Thursday, October 16, 2008

G is for (i)Google: New iGoogle Gripes

Google just announced what appears to be involuntary U.S. opt-in for their new iGoogle layout. I was (involuntarily) included in the initially trial roll out several months ago, and only found out that I could opt-out (through a very obscure process I no longer recall) after several weeks of using it. I didn't like it much then, and it appears my main complaints are still there.

Side Tabs
I dislike the new tab scheme.

  • It appears you cannot drag a gadget onto a tab to move it into that tab. This is a bug and should be fixed.

  • Having tabs on the side wastes a lot of screen real estate.

  • The ability to fold out the gadgets list seems semi-redundant with having the gadgets visible when I am viewing that tab already.


New Gmail Gadget
It is slick to be able to delete emails right from my Gmail gadget. But

  • I liked the email displayed on a single line. I could show more emails that way.

  • I am also not thrilled with more of the email text being shown. Not as private.

  • I really would like clicking an email to take me into Gmail proper as it used to, rather than the new behavior of viewing within the gadget.


I will say that one of my original complaints was that you could not reply or forward from within the in-gadget email viewer. They appear to have addressed that. Awesome!

So I guess that's not too many complaints. But really, it would be nice to have options for these things.

Regardless, iGoogle is still an outstanding and useful tool. It is also great that they could introduce new functionality and a new look without breaking all the gadgets I rely on. Thanks Google.

35 comments:

Marcus said...

I actually really dislike the new layout. I hate the side tabs, wasting way too much space (I only use 2 tabs) and it is redundant. Why would I ever click over there when I already have it on my screen?

Additionally, they took away the expandable textboxes for RSS feeds and replaced it with about a sentence and a half of text. Now I actually have to click the link and go to the web site to read the post.

Argh, frustrating.

Ron Wilhoite said...

The side tabs are a terrible waste of space. I only have the "Home" tab and can't find any way to not show tabs at all.

Too bad they don't allow comments on the blog post heralding this as a great innovation.

Swash said...

I also dislike the Home tab on the side. (I got rid of this annoyance a few weeks ago with the "javascript:_dlsetp('v2=0');" fix, but this no longer works.)

It seems to be very unpopular.

Google take note!

sally123 said...

The side tabs are horrible.....I miss all the real estate i used to have for my gadgets. Google has a nasty habit of continually screwing with their stuff. Whats with gmail still being in beta anyway? Its been live for several years now. Google is getting annoying!!!

Danny said...

Side tabs = BAD!!!

Boo said...

please make the side tabs optional!

djeph said...

Side tabs--DUMB DUMB DUMB!!! Put them back on the top. Please. Pretty please!!! Pretty please with sugar and cream on top!!!!!

Darth Knitter said...

Apparently I just got the new layout today. This is very frustrating and I agree with all the comments against the new layout. I'll be searching for an alternate program now - too bad. I really loved iGoogle the way it was, but now it's not going to work for me at all.

Ravenslove said...

I hate it. They lost all my files for the gmail. When they updated my google calendar they lost all my bill paying information as well as appointments. I too will be looking for something different. They should give a way to opt out to the older version.

Karen said...

I really dislike those side tabs - I agree with all the other comments - I know what I have - why do I need it listed again?

mikeman8224 said...

I hate this new tab layout, it SUCKS! I wish they would give us a choice.

Michael said...

I can't stand this new layout. It's the worst waste of space EVER.

Side tab, cool if I liked tabs but I can't stand it. Not only does it go against my hate for tabs (including web browser tabs) it's a complete waste of space. Now I have a 1 inch wasted column on my page. My other 3 columns are now all squished over and because of that now it takes more vertical space.

So what I used to be able to see everything in one 600x800 browser (i run everything windowed so that I can see multiple pages at same time) I can only see half of my igoogle page.

Biggest waste of design ever. I would much rather have access to the old style. The old style was simple, and compact and that's what made it great. I'm able to see everything I want without having to scroll up or down. Now It's bloated and usless to me.

Martin Cooper/ OrchisArts said...

HATE the new tab layout. wastes too much space and the clock got REAL ugly!

MF said...

This is horrible! Yahoo! Mail introduced a new interface a while back, but you know what? They give you an OPTION to stay with the "classic" version if you like that better! Why couldn't Google give us the same option?

I love iGoogle and these changes are NOT positive! It wasn't broke; why fix it?

Sidume said...

I have to agree. The side tabs create a tremendous waste of space, and they tighten up the columns of the things that I do find useful, making them much more difficult to read.

Ledg said...

Left side tab stinks...I'm moving on if they have no option to go back to the old iGoogle...

Brian said...

Wow, maybe Google should've tested the new design on some focus groups before rolling it out like this. They definitely need to provide an option to go back to the classic view, and an autohide sidebar would be nice also. They also need to bring back the drag and drop functionality to move feeds from one tab to another.

I, however, am actually a fan for the most part, especially for the google-built gadgets. Gmail, Google Finance and the weather gadget have been greatly improved upon. As for Marcus' gripe that you have to go to the website to read the post, that is inaccurate. Everything opens up on Google now in a Google Reader type fashion, so there is no need to go to any other website now.

Roger R said...

what happened to "do no evil"??? you've been very evil google... my whole page is gone.. I deleted some new thing on the left now all my page is gone!! EVIL!!

David said...

Looks like the majority of folks posting really don't appreciate giving up desktop space to the goofy side tab.

GOOGLE - give the side tab to someone else, give back the space you took.

I generally don't tend to get into the blogging - but this is the only avenue open to tell GOOGLE how I feel about these TABS.

BAD IDEA!

Mark said...

Side tabs = terrible waste of space. Much less useful than the previous layout.

anthony said...

...like putting hubcaps on a Ferrari??????? Do we have any way of going back to the 'old' tab on top version??

kalo said...

Log out of google.. go to http://www.google.co.uk/.. log in.. go to igoogle. save new homepage. works for now.. google sucks..

Tom said...

I have the Finance gadget on my home page and now they display the "Value" of my portfolios. This can not be supressed and is a BIG privacy issue with me. I don't need everyone walking by my PC to know what my portfolios are worth...
I agree that the side tabs waste room; and I don't like that they took the "Hide Preview" away from e-mail. I thought the idea of "improvements" is to give the user more options and not take them away!

Rob said...

You can use this style with the help of the firefox plugin 'userstyles' in order to get back to something close to original style.

http://userstyles.org/styles/11351

vectr said...

The side tabs are bad. Half of my gadgets corrupted or something, and the ones that do work have changed considerably from what they were with no options to customise them.

WHY WAS THIS NOT AN OPT-IN PROCESS GOOGLE?

Imagine if Microsoft or Apple automatically replaced an application on your hard-drive without asking.

VERY POOR FORM!

xdrivesquirrel said...

Forget iGoogle. Move on with Netvibes http://www.netvibes.com with a how-to-migrate

elandwehr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
elandwehr said...

Need to put the tabs back on top.. The new tabs don't work on smaller displays.. No space left for all of my gagets..

I have a very small laptop I used to love IGoogle but now I have to go to CLASSIC mode. Why can't we have a choice of tab Locations? ???????

October 17, 2008 6:43 AM

Nate said...

kalo wins:

"Log out of google.. go to http://www.google.co.uk/.. log in.. go to igoogle. save new homepage. works for now.. google sucks.."

do it.

elandwehr said...

Works like a charm!!!

Thanks

I hope this lasts.

I guess
Google shoud be called MSgoogle..

Cicero said...

Thanks for the pointer to the Google UK pages. That does the trick, didn't even have to log out first. Google is going to push us into a corner and once they close the door on all of the options to get away from the new iGoogle User Interference, we'll have to move to a new portal :(

Jennie said...

I really hate this new layout, just like everyone else!! I thought I had a virus or something and have been trying to get it back the way it was. Please if there is anyone listening out there, put it back the way it was!! I am about fed up with it.

Annie said...

This new format really sucks. Not only have I lost valuable screen space with the redundant, useless tabs on the left but my gmail is totally screwed. My contacts are gone, the links are disabled, the labels are gone, I can't display images....it just sucks. Put it back the way it was. I loved IGoogle before and used it constantly, I guess I will have to find another home page. It is totally evil that I have no access to my contacts list, its not like I have all the addresses memorized. It just sucks.

Brian said...

Annie, I'm sorry, but what are you talking about? Do you not realize that the version of Gmail that shows up on iGoogle isn't actually Gmail? It's like Gmail lite, in case you just want to send a quick reply or something without having to go to a separate web page. You can still easily get to the full version of Gmail with all your contacts, etc just by clicking on the top "Gmail" header or by clicking "Launch Full Gmail" when you're in the expanded view on iGoogle.

Tom, the Google Finance gadget has always displayed the "Value" of portfolios, it is nothing new. It can be suppressed, just hit the "hide" link. Or, here's an idea, don't have that gadget on your homepage if you don't want people to see it.

I think some of you that have commented here actually need to play with the new setup more and try things out before freaking out about it. So much for people wanting change...

elandwehr said...

At least with the tabs they should give people the choice, TOP or Side Tabs..