Google+ gets a UI overhaul with focus on simplicity, customization, and community building


A major UI refresh is rolling out for Google+ with almost every aspect of the site getting tweaked to enhance usability and community interaction. While the goal is to create a richer social experience that is more integrated into Google’s core services, the site seems more elegantly simple than ever before.

From the top down we find several major changes, including a customizable navigation bar that is designed to let users choose and arrange the Google+ elements they find most important. “Apps” can be repositioned or moved out of the main bar altogether to keep only desired content just a few clicks away. The navigation ribbon is designed to help users key in their preferences over time and was developed with the future of G+ in mind, making it easy for Google and the users of their social network to integrate new features.

Google has also taken some strides in improving the way content is displayed and interacted with to encourage greater community interaction. Photos and videos are bigger and more beautiful than ever and individual posts have been broken out into “conversation cards” that make it easy to follow and add your voice to ongoing discussions. Furthering this goal is the introduction of a dedicated Hangouts page that will give users quick access to popular ongoing public and On Air hangouts as well as provide a list of hangouts they may be invited to join.

Aside from the main changes and additions, Google has created an Explore page to highlight top content and is continuing to fold Google+ into the rest of their services, making it easier than ever to share interesting web gems or to wax philosophic on the latest trends. Now if only G+’s userbase was as strong as the social network’s concept and design…

[via Google]

Kevin Krause
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  1. That screenshot looks nice… but G+ still looks exactly the same in my other tab. :(

  2. no  friends on g+… 

    1. They don’t need to be on G+ for you to share with them from G+.  You just need to share to their email address.

  3. One of the biggest internet tragedies of this decade is that people don’t realize how much better G+ is than Facebook.  Could you imagine if everyone switched over to G+ and we could actually USE all those cool features?

    *sheds single tear

  4. I can’t wait to see it updated when I log in…so far no luck for me. Still waiting for the roll out to hit me. (Same with Gnex 4.0.4 rollout :( )

    1. And I got the update …in G+…gonna check my phone right away

  5. already have it and it looks like garbage, but i am sure to be in the minority

    1. I agree with you. I didn’t think Google+ could get much worse. I was wrong.

  6. No way yet to find friends you went to high school with… Facebook has two appeals; connecting with people you haven’t heard from in 15 years, and sating the narcissism of people who feel everyone needs to know that they just ate a burrito. Love it or hate it, Google+ needs to do SOMETHING for those folks if it expects to gain any ground on Facebook.

    1. I for one am glad those people are NOT using Google+. The narcissism and lack of engagement is one of the many reasons I closed the door on my FB account when Google+ launched.

      1. And at the same time people don’t use Google+ because none of their friends use it… There’s nothing stopping you from not adding those people to your circles. Do you oppose this type of thing simply because you don’t condone that behavior on your social network of choice, whether you can see it or not?

  7. First comment in over 3 months! Woot! Don’t know why anyone would waste time trying to compete with FB. I despise how much Facebook has turned everyone into lazy, “ill just post on your wall” instead of a old fashion phone call for your b-day type of people. But they have blown up social media like no other.

    1. In all fairness, I have to imagine some shared a similar sentiment around the time the telephone was invented…

  8. too bad i dont know a single person who use it…I dont count all the peeps at XDA who are on my list..

    I hate facebook but i have no choice but to use it because thats what everyone else uses..

    1. The problem is, as long as everyone else thinks that too, nothing changes.

      Be the person to get the ball rolling.

    2. You can still share to non G+ member friends either via circles or individual email addresses.  I share things to people who aren’t members all the time.  They still might not read it but at least I’ve tried.  At the very least they usually read the notification email from G+.

  9.  Google must do better job promoting it. Look at all those store flyers you get in the mail – Like us and get a chance to win/Like us and call yourself something/etc. Google + is nowhere near FB presence. Google+ button is nowhere to be found when it comes to sites I visit, like BBC and others.

  10. Can we create and manage events now, at LEAST as well as on FB, if not easier? Last I checked, it had ZERO event managing whatsoever.

    Until then, it’s going to be a hard sell. I hate FB, but it DOES handle events really well. I probably use it more for events than messages.

  11. The redesign makes me want to puke….It is scary that this was designed by an Apple guy….

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