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Petition to roll back iGoogle design change October 19, 2008

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Random musings, Tools.

If you are a long-time reader of this site, you will know that I love my iGoogle homepage. It keeps me up-to-date on a lot of news and provides me with entertainment and crossword puzzles for much-needed breaks. iGoogle allows you to customize the page to have all your information at your fingertips, including news sources, weather, RSS feeds, and all kinds of neat Google gadgets that make your life easier. I also have my web-based e-mail addresses (Yahoo! and Gmail), which I rarely or never looked at before, built in to my iGoogle page, so I am able to see at a glance if I have e-mails in my in boxes and call them up by opening a separate browser tab.

Last week iGoogle changed the design of the iGoogle Homepage to include a change known as ‘Canvas View.’ According to the Technology Blog at the Guardian, the new iGoogle is getting “a mixed reception.” Instead of putting the tabs on the top, Canvas View creates a drop-down tab area to the left side of the screen. This is a huge waste of space if you only use one tab – or even if you have several. It can in no way be considered an improvement. As a hyperorganized person I have my gadgets organized on the iGoogle page according to frequency of use and then by subject matter (calendar and to-do list at the top, all news feeds and entertainment sites grouped together below that). The new tab just lists the gadgets in no particular discernible order.

I tried to create new tabs to break down my various gadgets into categories, but was frustrated because I couldn’t drag and drop the gadgets between my tabs. In my search for a solution I stumbled on an online petition to roll the design change back. My favorite sentence from the petition is:

…as users of your service, and various other services, we would like to request that companies such as yourself take note of this, and not use force to push redesigns on your respective users. While we are very aware that it is your services and website over which you rightly have total control, forcing a redesign on we, the users who live with these products every day is rude, and it disengenders our sense of loyalty to continuing to use your services.

If you would like to sign the petition, click here. I don’t know if it will do much good, but I definitely wanted to voice my displeasure with the new change. This gave me a forum to do so. Hopefully iGoogle will soon allow us to go back to the old format if we so choose.

Thanks to some persistent googling on my part apparently there is a fix to the problem called iGoogle Sidebar Collapse. The iGoogle Sidebar Collapse Greasemonkey script toggles the visibility of the new iGoogle sidebar with the click of a mouse or a user-defined keyboard shortcut. If you want to learn more, click here. I’m going to go install it now…



1. Judy Jenner - October 20, 2008

I agree. I wasn’t happy with the new design at all, and I had no idea it was coming. I briefly tried to drag and move the left-hand navigation, to no avail. Thanks for passing on the fix, I will try it. And I am signing the petition, too!

2. jillsommer - October 20, 2008

The fix didn’t help me, but hopefully they will change things back soon.

3. Jackocat - October 20, 2008

I like the changes

4. J Ashley - March 11, 2009

change it back !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5. Part - March 11, 2009

stand up and look around the whole world seems to hate it.
you will find 1000 times more people who hate it then the ones who say they love it..
if you talk in terms of UX, waste of screen realty. No absolute use of click on those links when they can be seen on the RHS of the screen.
There is no way to go back to the previous setting.
Its like design and developed by those who did this in their 20% of time and got laid off and so no one wants to change it.

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