New iGoogle Design, Definitely Not a Crowd Pleaser
Article by George Norman
On 23 Oct 2008
Somebody sure has dropped the ball on this one! People that had set iGoogle as their home page did not hold back in expressing their discontent (although a stronger word would fit snugly here). The worst thing is not that the page has been modified for the worst, it is the fact that it was done with no prior notice.

The simple truth of the matter is that there are plenty of options when it comes to personalized home pages. The main competitors are Yahoo, MSN, and AOL, and Google must be careful not to drive its customers away – and the key for doing that is keeping them happy.

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The response of iGoogle users has been swift, not only in posting numerous complaints all over the internet, but also in launching a petition which asks for the possibility to revert to the former iGoogle home page (at the time I wrote this article, the petition exceeded the 1800 mark). This means getting rid of the left-hand navigation column as well as the so called “canvas view” and bring back the old features of iGoogle such as the "+" sign.

The more interesting question is what will Google do? A similar uproar occurred when FaceBook modified its home page. Although people demanded they bring back the old look, FaceBook just couldn’t be bothered about it. Well, it seems that Google is listening, but is not too eager to comply. To this point in time, only part of the former functionality of iGoogle has been restored.

Call me old school, call me geeky even, but I personally favor the classic Google home page. I love its simplicity, I love the fact that the number of words is set to a fix value (28 to be more precise). As a matter of fact, that is why it says “Privacy” and not “Privacy policy” – to keep the number of words on the Google homepage down to 28. The 1999 version was even lighter, with just 13 words. There is something refreshing about clicking the home icon and getting a semi-blank page with no flashy ads, no mountains of letters, no annoying audio streams, but which can readily connect you with the astonishing amounts of information that is available online.



Tags: Google, iGoogle
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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