2008-10-17

I'm Leaving iGoogle...wait not yet

The new iGoogle launched and I hate it. iGoogle is my homepage. I keep weather, stocks, mail, and feeds on there...mostly feeds. The new iGoogle destroyed it for me. The old one showed me post titles with a plus box to open up and read the item. This worked well. If I wanted, I could click-thru to the main site, but I rarely did. The new iGoogle chose to do away with the plus boxes and just give me the first two lines of the RSS items. This was terrible. It wasn't enough to read and it made the page an absolute mess of text that was impossible to read. Combine that with the worthless side bar links and I was ready to look for a replacement.

Well, I guess Google is feeling the heat. As of tonight, the plus boxes are back. I can collapse the side bar links and I'm mostly back to normal. I'll stay...for now.

As a temporary workaround, you can change your language preference to UK english and get the old design back. Who knows how long until they roll the new site to the UK version.

The software industry is excited about web apps because they can spin versions whenever they want. New features can launch when ready, not as part of a larger bundle. The problem with this is that it's usually a forced upgrade. With boxed software, I can choose to not have the Office ribbons, for example. With online software, beloved features are killed as the users scream in pain. Will web apps face a sustaining nightmare? Will customers demand old versions stick around forever?

3 comments:

Jason said...

Great points, and much of the reason I haven't bought into all the hype about "cloud computing" and web applications. Yes, I use them where they make sense and are useful, but they have a huge potential downside.

The whole "beta on your users is the new use-case testing" has never sat well with me. Couple that with the point your bring up about a constantly moving interface, and I see trouble. It seems some of these companies developing frameworks and APIs for the web 2.0 world need to be able to stabilize on interfaces at some point.

Without that - I think things will stay relegated to the free services to the casual web user. They will not penetrate as far as they hope into the business or more savvy-user markets.

state72 said...

Hate the new iGoogle. Have moved most of my stuff to other sites and will not be back. Google has become Microsoft.

C.L.J. said...

I also gave up iGoogle, even though I ran the greasemonkey script for a couple of days.

The script suppressed the tabs, but that didn't put them where they belonged. And I realized that as long was we keep using iGoogle as is, even with workarounds, to Google it appears that users don't mind the change since they keep using the service.

So quit using iGoogle, and do daily Google searches for "how to remove igoogle sidebar."