For what seems to be forever (in Internet time at least) my home page has been iGoogle. This week Google changed the iGoogle layout.
I have to ask - Does anybody like the new layout?
From my perspective The side bar adds no value what so ever. It just steals valuable screen real estate away from my chosen content.
The sidebar doesn't even seem to make sense. I can't seem to rearrange the sequence of the items in the side bar under each tab. I can't even work out what the ordering of the items is. I don't seem to have any control over the order in which they appear. It doesn't even appear to be alphabetical, or in the sequence of the page layout.
Yes, iGoogle has become TheirGoogle. It is not a personal home page if I can't control the layout. I am guessing that the order is based upon the sequence in which the widgets were added to the page but I am not even sure of that. The sequence of tab widgets in the sidebar doesn't even match the sequence in which the widgets are listed in the edit tab page. If I re-order the widgets on the page then the listing in the sidebar doesn't change.
I have talked to a few people that experienced this layout during the beta period and the overwhelming opinion from the beta feedback seemed to be that they don't like the page layout.
Google are you listening?
This is a big step backwards in functionality for iGoogle. Less usable screen real estate. Are they trying to emulate Microsoft menus? You know, things like the list of recent files that shows the first part of the path and takes so much space you can't see the part of the name you are really interested in. If you are trying to emulate that feature then yes, you are meeting your design objective.
If you wanted this to be more like Reader okay - but then give me a count or bolded indicator so I can easily see what widgets have changed information since I last looked.
If you wanted to move the tabs from the top bar to the side then why didn't you move the Themes and Add Stuff options to the side bar too? Was that too difficult to code in order to give us back a few lines of screen real estate?
So far iGoogle = TheirGoogle = Fail!
Am I missing something in this re-design? Please - enlighten me!