Andy Baio writes about the rolling changes in Google’s online services with special attention to the discontinuation of the plus operator.
As these changes have rolled out I have noticed that many of my basic intact ions with Google have become broken, in one way or another. The UI changes, for example, inevitably increase latency between click and input-acceptance and privilege secondary UI input elements over direct input – the best example I can think of is the changes in Google Documents to titling or retitling.
Previously, one simply clicked on the area of the displayed page where the title was and entered the new title or changes as needed. There was not a visual cue that this was possible and a submit button never appeared. Simply clicking on the title area changed the title area to a text input box.
Now, when one clicks in the title area, a secondary UI element pops up, in the center of the screen, with a bordered input box and a submit button. This pop up is accompanied by the telltale flickering of way, way too many CSS redraws. When one completes entry one may dismiss the dialog by hitting enter or by clicking on the button. I cannot recall if the dialog instantiates with the cursor active in the input box or not.
At any rate, the effect if the pop up is to lead the user to move the mouse over the new dialog, click, type, and click again. All told the user is now directed to move the cursor to the title area, click, move the cursor to the center of the screen, click, type, click again, and then return the cursor to the location in the document or interface where the next action is to be pursued.
The previous methodology required two motions and one click.
Clearly, Google is finished as a force for innovation and sanity in the world. Their lunch is sitting unattended on the counter. I invite someone to eat it.