Google has been undergoing a bit of a makeover the past few months as each of their services gets folded into a new look that started with the release of Google+.
The use of white space is what you’ll notice first out of the box with the new Google. The lines are clean, the layouts simple.
Here are some tours of the changes to find out exactly what Google did and how you can maximize your user experience.
In addition to the different density settings for the screen, threaded conversations have been condensed and avatars are being pulled in so you can see who you’re “talking to.” The new Gmail is much cleaner and apart from getting used to seeing white instead of blue in my mail, I’ve enjoyed the new look.
That said, there is one feature that might get you into a little bit of trouble. You know how Facebook likes to suggest friends? Well Gmail is now suggesting recipients to your email. While you’re crafting the note, it recommends other people you might want to cc: on the correspondence. One foul click and this could all go sideways. No thanks.
The Google Reader changes that have people upset is the adjustment to the social funcitons. You used to be able to create your own feed of ‘shared’ articles, now everything is being pushed to Google+. There is a work around, simply edit the tags of the articles you like and pull those feeds if you don’t want to play with G+.
We began rolling out these improvements in early August with the documents list and have since upgraded our entire collaboration suite. You may have noticed that our new look matches other recent Google visual updates, which aim to bring a consistent, improved experience across our products. [Google]
The use of white space again is what you’ll see with the Google Docs upgrade, along with some improved icon notifications so you know who the doc is being shared with and when it is fully saved.
Changes to the navigation of Google have happened in the past few weeks as well. First they moved the term search buttons from the top nav bar to the side nav bar causing mass confusion. Now the top nav bar is disappearing all together.
While I’m all for the simplification of the design, and I do like the new Google Bar, it does feel a little bit like the Microsoft Start button – doesn’t it? How 1995 of them.
Despite being on the bleeding edge of technology, we web types are pretty resistant to change. How have you been dealing with “the plusification of everything?”
This article was originally published at The Future Shop’s Tech Blog.