Google Plus is trying to compete with more established social networks, so making a complete layout change so early into its operation is not that surprising. The layout finally looks less like Facebook and more like a unique design, which is great for the Google Plus users. If you are interested about all the ways that Google Plus has changed, then read this article and find out.
The single most noticeable change is Google Plus now has much more whitespace. Google Plus had a good amount before, but it has really increased the amount now. It has shifted the major focus to the left side of the screen with a handy toolbar that has all the tools and applications you need. This gives Google Plus a much cleaner look, and the information looks more organized.
However, there is one problem with the whitespace. Google Plus seems to be favoring smaller monitors, because there is a lot of whitespace on larger ones. Some people are complaining about this, so Google Plus may make an adjustment. But, as it stands, the whitespace will remain the same.
While there is more whitespace, Google Plus has decided to increase the size of profile pictures. This is similar to Facebook Timeline, so you can see how Google Plus is still taking notes from Facebook. To complement this change, you should go through your profile and add or update photo albums to make a larger impression.
Now, onto the bad news. If you have been using a low-resolution picture for your profile picture, then you need to go back and change it to a high-resolution one. Since the pictures are larger, low-resolution pictures have a higher chance of looking blurry and distorted. Whether you want to be taken seriously as a business, or if you just want your friends to actually see your face, you will need a better picture.
But, this gives you a good opportunity to update that old profile pic. Make an entirely new one and show off how you have changed in the past few months.
Left Navigation Bar
As stated above, the navigation bar has been shifted to the left. Most of the headings on the bar are easy to make out, except for two. Here are the main headings:
The one that most people are having trouble with is the “Pages” tool. Basically this tool just shows you all the pages you have administrative control over. This may be useful for businesses, but it really doesn’t seem all the important when compared to the other headings.
The second heading that some people are having trouble with is the “More” heading. This just shows you a large list of other tools that Google has made available for you to use. It’s a good way to ensure the navigation bar looks clean without cluttering it with the less popular, but still useful, tools.
The “Explore” heading in the navigation bar is easily about exploring Google Plus or Google itself. However, did you know that Google Plus has completely redesigned this tool?
The past incarnation of Google Plus wasn’t very good with telling you what was trending or hot on the Google Plus network. However, this new tool will show you a list of trending topics (right now it’s showing Justin Bieber and The Avengers) that encompasses all of Google.
The “What’s Hot” menu will show you anything hot that is going on in your circles. This makes it very easy to keep up with hot topics, and you may also find a list of interesting items to search and look up. This is really pushing the social aspect of Google Plus, which was already good from the beginning.
Google Plus has made a lot of layout changes, and most of them are very good. While some people with larger monitors are lamenting about the increased whitespace, most are happy about the better organized look. Google Plus has also made things easier for you by adding the trending and hot lists, so you can easily keep up with popular topics.
So, what do you think of the new layout? Do you love it, hate it or are you just somewhere in the middle?