Friday, June 30, 2017

Give Us Back Google News Classic Design #googlenews

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July 6 update: Since the redesign of Google News, I felt that visiting its home page would be lending support to a design that I found appalling. So I have stayed away from the Google News homepage, except to check in periodically to see if it has been returned to what it was. It has not. What I saw during a visit today is that Google appears to have begun addressing some of the issues raised below. The thin, small, difficult-to-read designer typeface has been replaced with a larger, thicker, very-easy-to-read typeface. The font is no longer an issue. Individual cards seem to carry the headlines of quite a few stories as opposed to cards in the early days of the redesign which seemed to have only two or three headlines. Other issues have yet to be addressed, such as restoring the summary paragraph below the lead headline and reinstating the filmstrip that showed both related videos and other news stories; these were very helpful features that made Google News outstanding. However, I regard the progress already in evidence as hopeful signs that they want to make a web page that will serve the needs of readers, and if the page continues to move back toward the excellent service once provided, I stand ready to embrace Google News once again. I'm not quite there yet.

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I am someone who visited Google News several times a day for years to see what was happening in my country and in the world. It was an exceedingly well-designed resource for people who wanted to know what was going on in the world from multiple sources and who wanted to see this wide choice of sources at a glance.

Google has now redesigned the News home page in a way that I find completely user unfriendly (Google blogs).

The sentence or paragraph that used to summarize the lead story in each section (what is now a "card") has been eliminated. The value of that summary was that when you read it, together with all the other headlines in that section, you used to be able to get a good idea of what a story was about and you used to get a good idea of what story you might like to click on in order to read more. Now you can only guess at a news story's content from the few words of its headline. It is as if suddenly all the depth and richness of the Google News home page had been utterly gutted and trashed.

The number of headlines featured in each section seems to be smaller for most "cards" than was the case with the old sections. The decision to put only a very few headlines in a "card" and to force readers who want to know more to go off the home page for a larger collection of headlines is not at all what I wanted. It is so wasteful of time.

The scrollable film strip of news stories and videos has been removed. Hovering over that strip, you could see more headlines or you could click to view a video. And you could do all this without leaving the home page. This was a wonderful and very effective resource. It offered the choice of more sources and more points of view right at your fingertips.

The new font is not so readable as the old font. It seems less bold, less thick, less large.

All of these changes combined mean that one has to spend way more time on the Google News page getting way less satisfaction. It is a struggle to find things that one found easily before, if they can be found now at all.

The only reason I visit the Google News home page now is to see if the old format has been restored yet.

Google, please give us back the old design. I am not alone in asking this. It depresses me every time I think of what we have lost through this new unwanted format. I keep wanting to go to the old Google News, but I can't find it anywhere.



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FURTHER COMMENTS

What happened to the Classic view for Google News? [hundreds of denunciations of the new format at an official Google message board] (Google News Help Forum)

Google News redesign unsurprisingly angers everyone (memeburn)

Google News Redesign: Why All the White Space? [scores of denunciations] (Reddit)

How to revert the new google news [= you can't] (Reddit)

Google News gets a much-needed redesign to cut down on clutter and confusion [scathing comments] (Reddit)

Opinion: Google Unleashes Terrible New Update For Google News Upon the Net (Slashdot)

HOW TO CHANGE BACK TO OLD GOOGLE NEWS FORMAT [= you can't] (Youtube)

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