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iGoogle Users Irate About Portal's Changes

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the without-the-option dept.

GUI 321

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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Don't forget Apple (5, Funny)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433377)

Firewire, Y! Profiles, and now iGoogle. What is the world coming to?!? ;-)

Re:Don't forget Apple (5, Insightful)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Don't forget Apple (2, Insightful)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433517)

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.

Re:Don't forget Apple (1)

lilfields (961485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433673)

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:Don't forget Apple (1)

DiniZuli (621956) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433889)

I also like the new design of iGoogle - I definitely think it better than the old one. Agree with the sidebar though.

Re:Don't forget Apple (1)

salmonmoose (1147735) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433793)

Users have had the chance to try this new layout on iGoogle too.

Re:Don't forget Apple (5, Informative)

Tawnos (1030370) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Don't forget Apple (3, Informative)

vlm (69642) | more than 5 years ago | (#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?

Re:Don't forget Apple (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25434025)

homepage - I can no longer middle click to open things I want to see later into the background, because they've been AJAX'd

You don't even know what AJAX is, do you?

Re:Don't forget Apple (3, Insightful)

AngryNick (891056) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433555)

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.

Re:Don't forget Apple (5, Insightful)

casper75 (44745) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Don't forget Mechanics. (3, Insightful)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433709)

"I'll just keep using these sites and those who can't stand the changes can go elsewhere."

Or start using Greasemonkey.

Re:Don't forget Mechanics. (1)

ssintercept (843305) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433797)

wish i didnt blow my mod points...greasemonkey is the ultimate for modifying my "user experience". you get the ability to change almost anything that you dont want/like/need.

Re:Don't forget Apple (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433937)

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:Don't forget Apple (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433733)

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.

Re:Don't forget Apple (1)

BrentH (1154987) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433903)

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).

Re:Don't forget Apple (3, Insightful)

Kugrian (886993) | more than 5 years ago | (#25434037)

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.

Re:Don't forget Apple (0, Flamebait)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433553)

Don't forget Slashdot. These recent UI changes have been horrible.

Re:Don't forget Apple (2, Funny)

jcnnghm (538570) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433945)

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

Re:Don't forget Apple (1)

mjensen (118105) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433983)

Of course,

The iPoke

No cake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25433401)

What do you mean the cake is a lie. Google lied to me??? So much for 'don't be evil'...

huh? (0, Flamebait)

Potor (658520) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433403)

i do not use igoogle, but just checked out my page, and it looks like i remember it looked last time i looked at it, over a year ago (i'm guessing on how long ago that was ...).

am i missing something here?

Re:huh? (1)

BigDXLT (1218924) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433487)

To see the differences, log in to your igoogle, then change the .ca (or whatever your TLD is) to a .com, and vice-versa, in the address bar.

Re:huh? (1)

Miststlkr (593325) | more than 5 years ago | (#25434061)

I'm getting the tabs on top like I had before switching to the left-sided tabs on both TLD's. ideas?

Re:huh? (1)

collinstocks (1295204) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433579)

I do not use igoogle, either, but when I looked at my page, it looks a lot better and more usable than before. It is also faster, since it doesn't load everything right at the beginning, nor reload everything when you choose a different view. I don't see what is the big deal.

Yahoo whiners, google Whiners, what's next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25433405)

Live whiners? Why not!!

Shoudn't that be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25433407)

iGoogle users iRate iGoogle an EPIC FAIL?

irish google works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25433413)

Irish Google seems to be the old style for now, too.

http://www.google.ie/ig

Old news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25433423)

uh, didn't they do this weeks, if not months, ago? I've had the side tabs layout for a loooong time now anyway.

Re:Old news? (1)

Fulminata (999320) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433777)

They didn't roll it out to everyone at once. My account got the new look a couple of weeks ago, but my wife's didn't change until just the other day.

I quite like it. (4)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433429)

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...

Re:I quite like it. (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433535)

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. That all fits in one tab, but the tab section still takes up a big slice of the screen even with only one tab in it.

Re:I quite like it. (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433667)

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.

Re:I quite like it. (2)

WolverineOfLove (1305907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433581)

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.

iGoogle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25433433)

I'm bailing on iGoogle, moving on to 43marks.com

i am so angry (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25433435)

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

Re:i am so angry (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433589)

Don't go to idle.slashdot.org

Re:i am so angry (1)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433699)

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"!

Wasted Screen Space (1)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433459)

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.

Re:Wasted Screen Space (1)

Pichu0102 (916292) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433693)

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

People hate change... (5, Informative)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:People hate change... (1)

Lucky75 (1265142) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433497)

Agreed. And I hate the new interface. What REALLY pisses me off, however, is the gmail app that now forces you to display at least your latest email on the homepage. There is no hide/show link anymore.

Re:People hate change... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25433525)

The kind of people who have nothing better to do than post comments to Information Week about layouts of web pages hate change, film at 11.

Tomorrow on Blindingly Obvious News: people who take time to write letters to the editor tend to ramble on about thing most people don't give two shits about!

Excellent Lesson in Net-Based Applications (4, Insightful)

Alaren (682568) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Excellent Lesson in Net-Based Applications (1)

AM088 (1170945) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433869)

And what I like is that Google actually gives you choice. If I don't like their GMail interface, I use my email client. If I want information snippets, I can put some widgets on my desktop. If I do a Google search, I just enter "gg" in my address bar followed by a query. If someone makes a Google calendar, I can give a URL to my calendar application, and it will keep an up-to-date copy.

Of course it's sometimes convenient to use the web version, but is that really a bad thing?

(I know there are some companies that don't offer choice, but Google is actually pretty decent)

Re:People hate change... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25434057)

so true. google apps for my domain is still broken (after 96 hours!) and i cant get access to email even though i PAID for the service.
see this thread for other people also having issues with googles paid for email service :
http://groups.google.com/group/hosted-the-basics/browse_thread/thread/4e72a6bfedaa07a7/e4c6f707d11aa433?#e4c6f707d11aa433

Hmm. (1)

liquidMONKEY (749280) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433479)

I noticed my iGoogle page changed very briefly the other day, but now it's back to normal... except now "Gmail" is called "Google Mail". Perhaps that's because I set the language to UK. :P (I'm Australian.)

Enough with the Google Stories (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25433489)

Slashdot might as well rename itself google news. All hail the google PR machine.

google.com/ig (4, Interesting)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433511)

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:google.com/ig (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25433617)

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 themes and browsers to try to get back the old layout before bothering one of my poor friends who works at google, who of course had no idea they changed it either.

Re:google.com/ig (1)

phanboy_iv (1006659) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433633)

I, too dislike the fact that the new design uses more screen space than the old one. The new look is a bit sleeker, but the space tradeoff isn't really worth it.

Re:google.com/ig (2, Informative)

hey! (33014) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433715)

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 was still on the portal rather than in some changed version of gmail.

With respect to resizing after you visit some kind of wide format unfriendly site -- well, maybe that's a problem, but I'm not sure it's iGoogle's. The format works fine for working with portal widgets, maybe not so good when you launch a site that is designed for 800x600 displays.

Re:google.com/ig (1)

TavisJohn (961472) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433719)

My screen may be 1440x900 but I run my browser at 1024x768. I do other stuff at the same time. And I do not need a large chunk of my screen to be dedicated to the 3 tabs I have.

I also do not like that the fonts were shrunk to make room for this tab bar on the left. I could not read ANYTHING on my screen. And I missed the "+" to open stories in my RSS feeds.

I did mess with the tabs on the side for a while, and they do more than a tab needs to do. I do not need all that crap in the tab, That is what having another page is for!

I have never seen Google soo far off the mark before. No announcement, no warning nothing! I did not even know about the Beta Test!

Re:google.com/ig (1)

bendodge (998616) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433731)

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:google.com/ig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25433735)

You *think* left handed people would have preferred tabs on the right? That is the stupidest comment about lefties I've ever heard...
I think right handed people prefer small tits. WTF?

Re:google.com/ig (1)

fractalVisionz (989785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433773)

There are also quite a few bugs. The two biggest are:
1. When maximizing tabs, the scrolling is messed up. If you use middle click scroll, you need to do it on the side tab bar, not the main window, else you want to scroll all of half an inch.
2. Gmail is slow to react and doesn't delete items as planned.

I don't much care for the new weather look, as it takes up about 3 times as much space as the older one. Now with the compressed space, my single page became almost two pages. Not what I call compact.

the change was announced (4, Interesting)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:the change was announced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25433623)

Google was even asking for beta testers.

But, aren't we all beta testers when it comes to Google? Everything Google has is in beta!

Re:the change was announced (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433785)

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 memory of the testing experience, the operational bugs seem fixed, but the UI is identical and still sucks.

The downside is it's somewhat different, much more "cluttered". The upside is... uh... what upside?

What good is being a beta tester... (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433923)

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

Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25433547)

Everybody complains about Google and Yahoo, interesting that nobody complains about the changes made my Facebook.

stop whining, it's free (0, Flamebait)

hb253 (764272) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433595)

It's a free service. You get what you pay for.

Re:stop whining, it's free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25433867)

Bugger off.
The old layout is back. So, obviously the whining paid off.

My Issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25433599)

They've since been forced to revert the RSS changes that got rid of the plus icon in widgets such as the /. summary, which is good. It looked awful with the first 20 words thrown in there with the title, you couldn't get any information from that and it just cluttered the screen.

That aside, my biggest remaining complaint about the interface itself is the side tab. They also expanded my weather widget so it takes up about 4x the screen space. It's fine for users that like to go crazy about their homepage, but for me the most useful widget is the simple "Bookmarks" one, that I use the most. All these other changes just clutter up my screen.

If people actually USE more than 1 tab, sure, give them side tabs, but why the hell do I have to have a side tab WHEN I'VE ONLY GOT ONE TAB TOTAL. It's completely useless, and there's no way to revert. It massively changed the formatting of my 3 columns, so they are far more "squished" in now and extend farther vertically.

In fact, the worst part about the side tab is it makes the default text in the movies widget TOO LONG. The line that includes the movie theater, times, and a "more >>" button extends onto the next line by a mere ">>", meaning three MORE lines of wasted vertical space.

And what annoys me about the gmail widget is that it "sticks" to the email popup even after you change the page. What, am I not trusted enough to know when I'm done with an e-mail by navigating away from the homepage? Why do I need to be visually assaulted by it every time I click "HOME" in my browser bar, instead of actually going to my full HOMEpage.

Why do I need a popup on the same page anyway? If I want to check my e-mail, what's wrong with the old way, where it actually opened up GMAIL to check GMAIL messages. It makes it much more of a hassle to check more than one message at a time compared to the old way.

Overall though, the thing that pisses me off the most about it is that there's no way to go back. Oh, and thanks for the tip about google.co.uk, I will be using that site for my homepage from now on.

Bigger question? (1)

hasu (1254554) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433611)

There's an obvious pattern emerging here. The same "outrage" with the New Facebook, Yahoo! Profiles, and iGoogle? I think the bigger question is whether or not these UI overhauls are actually "outrageous," or whether users are just extremely opposed to change.

And if these changes are really so horrible (or even if they're not), what purpose do they serve - to improve upon a service that users don't want improved upon? It could just be a vocal minority. On the other hand, what's the point of user feedback when it gets blatantly ignored? All three of the sites I mentioned have been pretty hard-asses about users accepting these changes in stride.

Difference between local software and the cloud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25433621)

For those who didn't RTFA, here is the relevant portion:

And therein lies the difference between software that runs on the user's local computer, under the user's control, and software that runs in the cloud, under the service provider's control.

Re:Difference between local software and the cloud (1)

mrboyd (1211932) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433637)

why am i anonymous, I did not check the box...

Last I checked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25433627)

Google is a private company. They can make changes they believe will make their offerings better.

If they do make a mistake, it is entirely up to them to do so.

so complain, yes. However if you are using a free service, you can only hope they will listen.

tsk tsk

Angry About Tabs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25433639)

One of the users quoted in the article wasn't angry about tabs being on the side. He was angry about tabs plain and simple. My iGoogle page always had tabs! People like to complaing for every silly little thigns these days. I'm getting used to that, but they should at least make some sense.

duplicate information (1)

laktech (998064) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433653)

Is it just me or is a canvas view a vertical menu bar, containing duplicate information, taking up, taking up precious real estate? Insane. Hopefully, the Firefox plugin, CustomizeGoogle will remove this garbage.

I like the new iGoogle (3, Insightful)

anoneironaut (845982) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433701)

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

Re:I like the new iGoogle (1)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 5 years ago | (#25434053)

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.

Re:I like the new iGoogle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25434083)

It's aesthetically unappealing on my 30" screen. Is that large enough?

Thankfully, I've got the old layout back.

Why Gmail Gadget With No Hide Preview? (4, Insightful)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433721)

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.

Great (1)

orkybash (1013349) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433725)

Now Google is thinking with portals.

Im a big fan of (1)

ideabreaker (1289670) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433771)

less complaining and more solutions. I was forced into the "new" igoogle just like everyone else and to my shegrin I found no option to toggle on/off or revert just like everyone else. Then less than 3 minutes after I decided that it sucked I found the "rockmaster's igoogle sidebar collapse" userscript here: http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/30414 [userscripts.org] and I stopped bitching unlike everyone else. Enjoy.

Two things you can't do in the new iGoogle (1)

gbrayut (715117) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433783)

I saw the new layout and will admit that some of the changes are good. Being able to maximize the gadget and get a view similar to the full website is great, but after playing with it for a little bit I found two things that I cannot do: 1. Move items from one tab to another. I'm sure it is there, but the old drag-n-drop method did not work for me. 2. View labeled emails in gmail. Yes, technically you could not do this before, but you could click on the gadget title and bring up the full gmail client. Now you click the title, get a maximized view (without labels) and then have to click on the Open Full Gmail link. I'm sure I will get use to it over time, but finding bugs like those above means it is not really ready for prime time yet.

You need to remember that... (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 5 years ago | (#25434001)

...it's still in beta, like everything else at Google.

Greasemonkey to the rescue. (1)

ecc962 (792707) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433789)

A Greasemonkey script that does this:

document.getElementById('col1').style.display = 'none';

should get rid of that troublesome tab on the left.

I just tried out the TV guide part ... (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433799)

... and it doesn't show the correct channels at all. There needs to be a way to customize it.

Terrible (4, Insightful)

rm999 (775449) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

GChat (1)

wileyAU (889251) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433823)

On the whole, I enjoy the changes. I just really wish there was a way to turn gChat off. I know you can stay logged off, but I'd really like to be able to get rid of it entirely.

To get your old iGoogle layout back (3, Informative)

RichPowers (998637) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

I feel a great disturbance in The Force (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433873)

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!!!

GreaseMonkey to the rescue! (2, Informative)

Manfre (631065) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433875)

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] .

I don't care for it (1)

dufachi (973647) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433883)

I don't like it either, fwiw. It does take away space on the page to try to cram in the existing widgets. Everything feels very cramped now and looks horrible.

Whiny bitches (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25433919)

People are a bunch of whiny bitches. "That's all I have to say about that."

No big (1)

moniker127 (1290002) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433927)

Just make your own web page if you dont like the igoogle one. Embedding google search in one you make is easy.

Google. The new AOL. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25433947)

For fucks sake, I've never heard so much bitching about free software and services in my life.

Unfuckingbelievable.

You don't like it? Move on. For every one of you who gives up your precious Burger King "I want it MY way" skinned interface/lifestyle on iGoogle, they'll be 10 more discovering it tomorrow to replace you.

Damn, it only seems like yesterday when I was making fun of those glued to AOL who couldn't manage to find anything online without using both hands and a "keyword".

Thanks Google, for taking the 'Net to a whole new level of addictive retardation.

Now, excuse me while I go check my Gmail.

Reverted to pre-left, no? (1)

Miststlkr (593325) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433961)

Isn't this the say layout they used before going to that lovely interface with the links on the left side? I really liked that one and thought I had borked something to get it to revert back to this, or perhaps they reverted the server when they were working on the big gmail snafu recently sine I noticed the change right after that made news. A "revert to previous style" link would have been nice, as they did when they rolled out the side-tabbed one. But seriously, it's not the end of the world.

Re:Reverted to pre-left, no? (1)

Miststlkr (593325) | more than 5 years ago | (#25434031)

Odd. It seems that people are complaining about being forced INTO the left-side tabs... mine reverted FROM that to the previous style a few days ago. Wonder what happened there. Anyone else that had voluntarily gone to the new one get reverted?

Remote Service = Irate Users (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433967)

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.

Just make the tabs ... (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 5 years ago | (#25433971)

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

The age old issue of developer vs design (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25433993)

As a regular user of iGoogle I find the revamp horrifically bad. My biggest three complaints are:

Frist, the left tabs waste real estate.

Second, the gmail widget is so broken now as to be unusable.

Third the whole "expand a widget to fill the screen then save the state stuff" is ridiculously bad design and ruins the usability of the site as a whole.

All that said, it's pretty clear that this is an example of developers doing something cool because they can not because it is useful in any way. In fact, it completely ruins the usability but as a developer myself I can see how some of it is very technically "neat". Unfortunately they destroyed usable in favor of neat. This is why developers need architects and designers to direct what they build and make sure it aligns with user needs. Purely technically driven development, while fun and cool, often leads to high quality but useless products. It is rarely as useful as when the various disciplines work together to produce something of both quality and value.

Damned Statistics (1)

docrmc (551146) | more than 5 years ago | (#25434011)

I was not one of those people who followed the beta testing and wheel out of iGoogle. I discovered it one afternoon when I tried to reload iGoogle from that morning, it changed. When I expressed surprise, my coworker who uses Google.cn was like, umm, my iGoogle always looked like that.. I wonder if she is aesthetically blind or this was just a migration.

But do you imagine that everyone would like changes? Thousands of annoyed users might sound significant except when we consider the millions? of iGoogle users. Google isn't going to base it's decisions on .0001% of its population. I will admit, though, it might have been nice to offer a) the option/ability to revert, b) left-hand navigation minimization

To be honest, I am one of the happy users with this interface. I do not think the navi takes up such a significant part of the screen and on my laptop real estate is an issue. I do not understand why ppl dislike how the GMail gadget operates because the last one was about intolerable. Privacy is an issue? I would have top open a tab to read an email, in order to keep iGoogle open, and it would occupy larger, more obvious/readable screen area than its behavior does now. How huge is your monitor and font that someone could innocently glance part of the 1st line of your email body? Do all of your friends open emails with "f#(k1n $h1t!!!"? What am i missing? :P

As for updates- Adobe, Firefox and iGoogle routinely clash anyway. Stuff breaks, they fix it. Ppl complain that things don't work as though we should believe that this would be a permanent situation. Give them a minute, get some air. It will work, and probably, in short order.

Key phrase: "and a better platform for developers" (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25434021)

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 the benefit of Google and its partners in evil.

It's actually nice (1)

Xanius (955737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25434033)

I prefer the update, everything looks clear on my page than it did before, the over all feel of the site is good and the improvements to the gmail section are also welcome.

Google Newsgroups (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#25434045)

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 as some sort of strategic business plan; when they deliberately screw something up, it is no doubt with the intent of forcing consumers to act a certain way, or to promote one of their services that normally wouldn't get used. When enough of that sort of stuff accumulates, Google will go the way of Yahoo, and another upstart company will take their place.

My page hasn't changed at all (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#25434075)

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?
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