Monday, 12 September 2011

Google's new look and why it's bad

Google have been rolling out a new look to a lot of their online services, including Calendar and GMail in particular. To me, something looks a little off about them. I think it has something to do with faded lines and soft text. It's much harder to read, and the individual elements don't stand out as much as they should. This design just feels bad to me, but Google must have done some user testing on it, so I don't know. Must be me. For instance, look at the new Google Calendar layout. It's all faded, soft text. On the previous layout, calendar events used to be displayed with a normal text weight. Now it seems they're half-weight, and it's much harder to read. It almost looks like they're deliberately faded out in order to bring your attention to something else, but that's all there is. The eye just wants to slide off and ignore them in favour of whatever else is supposed to be much more important, but the faded text is all there is. Even the current day highlight is very subtle, so the eye isn't drawn there either. So the whole effect is a page that you subconsciously don't want to look at and don't think is important because there's nothing to draw focus. Mokalus of Borg PS - Maybe it's my monitors. All of them. PPS - Though that seems unlikely.

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