It's not just haute couture models parading down the runway with the latest spring fashions.
Google+ has done its first redesign since launching last summer and my initial impression is that I'm giving this a plus one for the right direction.
Interesting that none of these enhancements were previewed at PRSA's Digital Impact Conference last week when keynote speaker, Google+ developer Timothy Jordan, said to the audience he had nothing to announce.
Well, it's about 10 days later and there's news now .
The design seems more intuitive than before. It's easier to find things at a glance. And it looks more social, more inviting for people to share. Maybe that will attract additional consumer users.
Here's a quick summary of the changes:
Maybe its nomenclature that doesn't quite fit with what it's suggesting you do; I hangout with my friends, not my circles. It's a little like someone's dad who's trying too hard to be hip.
And the Google minimalism makes it feel a bit too wide open at the moment, like a neighbourhood under construction (in a sense, that's what it is). As a result it doesn't feel private even when I share a post with a limited group. Perhaps the design should have some sort of visual differentiator between private and public – on the newsfeed and your profile page.
Maybe they could take the customization they've started even further and let us really add some personality to our page. I'd like a way to personalize my profile, say change the order and highlight certain items like my blog. Enabling that could be a differentiator.
That said, I like where it's going.
I haven't been as active on Google+ lately but the changes are encouraging me to to spend more time on the site. One thing I've always liked about the platform is the ability to edit a post after you publish and in my case, correct more than a couple of typos. I also like that there's no 140 character limit and the kinds of discussion that can spark.
It's also naturally integrated, via its birth parent, to search – still the number one thing we do online.
At Digital Impact, Timothy Jordan said that Google+ now has 50 million active users (defined as those who log in once a week) and 100 million accounts. That's a lot of traffic and yet it still feels like a road less traveled.
As my colleague Sherrilynne Starkie said, there's lots of potential here. Now, the masters of search and video have to figure out how to unlock social for the mainstream consumer.
What do you think about the redesign? Will it make you spend more time on Google+?
Here's a link to my G+ profile (I'm open to suggestions).