So, what do you think of the Google News redesign?
You like it??? Tell me where you live so I can come hit you on the head a couple of times with a tack hammer…we’ll see if that jars anything loose. All kidding aside (no I don’t want to hit anyone on the head with a tack hammer), there is plenty of negative feedback on the redesign. If you’re not sure what changed, the original Google News Blog announcement is here (with screenshots) and you can also see it on your own computer (for now…they may roll it out to other countries besides the US soon so this may not work perpetually) here is how to check:
- Login to your google account. Go to http://google.com/news
- Now visit this link in a new tab: http://www.google.ca/news
The difference initially looks subtle but once you start scrolling it blares like a fog horn in your head. I’m not the only one who thinks the redesign sucks. The original announcement is filled with negative comments about the redesign. Look on the right hand column of the announcement to see related posts and you’ll quickly see there are plenty of people who despise this ‘improvement’. Even looking in the google news general forum results in the most popular threads being discussions about how bad the redesign actually is.
People have even begun to label this redesign as the “New Coke” of Google products. I’m thinking they may be right. Don’t remember the New Coke snafu?
How Can We Tell Google Their Redesign Sucks?
Most people have been going to the support area for Google news. In my opinion, this is ABSOLUTELY the wrong area. Instead, head over to the blog announcement page and you’ll see a link to the Help Center. Once there, on the top right hand corner of the announcement is a link to comments. As of the writing of this article there were about 15 comments on this change.
It is my theory that Google is only paying attention to this comments section and not to the thousands upon thousands of posts taking place inside their support forums. Afterall, is complaining that the redesign sucks really a support issue? Make your voice known by visiting the Help Center and dropping a comment via the comments link there. Clicking this link opens up a sidewiki comment system. Make sure you are signed into your google account when leaving a comment.
So what are the problems with Google News?
Tailored News – Google said the new redesign is “tailored to your interests” aka “news for you”. Here’s the thing…I don’t want news tailored to my interests. I want unedited and unfiltered news. The reason I liked Google News in the first place was because I didn’t have paid sponsors results jockying to the front of the page. I could read liberal and conservative news side by side. I could get one side of the story and the other side of the story.
Now, I get only the side that interests me. This doesn’t make for a well informed, rounded individual. In other words, I want to see EVERYTHING and decide what to read…I don’t want that taken away from me at the beginning.
Scrolling – Congratulations Google! It now takes me 6 pages of scrolling to see the same amount of news I used to be able to read in 2. Boy I would have loved to be a fly in the wall on the meeting where the ‘stream’ concept was discussed…a big, monsterous fly so that I could have fly puked right on whoever thought it was a good idea.
Google news is now a facebook stream of news. I don’t want that. If I wanted a facebook stream of news, I’d create a facebook account and friend all the news agencies out there and wait for the news to stream to me.
It now takes me three to four times longer to read news than it did in the past. I’m also getting a poor sample of the news. I’m missing tons of articles I got in the past and headlines don’t pop like they used to. It’s also HARDER to read when you’re scrolling 5000 lines of text. For this reason alone the redesign is 20lbs of crap poured into a 10lb bag.
Local News – Local news went from having its own section to having 3 headlines. Thanks for reducing my local news Google…I really appreciate that. Good to know that I don’t need to be reading what’s happening right outside my window.
Fast Flip Reduction – Remember when fast flip was 3-4 wide across the bottom of your google news page? Now it’s 1 article on the small right hand column. WORTHLESS. And of course, there is no way to get rid of it from your google news page.
Spotlight – What the heck is this section for? What do these articles have in them that allows them to have a spotlight shined on them? Do publications pay Google to be included in this section? Why can’t I remove this section if I want to?
Most Popular – These articles are the most popular according to whom? Am I just supposed to trust Google that they are the most popular ones out there? Do publications pay Google to be included on this section? Why can’t I remove it?
A good article that includes many of the reasons I discussed above can be found here.
The Squeekiest Wheel?? Alternatives??
So, if we complain en masse, will Google listen? Does the squeekiest wheel get the most oil? I hope so.
Until then, I won’t be using Google News. A suitable and tolerable substitution can be found at Ask.com…for those of you saying “Try Bing!” I did and it sucks. Ask.com’s News Page is simple and doesn’t require me to scroll 40 times just to read news. Thanks for keeping it simple Ask! You’ve got a new supporter!
What do you think of the new google news? Please let me know with a comment below. The redesign hasn’t been rolled out in all areas yet so you may not see it in your location…however, be warned that it is probably coming. Hopefully, Google will realize this move is the New Coke Snafu and backtrack to their original design…not because the features they want to implement suck, but because when implementing them, they made reading the news MUCH harder than it should be.