If you’re in the Internet marketing business or run your own company’s online campaign, you’ve probably heard about the 6th annual Google I/O conference in San Francisco that began yesterday and will last until May 17. Mainly targeted for software programmers, the developer conference has raised eyebrows and drawn the attention of many. One of the biggest highlights so far is the Google+ redesign.
If you’ve ever felt like a website redesign wasn’t worth your time or money, think again. If Google launches a redesign of its social platform, it shows us that there is always room for improvement.
To Redesign or Not to Redesign …
Coming from the company that mostly calls the shots as far as search engine results go, changing the look, features, and navigation of Google+ is a huge move. On that note, don’t jump into a redesign of your own website without giving it a lot of thought first. According to Mashable, 190 million users participate in the Google+ stream. That’s a lot of people to satisfy. Even if your audience isn’t that vast, one of the main things to focus on in a redesign, as shown by the below points, is improving the user experience.
The Google+ facelift is likely to plant a different image in people’s minds when they hear the phrase “social network,” maybe even replacing the brain’s automatic response to Facebook. The redesign is meant to keep up to speed with, and possibly even surpass, competitors like Facebook and Pinterest, or at least encourage Internet users to jump onto Google+ as well or more often.
Some Pluses to the New Google+
Easy to Scan – With a multi-column arrangement, the redesigned Google+ puts photos in the middle that encompass the full width of a page’s stream so that users can scan the site easier. With one, two, or three columns, what you see will be affected by screen size and whether you’re using a mobile device, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.
“Searches” for You – With the addition of related hashtags to a Google+ stream, the platform will automatically tag a photo or post for you with a hashtag so that you don’t have to. With an individual hashtag for a post comes the option to flip a post and view related hashtags to that post. If you don’t like the program’s self-awareness, you can turn the feature off. Google’s goal seems to be to categorize and rank pertinent conversations throughout its platform so that a user can easily skim related content without having to enter in his or her own inquiry.
Time Saver – To Google, taking and sharing photos should be a quick process. Auto Backup is a new feature that saves mobile photos without a user having to indicate such action. Auto Awesome is bound to be a favorite not just for its name but for its ability to animate photos automatically after a sequence of pictures are uploaded. Auto Awesome can also track down the photo with the best shot or piece together multiple pictures into one. Auto Highlight helps a user find the best photos by going through the albums by itself and Auto Enhance gives pictures final touches for optimal quality.
Ready for Change?
It will be interesting to see how the Google+ redesign influences brand development and the overall popularity of the social network. This is a giant leap for Google in combining search with social, a move that seems like one that only a leading search engine can make. Being more image-driven and intuitive for search, Google+ might just make our lives easier. But is that what we want? When time and convenience is of concern, the answer is yes.