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