Monday, May 10, 2010

The New Google Interface: I hate it

UPDATE: A friend sent me this link. Apparently bookmark this to use the "classic" Google. I'll keep an eye out for Firefox updates to the search engine field. Thank you Nate!

There are people who use Google, and there are people who type things into the search engine (like URL's) and think they're "using" it, too.

If you're someone that likes the new Google interface, I know instantly you don't know how to use search in the first place, and that's why you don't understand how bad this new design is.

The old layout provided all the search results aligned to the far left of the page. For native English readers, this is the *most* efficient layout because it allows users to quick-scan the results for relevant returns. Adding this left column, however, makes it difficult to do the same quick-scan because A) there's literally MORE shit on the screen to look at, and B) the new crap is shiny, colorful, etc. It's distracting. (Thankfully, Google Scholar's results are still spartan from a "oooh shiny!" standpoint, but who knows? Maybe they'll skin those results for toddlers, too!)

And there are TOO MANY CHOICES! Remember, every choice presented to a user/consumer represents a NET TIMESINK - the fewer front-end choices, the more economic the overall process will be. (my own pet peeve: "Credit or debit?" This is an *enormous* economic time sink, when scaled over our entire economy. Don't get me started....) Another way to think about this is transactional overhead.

The new layout takes far too long to scan for relevant results. I'd rather have alternate search phrases or Boolean refinements suggested, rather than repeating the same search in alternating catalogs of content.

I completely understand the need for multiple interfaces: power searchers vs. market researchers vs. casual browsers....knowledge vs. thrillseeking.

I don't know if Google is willing to provide that interface, but I'm sure the demand is enough that somebody will quickly figure out how.