Google Profiles get a New Look and Feel

Google just released an update to their popular profile pages that gives the pages a much needed face lift. You see the differences below in the two thumbnails. To access the new google profiles go to profiles.google.com. To view the […]

Google just released an update to their popular profile pages that gives the pages a much needed face lift. You see the differences below in the two thumbnails. To access the new google profiles go to profiles.google.com. To view the existing profiles go to google.com/profiles. Google states in their blog post that,

“As the new layout gradually rolls out, current users of Google Profiles will notice that their existing profile will automatically update to the new style.”

If you don’t see the new design changes yet on your profile, check back later. The new Google profiles are much cleaner and all the information is consolidated to one page. In the previous profile page, you had a different tab for the “About Me” section and a separate tab for the “Contact Info” section. Those have been consolidated to the main column.

Photos

In the previous profile, you could choose between displaying images from Picasa, Flickr or other photo service feed. When you selected one of these options, you had the ability to select a particular album or your most recent photos. The photos would then show up like a slideshow under your name that you could scroll through and click on to view. When you clicked on one of these images, it would take you to the respective site for that image.

In the new profile, you only have the choice of selecting 5 images total from either your picasa web album or your hard drive. We essentially lost some functionality in this update since we have to now manually pick each picture. The nice thing for Google though is when you someone clicks on one of these images, they stay on the profile page and a lightbox appears with the enlarged image.

I see people in the comments on the google blog comparing this 5 picture display to the new facebook profiles and aesthetically this looks just like the 5 picture display on facebook. The major difference being on facebook when you add new facebook pictures, your display will change. For google profiles, you have to manually change the pictures when you want to refresh the look.

Editing Information

The previous screens for editing information was much more cluttered and busy with way too many boxes to look at. The new interface is more user friendly. Now to edit a section, you simply click that section and a edit box appears for just that section. Simple and elegant.

Conclusion

The new design changes were well deserved as far as consolidating the different sections into one and putting the most important information at the forefront. Visually the profiles look more in line with google’s minimalist view that we all love. The one change I’m not so happy about is the static scrapbook area for pictures. I liked the previous functionality where you could choose flickr or other web services as long as it had a feed. This way when you add new pictures to these services, they will show up on your profile. Maybe it’s something google will revisit. Who knows. With these new changes, I might have to reconsider whether I send people to my google profile or my about.me page.

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