are reporting that widgets and themes are broken, Gmail attachments don't work, and valuable screen space is wasted. The Personalizing Google section of Google Groups is full of thousands of complaints about this sudden and unannounced change. Many posters have have stated that they are using the Canadian or UK version of iGoogle or even moving to NetVibes.com to get their preferred layout back. It seems that Google and Yahoo are moving in lockstep in springing forced changes that users hate.
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iGoogle Users Irate About Portal's Changes

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  • by Lord Byron II (671689) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @03:33PM (#25433377)
    Firewire, Y! Profiles, and now iGoogle. What is the world coming to?!? ;-)
    • by AdmiralXyz (1378985) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @03:39PM (#25433441)
      The world is coming to people bitching and moaning whenever any of their precious stability in life is taken away. Between the new Facebook, the new Flickr, and now iGoogle, I've seen so many people complaining for no other reason than that it's different. Call me naive, but I have faith in these companies that they made these changes for a reason, namely that they did tests and concluded it would improve the user experience, and that the bugs will be worked out in time. (And about the FireWire: people were whining when the iMac didn't have a floppy drive too.)
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Martin Blank (154261)

        At least the new Facebook gave a chance to look at it to see if you liked it. Those who wished could express an opinion on it, which may or may not have gotten attention from developers. But the notice and first look kind of thing is nice to have, even if it will eventually be forced on you.

        • by lilfields (961485)
          Except with Facebook the developers didn't listen to anyone's suggestions, they could improve that style so much if they would just do some very minor things like content borders etc. As for iGoogle, I like the new design...but the sidebar is completely useless...so far at least.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I might as well point out that I've been on the new iGoogle since very early 2008.

          And Google announced, over a year ago, that these changes will be happening. Just because something wasn't reported, doesn't make it fact.

          • by afidel (530433)
            Exactly, when I saw the reports I was like what the f are they complaining about, the new layouts been available forever and most of my colleagues have been using it because it's simply better.
      • by Tawnos (1030370) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @03:49PM (#25433523)

        I'd agree for a lot of things (facebook, flickr), but for google the change really blows. Moving the previously optional tabs from the top to the left creates a huge empty gap on the iGoogle page, reducing the amount of space to work in. The new applications hijack your homepage - I can no longer middle click to open things I want to see later into the background, because they've been AJAX'd (the new hijacked?). Some of the apps I used to use are broken by the change, and I'm not given any option of removing the parts I really don't need.

        It used to be that I could aggregate a large amount of relevant information into a small space using iGoogle. Now it's a larger space (due to the extra column of waste) with an interface that's less conducive to picking out those pieces of information I want to expound upon.

        I'm sure that I'll eventually get used to it (or move to a different portal), but the change was abrupt and unwelcome, because it broke a fundamental use flow that I'd found quite productive.

        • by vlm (69642) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @04:24PM (#25433879)

          The new applications hijack your homepage - I can no longer middle click to open things I want to see later into the background, because they've been AJAX'd (the new hijacked?).

          When I was a pre-beta tester (or whatever) a couple months ago, I agree, that was broken. Today, using FF 3.0.3 (along with about 15 extension addons) that works along with right clicking. For example I opened this /. story by right click open in new tab off the slashdot rss applet. That did not work a couple months ago. Maybe noscript is saving me or something?

          For years I removed or disabled flash to avoid stupid graphic designer mistakes and only recently added flash to watch videos, with the protection of adblock and noscript and friends. Will I now have to find a way to disable ajax to work around stupid designs?

        • by arrenlex (994824) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @05:22PM (#25434423)

          The world is coming to people bitching and moaning whenever any of their precious stability in life is taken away.

          I'd agree for a lot of things (facebook, flickr), but for google the change really blows.

          It's funny how that works -- while changes don't affect you personally or you don't mind them, the people who are upset are "bitching" and "moaning" about it. Yet, suddenly, when you are ticked off about a change, it's suddenly "abrupt and unwelcome" and you "don't agree" complaining about it is bitching.

          I'm not a conservative, but I respect that part of the conservative ideology. Is this thing being changed for a good reason, or is it being changed for the sake of putting up something new? Even if this change doesn't affect me, if people start changing things for the sake of change, maybe the next one will affect me, or the next.

          Almost no one is really bitching and moaning about these changes -- they all have legitimate complaints, and so will you when something you like changes. Don't call them names; put yourself in their shoes.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Tawnos (1030370)

            In my defense, I have both facebook and flickr pages. The facebook changes were a necessity once it moved from the simple layout to one where content could be added. Prior to those changes, the place was getting so cluttered that it wasn't even worth trying to put a quick message on the wall or e-stalk a person when you needed to get ahold of them.

            Google's changes don't come as the result of new features being added that need their own space to grow. Moreover, their previous model of having boxes that can

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Merusdraconis (730732)

          You should use my copy of Firefox: for some reason on my laptop I don't see these changes, but on my desktop I do.

          I like the changes. I want to get it consistent. I'm baffled as to why one computer gets the changes while the other with the same browser does not.

      • by AngryNick (891056) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @03:52PM (#25433555) Homepage Journal
        I deal with a lot of b1tchy user in my job and they complain when you give them a new tool, then they complain when you enhance it with the features that 80% of the users said they wanted, then they moan when you try to take it down before 6:00pm PST on a Friday, and fain death when you replace it 10 years later when an easier to use tool. No wonder I'm always angry.

        To me, the new facebook is better, iGoogle's canvas and tab placement is an improvement, and Flickr is still perfectly suited for posting my photos.
        • by casper75 (44745) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @03:58PM (#25433619)

          I couldn't agree with you more. I really like the new layout of facebook, the new iGoogle layout, and the new flickr layout. But what am I supposed to do, post in forums for all three sites and talk about why the haters are wrong? Not worth the effort... I'll just keep using these sites and those who can't stand the changes can go elsewhere.

        • by poetmatt (793785)

          Agreed. It is a pain in the ass all the time with people during a transition of any kind.

          I was miffed for about 8 seconds with the new version. Mostly because I hit F5 and refreshed to see the change with no notice...so it was a "WTF? oh, this is nice", and move on.

          However, it would be nice if to ease the transition or for those stubborn folk they gave you an option to turn it on/off. I'd like it on for some tabs and off for others even.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Flentil (765056)
          I think you might be missing the point, that being the point of this article. You are forcing changes on people who were happy doing things as they were. Maybe if you would stop doing that, they'd stop complaining so much.
      • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Sunday October 19, 2008 @04:10PM (#25433733) Homepage Journal

        The world is coming to people bitching and moaning whenever any of their precious stability in life is taken away.

        And why shouldn't they? There's precious little "stability" in our lives at the moment, and most of us really don't need to wake up to a portal page that has been capriciously redesigned.

        Call me naive, but I have faith in these companies...

        You are extremely naive, son. The notion that Google "did tests and concluded it would improve the user experience" is belied by the fact that part of the user experience means being comfortable that the layout of the page you view most often is going to look the same tomorrow than it did last night.

        • by FooGoo (98336) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @10:35PM (#25436739)
          Never rely on other people, companies or things for your stability. Your stability is your responsibility and no one else's. Everything changes if you can't deal with that it's no one else's problem or responsibility but your own. If your happiness is defined by the UI of a website you have serious problems. It's meaningless...does the sun going down make you feel insecure? How about running water....does that make you unstable? When the wind blows do you get panicky?

          Acknowledge, adapt, and move.

      • by BrentH (1154987)
        But why should I need to have any faith in a company? Which is why I have been looking for an easy way to set up my own iGoogle/Netvibes on my own webserver, but I havn't found software that does this. Any ideas out there? It needs to run on PHP and preferably need no database (adding a feed by modifying a txt file, yes please).
      • by Kugrian (886993) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @04:39PM (#25434037) Homepage

        The world is coming to people bitching and moaning whenever any of their precious stability in life is taken away. Between the new Facebook, the new Flickr, and now iGoogle, I've seen so many people complaining for no other reason than that it's different.

        If you don't like a newer version of a downloaded program, you stick with the old one. If you don't like a newer version of a webpage, then you (usually) have to go out of your way to change it back. Or just switch services.

        When /. changed to the D2 system, I just switched it back. Easy peasy. There's an option to do it in the settings. Changing iGoogle back means either changing your locale or setting a javascript var or using a Greasemonkey script. Though fairly easy, it's still a hack.

        I'm all for change, but where possible, why not provide the version of the app before the change? Stick a 'This older version of $x is unsupported. Use at your own risk' if you want.

        The Ars [arstechnica.com] story about the switch put across the point that the new canvas view makes it a much more attractive proposition for advertising. Sure, there are many other values, but with the amount of people complaining [google.com] (the main issue being the screen-hogging sidebar) if Google doesn't provide a realistic fix for this 'feature', it's just going to look as if they care more about revenue than customers. True or not, it doesn't make Google look as shiny as before.

        • It really pisses me off when something I use daily gets updated without my consent. And it has nothing to do with resistance to change. I'm still using KDE3 because 4 needs work - but on the other hand I'm running a beta Firefox that I had to compile from source. The point is, I get to choose when I upgrade.

          I hope it works out, but I fear that this crapfest is the future of computing if this "cloud" thing catches on.
          • by Kugrian (886993)

            It really pisses me off when something I use daily gets updated without my consent. And it has nothing to do with resistance to change. I'm still using KDE3 because 4 needs work - but on the other hand I'm running a beta Firefox that I had to compile from source. The point is, I get to choose when I upgrade.

            Understand this 100%. I'm still on KDE3 because 4 doesn't yet offer me anything of use. I'm not resistant to change either - I tried out the new /., the new facebook and the new iGoogle. I visit those sites several times during the average day, so updates to them are important. /. gave me a way to switch back to what was comfatable. Facebook, I liked the new change, so wasn't an issue for me and I switched to the new version long before it was default. The new iGoogle though doesn't offer me anything o

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cp.tar (871488)

        The world is coming to people bitching and moaning whenever any of their precious stability in life is taken away. Between the new Facebook, the new Flickr, and now iGoogle, I've seen so many people complaining for no other reason than that it's different. Call me naive, but I have faith in these companies that they made these changes for a reason, namely that they did tests and concluded it would improve the user experience, and that the bugs will be worked out in time. (And about the FireWire: people were whining when the iMac didn't have a floppy drive too.)

        Ditto.
        I remember being swamped with invitations to various Facebook groups bemoaning the loss of "Old Facebook", which I remember being a horrible mess. Then again, I log into Facebook only once a week.

        As for iGoogle, I don't know what the fuss is all about. Really.
        So the tabs have moved to the left. Big fucking deal. I recently did that in Firefox, too; Tree Style Tab is a great extension for surfing on a widescreen.
        Oh, yes, the Clock looks a bit less serious, and the Gmail applet has been improved sign

        • by Flentil (765056) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @07:42PM (#25435505) Homepage

          As for iGoogle, I don't know what the fuss is all about. Really. So the tabs have moved to the left. Big fucking deal.

          Yes, it is a big deal, forcing a change from a 3 column layout to four, with the new column being useless and taking up space that was previously used for other things. It's clearly a downgrade if you like your homepage to work as an at-a-glance page of quick links and info. So now you know.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by owlnation (858981)
        While some of that is true, there's one important difference here. Gmail does NOT work properly with the new interface. It doesn't load the links for attachments and a few other features. It's broken. Change is one thing, but broken is quite different.

        I'm one who has now switched to the .co.uk interface, Gmail is useless for me in the .com one. I only found out about the .co.uk one by reading this article (thanks, submitter).

        Aside from that, the tabs on the left hand side is, indeed, stupid. It does t
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by aaron.axvig (1238422)
        Remember the good old days when people used applications installed on their own computers where they had control over changes to them?
      • by Thrip (994947) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @07:06PM (#25435303)

        Call me naive, but I have faith in these companies that they made these changes for a reason, namely that they did tests and concluded it would improve the user experience

        Two words: New Coke

      • by Abreu (173023)

        Don't forget the huge amounts of bile over the 4th edition of Dungeons and Dragons!

      • by Z34107 (925136)

        (And about the FireWire: people were whining when the iMac didn't have a floppy drive too.)

        Yes, yes... But floppy drives are actually useful.

        I like my removable disks eSATA and my DV footage beamed directly into my skull, TYVM!

      • I agree, I don't see any major differences, just better lay out... it seems that when something moves more in line with other web 2.0 sites, everyone bitches and moans.

        (as for the Firewire, it makes a huge difference)

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by fermion (181285)
        it is worse than that. Google is providing ad support free-to-the-user services, and when those services are not perfect, the users cry like they matter. A single user on a free service is not worth that much. a single user that complains all the time has negative worth. The best thing to happen is that such a user goes away. Free services usually have plenty of new people signing up.

        Now, if a user wishes to pay a fee and become a customer, then there may be a basis to say that the service is not up

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jcnnghm (538570)

      Majority of people still resistant to change. News at 11!

    • by JohnnyGTO (102952)
      I understand about being a squeaky wheel and all but people need to get a grip.
  • by AndGodSed (968378) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @03:38PM (#25433429) Homepage Journal

    I don't really use iGoogle because I found the previous interface clunky - so unless I am not seeing what others are I think I will hence use iGoogle more often...

    • by kestasjk (933987) *
      I don't like it, but I'll probably get used to it. When something is so completely integrated into your daily routine and all of a sudden it's totally changed it won't make people happy even if it is better.

      e.g. I used to middle-click on all the new e-mails which needed attention into a bunch of tabs, now they just expand the widget into a window in the trimmed down gmail so I need to go one at a time.

      Also am I really the only person who only uses 1 tab? E-mail, links, weather, calendar, RSS feeds. Th
      • by AndGodSed (968378)

        I have two tabs - one for the normal stuff, and then one for my webmasters tools.

        I prefer the tabs to the left of the page - they used to be on top - and the new way fits my resolution better (1450x1040) but I can see that the tab bar on the left take up too much real estate on lower-rez screens.

    • I agree. While I can understand that some people may dislike it, I think it's a fine and justifiable change.

      I also understand why offering a reversion option is not always feasible.

      Finally, of course large, unannounced changes will break some widgets. But within a week or two, I'm sure the majority of things will be working again.

      In other words: settle down, chill out. Change happens.

    • by sco08y (615665)

      I agree. The major change I noticed was that now I can see what's in my other tabs, which actually makes them useful.

      The stuff that I find really bizarre is people who whine about screen "real estate". I mean, the top third of the screen is dedicated to a one-line text box.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Flentil (765056)

        The stuff that I find really bizarre is people who whine about screen "real estate". I mean, the top third of the screen is dedicated to a one-line text box.

        Yes exactly, so further reduction of the already limited usable screen space is NOT desirable. Or to go with your way of thinking, you are already paying taxes on your income, why should you care if they take 20% more?

    • by MtViewGuy (197597)

      I actually like the look of the new iGoogle--provided you have a higher resolution monitor. I've tried iGoogle on a resolution lower than 1280x1024 and gawd, the clutter is terrible, to say the least.

      In short, you want at least 1280x1024 resolution (4:3 aspect ratio monitor) or 1440x900 resolution (16:10 aspect ratio monitor) for iGoogle to be decently readable.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    i need something trivial and pointless to bitch about, minor layout changes in websites are infuriating

    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      Don't go to idle.slashdot.org

    • Amen, brother!

      The new friend/foe icons on /. are an affront to everything we hold dear! I, a self-proclaimed expert on user interfaces and web graphics, am contacting my local media outlet to whine, bitch, and moan until I get an apology from /. but affect no change whatsoever! Clearly this is a violation of our trust and privacy! Join my Facebook group "3 quadrillion against /. icon changes"!

  • I have to agree about the wasted screen space. Now that they have that bar on the left (with the links to all your pages items), it makes the home page itself quite a bit smaller. And, I don't want to have to click on each one of those items to see them in their full glory. I liked the home page to have quick bits of information and I could deicde what I wanted to read.

    Hopefully they will listen and let users revert back.

    • by Pichu0102 (916292)

      While it's just a band-aid, there's a greasemonkey script [lifehacker.com] to collapse it.

  • by Dutch Gun (899105) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @03:41PM (#25433463)

    ...news at 11.

    Welcome to the future of cloud computing. This is what it means to give up control of your software for the convenience of a net-based service.

    • by Alaren (682568) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @03:49PM (#25433531)

      This was exactly my first thought, as well.

      If you really like the interface and find, say, Office 97 does everything you need it to do--you can just keep using it.

      But if any part of your program (whether it is a word processor, a game, or even an OS) or your data (be it emails or a movie) resides somewhere else, you are not in control and "upgrades" will eventually be forced on you, whether you want them or not.

      This is a good "for example" to point out when people talk about the magical wonders of AppleTV or BluRay's online components or what have you. Sadly, this is seen by many companies as a possible alternative to DRM--just forcing everything to have an online component, so your programs (if they reside on your computer at all!) are calling home every five minutes.

  • google.com/ig (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ThePhilips (752041) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @03:47PM (#25433511) Homepage Journal

    I would be one of those unhappy about the change - tabs migrated from top to the left side (*). It added nothing new to the page while added something (occupying precious screen space) what I do not like.

    Overall the change is bad. It is bad mostly because it is not optional. I spent half of an hour to try to put my tabs where they were before, but found no such option.

    And since most of the Web sites are still not wide screen compatible, resizing my window wider is really annoying: on other sides I start to see more of the empty side bars. And it's not that on google.com/ig the space is occupied by something I need...

    It's not the end of the world, but the change is bad.

    (*) Also I think left-handed people would have preferred the tabs on right side of page. But you can't move them, you can't remove them.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      1. Convention for tab metaphor is horizontal arrangement, not vertical. The new layout is counterintuitive.

      2. Buttons that appear similar to OS UI 'minimize' and 'maximize' controls should do just that -- open and shut the collapsible frames. Now they open up a list of options, one of which is 'minimize'. That's an extra step just to perform a simple function.

      3. Tell people before you make a change like that! I assumed it was something I, the user, did wrong. I spent about an hour trying different th

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by hey! (33014)

      Well, actually it did add something: the widgets on each tab can be listed, tree style, by clicking on the "+" next to the tab name, which shows why the tabs were moved to the left.

      So, it's not a pointless exercise by any means. As you point out, if you don't have many widgets to manage, then it's a waste of space. The flip side is that the more widgets you have to manage, the better this layout is relative to the old one.

      The change was a bit disorienting, for a few seconds at least until I realized that I

      • by tedrlord (95173)

        They did add new functionality of a sort, but I really don't like the direction they're going with it. It's like a technology preview with no actual thought as to what it really adds. Most of the widgets don't really expand into anything especially useful except for their gmail application, which expands into, well, gmail. I suppose it saves a second of loading the actual gmail page, but it takes away the rest of the functionality of the page. Plus it doesn't work with the back button on browsers, and new p

    • by bendodge (998616)

      I'm not irate or anything close to it, but I do find three things about the change annoying:

      1. Clicking 'Inbox' on Gmail now loads this half-baked version instead of the full thing. I have to remember to click the header link instead. A half-baked email client isn't very useful.
      2. It doesn't have my old columns layout.
      3. It broke my theme.

      They did get one thing right though: you can now archive or delete an email directly from the portal.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by rvandam (893100)
      Warning: shameless plug. You can fix it with this style: http://userstyles.org/styles/11351 [userstyles.org] Usable with firefox and either Stylish or Greasemonkey plugins
  • by speedtux (1307149) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @03:49PM (#25433533)

    Google was even asking for beta testers.

    I think the new iGoogle has some problems, but it's generally better than the old one. I don't think Google should have switched over yet.

    • by vlm (69642)

      Google was even asking for beta testers.

      I don't recall being asked. I suddenly had it, got to use it for a day or two, then got a link on the page to a survey. I didn't like it very much and my answers reflected that. The next day it was back to normal.

      The beta I tested was just like the current page, with the addition of bugs.

      This was quite awhile ago maybe months so my recollections may be in error.

      When I logged in this morning, I thought to myself, oh no! Its back for more testing! Apparently the situation is even worse. Compared to my m

    • ...when you can't commit changes to fix things?

  • Daily Mash (Score:5, Funny)

    by David Gerard (12369) <slashdot@@@davidgerard...co...uk> on Sunday October 19, 2008 @03:56PM (#25433605) Homepage
    I commend the wisdom of the Daily Mash on this topic: Carnage As Facebook Moves Everything Slightly To The Left [thedailymash.co.uk].
  • by anoneironaut (845982) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @04:07PM (#25433701)
    I like the new iGoogle. People always complain about these kind of changes instead of just letting it sit for a while!
    • by IANAAC (692242)

      I like the new iGoogle. People always complain about these kind of changes instead of just letting it sit for a while!

      I generally like the changes too, but consider this:

      Everything is fine on a large screen, however try using the page(s) on, say, a 7 inch Eee. It's pretty cramped.

      I think they should have left the option for both layouts, and let the user choose.

  • by Comatose51 (687974) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @04:08PM (#25433721) Homepage
    Anyone know why they took "hide preview" away from the Gmail gadget? On the Gmail gadget's blog, almost all the comments are complains about this change. I've stopped using it because of this. It might now seem so important at first glance but I think a lot of us use iGoogle as our homepage and leave our browser on it. I don't want someone passing by to glance at my email. When I click and go to Gmail, there's only a brief period when someone can pass by and see it. Knowing this, I would only check my email when I have some measure of privacy. However little that privacy is, it's better than none. I'm not trying to guard against intruders or determined snoopers. I just don't want innocent glances reading my email.
  • ... and it doesn't show the correct channels at all. There needs to be a way to customize it.

  • Terrible (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rm999 (775449) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @04:18PM (#25433815)

    They have rendered my homepage almost entirely useless in one fell swoop, to the point that I am actively looking for something new (meanwhile I have to use the UK site: www.google.co.uk)

    The worst part? They are doing this with developers in mind more than users. Some Google article I was reading discussed advertising and developer freedom instead of user experience, with a couple of vague mentions of "happier users." I don't want to sound like Marx or anything, but this switch was to make the powerful minority happy instead of the masses. I would be pissed if they snuck ads onto my widgets - I already click on plenty of search and text ads!

    The ironic thing is this is one of their only truly "beta" products, and it's one of the few not labeled so.

  • by RichPowers (998637) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @04:20PM (#25433833)

    Log-in to iGoogle through www.google.co.uk and enjoy...at least until Google forces the new layout on UK users.

    The new sidebar, weather gadget, and Gmail preview take up too much space, even on my 24'' monitor.

    • by Kozz (7764)
      Except if you're using a "Top Stories" gadget, you'll now get all links to UK website, FYI.
  • happiness metrics

    It's a Sunday night at home, I've just finished a Linux kernel compile and now doing a bit of PERL scripting with the occasional look at Slashdot.

    Then someone starts speaking like my manager at work... SHUDDER!!!

  • I'm not a fan of the change because I do not use the tabs. Instead of complaining, I created a greasemonkey script to remove the tabs [manfre.net].
  • This, the Yahoo change yesterday (which just seems like a silly thing to hate), and a million other things like nerfs in MMOs all go to show that there is an inherent disadvantage when one moves from local, "single player" experiences to "clouds." In doing so, the user gives up control. There are advantages to using an internet-hosted service, obviously, but those who want to take advantages of the portability this affords should get used to the threat of serious changes coming down without warning.

  • ... movable like everything else. Also make them configurable vertical, square, horizontal. Problem solved!

  • Haven't you people learned anything yet about sniffing out true motivations, even the usually obvious corporate variety? The key phrase here that identifies Google's motivation here is "... and a better platform for developers." Did you notice that Google doesn't say "more useful homepage for users"? That's probably because it's more useful to developers and Google itself rather than end users.

    That's why the changes have been rammed down users' throats: they're not for the benefit of users but rather for

  • A while after Google purchased Dejanews, they changed to format to something much more awkward... I think to promote their own Google Groups, which as far as I know haven't really ever taken off. For a while, you could log into Google Groups in other countries to access the old format, but it was like chasing a tiger; eventually, they converted every country over to the clumsier format. It's the only time I ever emailed a complaint into google.

    Complaints won't help on this issue if Google is doing this
  • Am I missing something because my Google ig page looks the same as it always has or is that because I'm using google.co.uk?
  • Haven't really used iGoogle all that much. Had a layout that I liked and decided to log back in and see what the fuss was about. Some of the widgets didn't quite work right -- so I deleted them ... and when looking for replacements. Found some and decided to keep looking through them to see what is out there. Very shortly I get this error (and can't do anything else right now):

    Google Error

    We're sorry... ... but your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus

  • Assuming that you are running a browser that works with greasemonkey, you just need to install Rockmaster's iGoogle Sidebar Collapse - http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/30414 [userscripts.org] And you can make it go away or come back whenever you want it.
  • ya, because finally being able to manage a gmail inbox or google calendar from iGoogle far better than before is a bad thing? Or even the web-games available for it, where selecting a particular game suggests others like it?
  • Ok, so I have 2 computers, one running Linux and the other XP. How is it that one of them is the old format and one is the new format, when they are both logged into the same account? Is it only targeted towards linux? I spoofed the headers on linux to appear like Vista, but it's still the new layout.
  • The layout wastes space and is only marginally usable when doctored to death with greasemonkey.

    gmail is broken: instead of launching the gmail application, it now launches a mini app that's crippled: no save capability, no autosave, etc..

    An otherwise productive Monday will now be spent trying to find a substitute home page. And frack, my RSS newsreader is Google Reader, so I guess that's gone too.

  • BREAKING (Score:3, Funny)

    by Goaway (82658) on Sunday October 19, 2008 @05:34PM (#25434543) Homepage

    People hate change, news at eleven.

  • I've been using iGoogle since forever. I switched to the new developer's sandbox as soon as they made it available for users. I didn't really like it that much. I used it for some time, realized I didn't need some of the new functionality, and just modified an available Greasemonkey (Firefox) script to get a hybrid layout with the best of both worlds. Now that the new version is live, and many users are complaining, I guess some will take similar action.
  • At the end of this Portal there's cake.

  • There is about 15% of my screen width wasted. horizontal real estate is finite on a screen since no one scrolls right. The old design was a better one. Those 'happiness metrics' are not accurate. Who did they even poll? not me.

    Some of my widgets don't work anymore. My favorite widget of all, the carp pond no longer has carp. Some of the other game widgets don't work. from what I've seen a lot of flash widgets don't work.

    I'm, overall, not happy with the new design.

    • by MtViewGuy (197597)

      The biggest problem with the new iGoogle is the fact that at resolutions lower than 1280x1024 for regular monitors or 1440x900 for widescreen LCD's, the new interface just looks very cluttered and unreadable. I think Google needs to rethink iGoogle so it looks better at 1024x768 and 1280x768 (widescreen) resolutions.

  • Easy fix (Score:2, Informative)

    by amirulbahr (1216502)
    Go to http://www.google.com.au/ig [google.com.au] For now anyway...
  • Protopage.com (Score:2, Informative)

    by Malggi (791997)
    I switched to protopage.com It took about half an hour to setup, but it works pretty good. It might be a good substitute for anybody looking for something that's like the old iGoogle.

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