Today’s a bit different. It’s about a tool that we can all use to help spread our message.
I was floored by the changes that G+ came out with last night (actually just a few hours ago as I write this) and I wanted to share a few of my personal insights with you.
As you know, I’m a designer so visuals, functionality and user experience (UX) and all very important to me. Google in general has made strides in the past few years first making major updates to their gmail platform. I knew they must have finally decided to focus some attention on visuals and UX at that point.
Now, I’m certain of it.
I’ve been active on G+ for the past few months and really like their Hangouts and Communities features in particular. But this article is going to focus a bit more on a few things I have noticed just in the past hour or so of looking over the new G+ and how I believe it will allow us to enhance our brands.
Remember that this is just a tool. It’s not your homebase, but it has a lot of potential to boost traffic and get your message out in a number of ways. So let’s explore, shall we?
First off, I see a new layout. It’s shiny. It’s clean. It’s….well…brilliant.
Aside from the massive image which takes up the entire screen when done properly (not pictured here but you can see it on my profile), the use of space is incredible.
You will notice that it’s timeline-esq (like Facebook), but carried out so much better. It makes more sense and it has loads of new features which we’ll break down here shortly. Just bask in its glory. Ok..moving on.
Note the right hand side of the above picture. It tells me something incredible when I view someones profile. The placement of the “in your circles” information is perfect for someone when they first visit your profile. This is part of the social credibility you need to slowly built your reputation.
I have noticed over the past week that my following has increased by about 150 people. I have no idea how, but I intend to find out. I have a feeling it’s a result of me posting much more frequently since my new found love of Feedly.
Again, beautiful, but mainly, very appropriate for helping call out faces of people you may already know who follows the profile you’re looking at.
Next I want you notice the icons that give me access to so many tools with one-click. It’s easy to find everything. It’s logical. That’s the way design is supposed to be. We should be able to get to what we need within a couple clicks, the fewer the better. G+’s new design has done just that.
I didn’t picture it but the left sidebar is similar. I can access anything from my profile to communities to hangouts on air with just 1 click. Very well done G+, very well done.
Next up, one thing that has some serious power is the hashtag feature they’ve added. It automatically picks up a tag for what I post and relates it to other people’s content that I can then view…again with 1 click. At least that’s what I see happening with it right now.
Notice the tag on the right. And below you’ll see what happens when I click on it.
And presto! I have access to random other people that have posted similar things. This is incredibly powerful for both me to find people but also for others to find me. I see this being a HUGE feature in the coming months that only adds the power of connecting.
The last one I’ll leave you with is back to the main screen. It basically just makes my update seem much more “official” or something like that. I really don’t know why but I love the way it front and centers what I’m working on.
Of course you have all the ways of tagging people or sharing various types of content, but it just seems so much more fluid than anything I’ve dealt with before.
In a nutshell…
I can’t wait to dig in more. I’m very excited to have what seems to be a more central location for everything on Google. I know they’ve been moving this way for some time, it’s just great that it’s coming together. I know, people hate Google for controlling stuff, whatever. I get all that but honestly, just use it as a tool and go on with your life.
That said, I’m going to be using this for sure. I encourage you to jump on my email list if you haven’t (that’s where the awesome people are anyway) and add me on G+.
I plan to start doing coffee chats to talk about branding and connecting with people and will be sharing the majority of other people’s awesome content on this platform. So that’s your action items, do them both. Pretty please?