As if Google hadn't learned their lesson after the first redesign of their social network Google Plus back in 2013, here we are again witnessing another round of face palms, and another craptastic redesign that's even worse than the first one. Google claims their newly redesigned social space is designed for mobile, supporting all new IOS and Android apps, which no one can seem to get to work right. They also claim they've put more focus on the things people really love, especially Communities and Collections. Too bad they ruined all our brands and their corresponding communities in the process.
The new user interface is the absolute worst I've ever seen. Instead of putting focus on Google+ Communities as they've stated, they actually completely gutted and destroyed them! Communities about sections are now hidden from view, and unless you know where to click, you'll never find them! The about sections are now hidden behind a tiny circle with an 'i' in it that hovers over community logos.
Now when you enter a community, all of its categories are stripped from viewing unless you click the "All Posts" tab, and even the community logos are ripped to shreds! All of our communities logos are missing the top and bottom of the images, left entirely defaced. To make matters worse, because the about sections are hidden, no one can see community guidelines or featured links. I guess Google's user interface designers and developers assumed that people are naturally psychic, as their network members now have to hunt for information and links that aren't easy to find. So much for "Simplified."
Google Developer Luke Wroblewski noted in this post: Dive into The New Google+ (I think he meant "Run As Far Away As Possible") that users do have the option to switch between the new Google+ and the classic layout, for now. Does this mean all users will be forced into the new redesign no matter what? Talk about epic UI design fail! Google never learns. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that none of this new and supposed mobile-friendly design makes any logical sense at all.
The last time Google redesigned their network, the platform fell silent for over a month. Before the spring 2013 redesign took place, our community Strategic Social Networking was getting as much as 500+ shares on a single post! Within 1 minute of their redesign, we lost all engagement for months on end. When big media claimed Google+ was a ghost town, we stood by and defended them from every angle. But now my thoughts are starting to change. If Google wants this network to last, they need to stop with the illogical design nonsense and get developers and UI designers in place that can actually make things work. Heck, my 5 year old nephew could have designed a better UI with crayons than Google's clearly incapable developers ever could.
While I'm proud of my work with the brands I helped build and manage on Google Plus, and I only hope for the best, I definitely have my doubts after seeing such poor decision making on the part of Google in terms of the way they manage their social network that not only I, but my brands and their members have all called our social home.
In order to protect the integrity of our brands and news organizations Strategic Social Networking, Gamers Bay, The Gamers Video Archive, and a dozen other brands along with their hundreds of thousands of members, I've decided to move forward with plans to build an independent social network that won't be subject to such poor decision making (Just in case).
Either way, there's no doubt that Google has clearly lost touch with reality. We simply cannot stand idle while Google destroys everything we worked for, as the risks are far too great. If Google is trying to scare brands away, they're sure doing a good job of it. After all, Google has a history of being the ones to destroy everything they create, as was the case with Google Authorship.