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Google Social Networks Technology

Google's New Design 294

Posted by samzenpus
from the google's-new-clothes dept.
smitty777 writes "You may have already noticed some of the changes in Google as part of their multi-month design slam. These design changes include information architecture focus, seamless device integration, and simplifying a number of elements. According to the official Google blog, the changes over the next few months will affect Google Search, Maps and Gmail. The black navigation bar in place right now is also part of the Google +Project."
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Google's New Design

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  • I have a bad habit of reusing the same google queries to find the same websites again. Suddenly I am getting results that are not the same and in fact much worse. It looks like they are trying to guess more what I want. I wish google offered a version that respected punctuation and basically let you search the web the way google code can be searched.

    • by Bieeanda (961632)
      Swear to god, I just plugged 'shit' into Google to see if they got rid of cache links (like the last experiment they foisted off on a number of users).

      Safe Search was off. Totally, 100% off. The results I received were for shih tsu dogs, and the search bar had the temerity to suggest that 'shit' was misspelled.

      Christ almighty. When I turn safe-search off and enter a query like that, I know what I'm getting into! What's next, showing me pictures of nannies, billies and kids when I search for goatse?

  • jumpy scrolling (Score:5, Interesting)

    by magarity (164372) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @03:02PM (#36614848)

    I cut way back on Google usage a few months ago when they took over the arrow keys' normal smooth window scrolling and made it jump from one search result to another. That just makes it hard to read and track which entry is next when it jumps like that.

    • Re:jumpy scrolling (Score:4, Informative)

      by Amouth (879122) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @03:19PM (#36615098)

      turn off google instant and that goes away too..

      • by shimage (954282)
        Setting is stored in a cookie, so I (and anyone else that clears cookies on browser exit, for example) have to do this every time I start up my browser. It gets old pretty quickly.
      • by Osgeld (1900440)

        I hate this argument cause it always comes back

        its not paying attention to my preferences if I am logged into google, its based on cookies

        firefox loves to just at random blank out old shit and I have 3 computers at home and 2 at work, its actually more of a pain in the ass to turn off instant search every fucking time at least once a month

    • I cut way back on Google usage a few months ago when they took over the arrow keys' normal smooth window scrolling and made it jump from one search result to another. That just makes it hard to read and track which entry is next when it jumps like that.

      From www.google.com go to the little settings icon, select search settings, and turn off instant search. No more blue arrow. Enjoy!

  • by Jeng (926980) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @03:05PM (#36614892)

    How about a Google Classic page, just the little friendly box that we type our queries into, hit enter, and get our results. Nothing else.

    • by Grizzley9 (1407005) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @03:25PM (#36615182)

      How about a Google Classic page, just the little friendly box that we type our queries into, hit enter, and get our results. Nothing else.

      Sounds like you are wasting effort already by going to the google.com search page. Why not just type it in either the search engine bar or super bar in FF/IE or the address bar in Chrome? There's no reason to go to Google.com with modern browsers.

      • by shimage (954282) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @04:18PM (#36615968)
        The main google page isn't the problem. It's still very simple. It's after I get the results that's a pain. l have to deal with crap like their interface stealing my arrow key inputs. And then if I want to edit my search terms (instead of starting a new search), I have to deal with instant search constantly pulling up nonsense and slowing things down every time I make a type (and then again when I fix the typo). I'm a bit slow (ie, stupid), so my brain can't handle looking at the results as I'm typing (I can't even type without making typos, after all), so it really serves no purpose to me. I know I can turn all this crap off, but those settings aren't tied to my Google account, so I need to set them every time I start up my browser (I like to clear the cookies on exit). I used to like google's search and layout, but now I'm wondering if there's something that doesn't suck as much.
      • by demonbug (309515)

        How about a Google Classic page, just the little friendly box that we type our queries into, hit enter, and get our results. Nothing else.

        Sounds like you are wasting effort already by going to the google.com search page. Why not just type it in either the search engine bar or super bar in FF/IE or the address bar in Chrome? There's no reason to go to Google.com with modern browsers.

        I've used google.com as my homepage for years, long before the introduction of the search bar or super bar. I see it whenever I open a new browser window. I, too, wish for a return to the clean, classic Google look.

        Not that I care that much; I just think the latest addition of that black bar across the top is really ugly and distracting. It's great if they want to add the ability to change the color (I don't know why you would want to, but I don't mind them offering it); I just question why they push out ch

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by gottabeme (590848)

          So make your own simple HTML page that has nothing but the Google logo and a search form. Save to your hard disk. Set as home page. Done.

    • by instagib (879544) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @03:49PM (#36615564)
    • by Inda (580031)
      Firefox will let you use JS as a homepage

      e.g.

      javascript:document.write("YOUR_HTML_HERE")

      Wish I had the time to write the image and form HTML. Maybe someone else can help ;)
    • by houghi (78078)

      And bring back the classic google pics. Sure you can add &sout=1 or scroll 3 minutes down to click on 'Switch to basic version'.

      Also nice to see how they try their hardest to break workarounds.

      But then when we see how they raped DejaNews, it is clear that they are just another company looking out only for them selves and in second place for their customers (we are the product they sell)

  • Soon after my co-workers started logging into their workstations the cacophony of whining lasted about five minutes... mostly about the new black background color for the toolbar, a striking contrast to the previous white.

    People I know, myself included, aren't happy with the change, but that seems to be Google. They tend to change things and users get used to it. But this is a bit different. With no way to change the color of the toolbar -- other than a developer extension or script -- users are stuck with

    • by zegota (1105649) <rpgfanatic.gmail@com> on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @03:08PM (#36614948)
      "People I know, myself included, aren't happy with the change, but that seems to be Google. They tend to change things and users get used to it." I think that's the case here. Google's counting on the fact that once you go black, you never go back.
    • by earls (1367951)

      I have a sneaking suspicion that once Google+ goes live, you'll be able to skin most of Google's apps with a theme of your choosing.

    • I feel this is done on purpose to direct attention to it.
      Previously, it "just was there", as a part of the page. Now they want it to be like an application toolbar - something which lets you select between your apps which appear below it.

      I like it quite a bit. Gives a fresh look to the whole Google experience.

      • by gilgongo (57446)

        I feel this is done on purpose to direct attention to it.

        I wish they'd make up their minds. It wasn't a year ago they were hiding it completely by default until you moved your mouse. Not even Larry Page himself knew what THAT was all about.

    • I already "skin" gmail and iGoogle with a fairly dark theme and have a fairly dark "persona" on firefox. The new dark color looks better for me.
    • I hear Apple was awarded a patent on using a white background in the toolbar. Google obviously will not pay the license (Ummm, I'm joking btw...it's obvious, but you can never tell with this crowd)
    • I mean, before the change, people were stuck with white.

  • Are there any good before/after screenshot comparisons? (As in comparing now with a couple days ago, not the now and 1997 comparison in the linked article, and full screen rather than individual elements like in the other article.)

    They already had some kind of bar at the top before, so the only difference i noticed is that it turned black. I figure if i don't immediately notice the change it _probably_ isn't that bad. Not like when they switched to the ugly new favicon or made the font size huge.
  • So start to get used to the black bar at the top with e-mail notifications, IM pop-ups, battery status, 3G and cell signal strength.

    Then when your OS application bar and browser toolbar/menu will gradually disappear, you will not be surprised.

  • ... I'll get over it.

  • by overnight_failure (1032886) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @03:23PM (#36615166)
    ...where it used to be one. And now you have to navigate a menu to do it.

    K.I.S.S.
    • The first really legitimate complaint I've heard that actually affects the user. The reaction to the blackbar seems over the top. I don't like it that much either, but it's a 30px bar at the top of the page.

      I think it's a funny design decision (we are all talking about it though, so maybe it's right on the mark.), but saying Google has forsaken its austere home page seems silly. Has anyone seen the epileptic fit waiting to happen on Yahoo's home page?

  • by carrier lost (222597) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @03:24PM (#36615174) Homepage
    The black navigation bar in place right now is also part of the Google +Project.

    // ==UserScript==
    // @name HideTopBar
    // @namespace http://.google.com/* [google.com]
    // @description Gets rid of annoying black bar
    // ==/UserScript==

    (function() {
    1. document.getElementById('gb').style.display="none";

    })();

  • Black bar (Score:5, Funny)

    by tecnico.hitos (1490201) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @03:25PM (#36615188)

    Among the changes, Google announced that it's new motto is "Be evil". The black bar marks its new corporative mentality, that involves new goals such as using it's privileged position to take over the world and kicking puppies.

    • Puppies often like being kicked. Just be sure that when you kick them it is not in a way that hurts them.

  • Dear Google, please stop using the scroll wheel to zoom in/out in Google Maps. It drives me nuts every time I use it. Better yet, give us an option to use the wheel to pan (which would be the logical mapping of that function) instead of zoom.

    • Dear Google, please stop using the scroll wheel to zoom in/out in Google Maps. It drives me nuts every time I use it. Better yet, give us an option to use the wheel to pan (which would be the logical mapping of that function) instead of zoom.

      No way, I love scroll wheel zooming and get frustrated when it doesn't work on other maps. Sounds like it needs to be an optional setting.

    • How to pan in 2 easy steps:
      1) push scroll wheel
      2) move mouse

    • A lot of graphical-oriented apps use the scroll wheel to zoom. Google is not the first to re-purpose the scroll wheel for this purpose. I'm sure they see driving you crazy as simply an added benefit.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      amd how to you pan E/W with a scroll wheel? Zooming is the logical choice.

    • by BluBrick (1924)

      Dear Google, please stop using the scroll wheel to zoom in/out in Google Maps. It drives me nuts every time I use it. Better yet, give us an option to use the wheel to pan (which would be the logical mapping of that function) instead of zoom.

      The scroll wheel maps to only two directions. Would you to choose east-west or north-south for the scroll wheel panning? Either way, you'd end up with a completely different type of action to pan east-west than north-south. And what do you do on machines without a scroll wheel? Sorry CmdrPorno (IF t, I reckon Google got this one right.

    • Using the wheel for zoom (and click-wheel + mouse movement for pan which, BTW, Maps implements) is the standard navigation technique for canvases that enable zoom/pan functionality. So they've done the right thing here...

  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @03:57PM (#36615676) Homepage
    Google on Android doesn't have the black bar it has a Chrome tab look to the menu where the selected section is a white tab and the others are in a grey bar that doesn't stick out nearly as much. The black bar of the desktop version contrasts too much with the rest of the page.
  • by eepok (545733) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @04:21PM (#36616000) Homepage

    I don't like the direction. People flocked to Google because it was minimalist and worked. They expanded their market, but kept their face mostly the same-- minimalist. Now they're going Google+ and open the way for someone to be "Just like Google was before they bloated their landing page".

    • In other news, competition is good? I'm not particularly vetted to Google. Right now, they provide services that I like with an attitude I can accept. If something better comes along, sign me up. Just make sure it's actually *better* and not just different.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This. Google's key advantage over others is in it's concise, simplistic presentation combined with an answer to whatever you're searching for within a couple of clicks. When they start adding more bloat and clutter to be more "Web 2.0" is when they will fail.

      Sadly it looks like this is occurring much sooner than I'd hoped. :'(

  • sometimes, the fuzziness in Google's interpretation of your search terms means that it's difficult to find what you want. E.g. I recently needed to find a combination like A[0-9A-Z]123. As far as I know, this is impossible with Google. Also punctuation is sometimes a vital part of the search term, but gets ignored by Google.

    Is there a search engine that allows for this type of exact searches? One that uses grep syntax would be ideal.

    • by vux984 (928602)

      Is there a search engine that allows for this type of exact searches? One that uses grep syntax would be ideal.

      If your technical enough to understand grep syntax you should be technical enough to understand why it wouldn't work.

      Google indexes things, and then searches indexes. The indexes are compiled by stripping out punctuation, ignoring case, and lately by linking in common spelling mistakes, spelling and tense variations of the same word to the same index entry, etc.

      grep goes the other way... you can't

    • by mcmonkey (96054)

      sometimes, the fuzziness in Google's interpretation of your search terms means that it's difficult to find what you want. E.g. I recently needed to find a combination like A[0-9A-Z]123. As far as I know, this is impossible with Google. Also punctuation is sometimes a vital part of the search term, but gets ignored by Google.

      Is there a search engine that allows for this type of exact searches? One that uses grep syntax would be ideal.

      Word up. How would you search for a phrase which include double quotes?

  • Is it just me, or is Google Maps a usability nightmare?

    At the top of the window you're losing a good deal of space to menus, search box, some other buttons. Do we really need all that white space around the search box?

    On the left, there's the directions, My Maps, and other text. Why isn't this resizable, rather than just opened or closed?

    Then there's the map itself. Was the UI designed by the same folks who put logos and ads over TV shows? There's the pan control--covering the map; the zoom control--cov

  • My biggest wish is that vendors would stop dictating how people use a tool and stop adding noise that can not be disabled. Remember google was supposed to have that no-nonsense interface for a reason... To be useful rather than 'pretty'.

    There was a really nice new feature added recently I love. This allows me to remove sites from search results which always appear but never have any useful content to begin with (experts exchange, ask and associated spam link farms).

    The only catch is that you have to be lo

  • So.... Will this one have native HTML5? Or HTML6?
  • Google has been playing catch up for years, but now they're changing their UI in gratuitous and overly animated ways without giving the users notification or a "classic" path out of it. Wow, they finally caught up to Facebook!

  • by sootman (158191) on Wednesday June 29, 2011 @08:29PM (#36618122) Homepage Journal

    ... check out what this techy news blog did to their story pages. [slashdot.org]

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