Google+ gets massive design refresh

Today, Google took the wraps off one of the biggest (and fastest) design overhauls we've ever seen the company do to a product. According to the company, over 170 million people have "upgraded" to Google+ and are enjoying the new ways to share via Search, Gmail and more. 

The aim of the overhaul is a seamless social experience over the entire of Google, and we've already seen the beginning of that with "Search plus your World" where Google began integrating their own social pages into their search results. The new Google+ experience focuses on creating your own experience, and offers massive levels of customization.

You can customize the entire navigation experience on Google+ as of the update just by dragging them, and you can hide applications as you please. Photos show up prominently and beautifully in the new experience, and conversations are organized into 'cards' to make the feed easier to read.

We've just gotten the update ourselves and have been playing around for an hour or so now, and whilst it's a great improvement, it does feel slightly cluttered and confusing to look at. It almost feels like Google wants to give you lots of great things to click on at the same time, which seems to be a move to make the social network seem "busier" whilst it has less users than Facebook.

Let us know in the comments what you think of the new design!

The biggest improvements, according to Google are listed below;

Navigation you can make your own
One of the first things you’ll notice is a new way to get around the stream. Instead of static icons at the top, there’s a dynamic ribbon of applications on the left. This approach comes with lots of perks, but some of our favorites include:

  • You can drag apps up or down to create the order you want
  • You can hover over certain apps to reveal a set of quick actions
  • You can show or hide apps by moving them in and out of “More”

Conversations you’ll really care about
Once you’ve upgraded to Google+, it’s easy to share with your circles from just about anywhere. We’re dreaming bigger, though. We're aiming for an experience that fuses utility with beauty—one that inspires you to connect with others, and cherish the conversations that unfold. Today’s update is an important step in this direction, including:

  • Full bleed photos and videos that'll make you really proud to post
  • A stream of conversation "cards" that make it easier to scan and join discussions
  • An activity drawer that highlights the community around your content

A new home for hanging out
Google+ Hangouts uses live video to bring people together, and the results range from heartwarming to breathtaking to music-making. Today we're adding a dedicated Hangouts page that creates even more opportunities to connect in person, including:

  • An always-updated list of invitations from the people in your circles
  • Quick access to every public and On Air hangout, for those times when you want to meet someone new, or watch a live broadcast
  • A rotating billboard of popular hangouts, pro tips and other items you don’t want to miss
Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Quake IV to be re-released in retail stores in June

Next Story

Interview: Hi-Rez Studios COO talks about Tribes: Ascend

50 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Hahahaha I like how the first screenshot it shows somebody asking "Is there anybody out there?".

Could sound like a typical Google+ post, considering that it's a desert of nothingness. I'm not picking on it. It's good for news and keeping yourself up to date just like Twitter. Most users are just (which is sad) inactive and don't use it.

I found it strange how they advertise it http://www.google.com/+ even on TV. You have to press shift then +/= key on a laptop for example. I don't think that is user friendly.

I always liked Google Me but perhaps they thought that would feed the privacy fear.

Google: Damn it!! Facebook changed their design and now we look super old.
Google Employee: How about we copy Twitter design and have trending topics.
Google: Smart Idea.. do it now!
... Google Fails

Funny watching them try so hard - and to be fair, deliver something so good - and still fail.

Shows how 'me too' products just don't cut it.

UndergroundWire said,

Hmm, I don't work for Google nor do I want to.


You dont want to work for Google?
You do know their workplace right........?

The problem isn't a matter of how it looks or its usability (I could think its the best thing since sliced bread) but a matter of an already existing social network elsewhere. If I can't get all my friends, family and contacts to switch over from Facebook with me, why would I use it? Its not fun being the only one using a social service.

Spyder said,
The problem isn't a matter of how it looks or its usability (I could think its the best thing since sliced bread) but a matter of an already existing social network elsewhere. If I can't get all my friends, family and contacts to switch over from Facebook with me, why would I use it? Its not fun being the only one using a social service.

Or a phone for that matter. If everybody has an Android or an iPhone with the same apps, why would anyone come over to Windows Phone? I see your point

UndergroundWire said,

Or a phone for that matter. If everybody has an Android or an iPhone with the same apps, why would anyone come over to Windows Phone? I see your point

speaking of phones, what i described is the reason a buddy of mine won't part with his Blackberry. His family and majority of his contacts have blackberries and they all use BBM extensively. He says he can't switch because of that. Go figure!

Spyder said,
speaking of phones, what i described is the reason a buddy of mine won't part with his Blackberry. His family and majority of his contacts have blackberries and they all use BBM extensively. He says he can't switch because of that. Go figure!

You know my answer to that, Facebook Messenger. More people are on Facebook than they are on Blackberry. Argument solved.

Nothing could be more chaotic, unorganized and cluttered than Facebook Timeline so if FB starts forcing it on us, there's always Google+. I love the current Facebook UI for profiles that haven't yet turned on the Timeline.

bbfc_uk said,
Google-what?? I joke, but seriously though, I don't know ONE person who had a G+ account.

Your circle must be pretty small lol

bbfc_uk said,
Google-what?? I joke, but seriously though, I don't know ONE person who had a G+ account.

You know NOONE that has a Android?

Because if they have a Android, they have a Google+ account.

My only problem is the stupid white space. I'm getting tired of websites not taking advantage of widescreen displays.

And it's getting worse. Some sites are getting _thinner_, as if they are being made for tablets and smartphones being viewed on their side.

They've somehow made it feel claustrophobic despite still being relatively sparse and spaced out... I'm not sure whether I should be impressed or not about that

~Johnny said,
They've somehow made it feel claustrophobic despite still being relatively sparse and spaced out... I'm not sure whether I should be impressed or not about that

Yeah, I don't find it nice to look at. Then again I don't know anyone using it so I don't have to deal with it.

....and I'm STILL not impressed with Google+. Nobody I know--or care to know--has an account (or, the handful who do simply don't use it). Just one more thing to make me not like Google.

ScubaDog said,
....and I'm STILL not impressed with Google+. Nobody I know--or care to know--has an account (or, the handful who do simply don't use it). Just one more thing to make me not like Google.

So because you don't know anyone on Google+ that means you don't like Google in general? Irrational logic ftw

ScubaDog said,
....and I'm STILL not impressed with Google+. Nobody I know--or care to know--has an account (or, the handful who do simply don't use it). Just one more thing to make me not like Google.

So, you dont like Google because of a failed product? Hope you dont like Microsoft then.

thealexweb said,

So because you don't know anyone on Google+ that means you don't like Google in general? Irrational logic ftw

why like something if there is no point in using it?

CMG_90 said,

why like something if there is no point in using it?

Really? There are tons of things I like that other people hate. Sorry but I like to think for my self instead of having people make up my mind for me.

HolyLiaison said,

Really? There are tons of things I like that other people hate. Sorry but I like to think for my self instead of having people make up my mind for me.


Shhh!
We're on the internet.

GS:mac

ScubaDog said,
....and I'm STILL not impressed with Google+. Nobody I know--or care to know--has an account (or, the handful who do simply don't use it). Just one more thing to make me not like Google.

You know NOONE that has a Android?

Because if they have a Android, they have a Google+ account.

Its starting to look a lot like facebook!

I think they should give up now, they are never going to beat facebook, no matter how much they try and integrate it into every other google application that you already use.