New iGoogle Design Upsets Users

Sep 9, 2011 • 8:12 am | comments (9) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Other Google Topics

iGoogle LogoiGoogle has launched a new design and it was quietly announced in the Google Web Search Help forums. The changes were summarized by Sarah H. of Google who said:

  • Collapsable Left Nav: The ability to hide the left navigation. Click on the arrow to collapse the left nav and click on it again to expand it.
  • Google Voice Search (For Chrome Users Only): You'll be able to use Google Voice Search by clicking on the microphone icon.

Sounds really nice, right?

Well, not for many. Many iGoogle users had special custom and fancy Google themes. It appears that with the layout changes, many of those custom themes just simply look bad in the new design.

One iGoogle user said:

Very unhappy about this... it has made many themes completely unusable due to the new placement of the Search field. I'm not happy about having to choose between giving up a theme I've been using for well over a year or else trying to find something else I like that won't make the new offset of the Search field so graphically off kilter with the rest of the design.

Upset also? You can do two things:

(1) Complain in the Google Web Search Help thread.

(2) Fill out this survey form specific to iGoogle's new look over here.

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: September 8, 2011



09/09/2011 12:29 pm

(3) Find a theme that looks good! I briefly covered the change yesterday, I felt the facelift was very much needed and also increased the efficiency of the actual product, despite the whole loss of themes.  It now blends with other Google products that have received a similar redesign, and I'm finding the chat feature to function much better than it did before the redesign (not sure if that's just me though)

Dan Calder

09/09/2011 12:53 pm

It seems to me this is simply Google's M.O., much like the world of online marketing as a whole, any given day can bring a complete change (or worse, a shutdown) of one of you marketing avenues.  Much like life:  Adapt or get out of the way.


09/09/2011 02:06 pm

Well, to be honest, most of the themes looked bad on the old design, too. I'm still puzzled why they made the custom themes take twice as much real estate at the header as the default.

randy dunbar

09/09/2011 05:10 pm

What a terrible concept and time we are living in: Everyone is "redesigning" something in the name of progress when the truth is, it is major steps backwards. This "redesign" reminds me of what's it like when you go to a movie and ask yourself: Did they really think the audience would like this? Some people are going to like it because they like anything new, even if it is less efficient and attractive. As one can gauge form the reaction, few people are enjoying the new igiggle design and some smart soul is out there as we speak writing a code to change things back.

Tom Schmitz

09/09/2011 11:05 pm

It's not the design that bugs me. It's how it changes the behavior of some of the apps. For example, I have to double click the RSS link in the Google Reader app where for years I only single clicked. I hate it when designers mess with my muscle memory.


09/10/2011 03:45 am

It looks great.  Very clean - the tabs are uncluttered by paraphernalia, and the hide-arrow is well overdue.


09/10/2011 04:06 pm

What is so interesting about adapting in this age is that adaption means finding something better. Or, a smart, kind hacker will find a code that kills the look of this tragic attempt at redesign. So while it is nothing short of lazy to suggest the public adapt to what it does't like, life really isn't like that.

Glenn M. Krewson

03/09/2012 07:51 pm

Dear sir; I was prompted on my by a pesky pop up window in my  iGoogle as to if I wanted to try "the new look".   I thought, well why not... and clicked on the prompt.  Another pesky but larger 'pop up window' has replaced the original smaller pesky pop up window, prompt.   That was not to big of an issue, but now I am left with a very boring iGoogle page, only it still has the original pesky 'pop up window, prompt asking me if I would like to try the "new look".   Either one of a few things is going to have to happen, 1) I actually get to try the new look. or 2p) that pesky pop up window has to go, or 3) I am going to switch my home page to Mozilla Firefox.I understand, that when a new product gets on the market, a few bugs have to be worked out.  Please work out these bugs, as I have used iGoogle for a while nowREspectfully yours


04/25/2012 08:15 pm

Why has the lovely new Full Page Theme suddenly disappeared??  I'm STUCK with horrible Martha Stewart and her roses...CANNOT even change the old 'Dashboard" now...It sucketh much.

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