Google has been systematically updating the UIs of all of its cloud products over the past while. Google Docs changed first, now Calendar, Reader and Gmail got the upgrades. As a heavy user to all that is Google, a change in UI completely changes everything.
Admittedly I’m more visual than functional, so the new look alone makes a big difference to me.
By default everything is a lot more spaced out – and there’s a lot more white space. Luckily there is the option to view Gmail in ‘compact view’, the same view you’ve known and loved for years.
Text links have also been replaced with very simple icons. They are a little too simple but alt tags with the words do appear when you mouse over the various buttons.
Reader at least used to have shades of light blue to differentiate between elements. Now it’s just all white. With three monitors, I literally have to wear sunglasses when viewing email and Reader at the same time. I think my face is getting tanned. Is that safe?
Businesses that rely on Google’s cloud services to power their business are really at the mercy of the search giant. The same way people freak out when Facebook changes its UI, the same holds true for Google. What do you expect though, it’s free!
Some companies expect a lot, and they should. When you opt to use cloud services for your business you really do rely on it on be consistent. Maybe you create user manuals, with screenshots on how to navigate through various tasks using Google Apps. A change in UI means you now need new screenshots and new manuals? That’s costly.
There’s nothing you can really do though. If you use Google, then Google calls the shots. What do you think of the new UI changes Google has made?