Google+ will improve your social media experience, even if you don’t use it.

Google+ a better social media user experience

The Question

My friend at Good Web Work asked the question,”To what problem is Google+ a solution?”. I started to write a comment on his post, but after the scroll bar popped up on the comment form realized this was blog post material .

I have no idea what I’m talking about

I haven’t used Google+ yet so take this opinion as one from an outsider looking in. I have watched videos, played with demos and read reviews. My first impression: The design looks nice; a clean minimalist interface with an ample use of white space. The overall impression I get is an easy to navigate, light and responsive website. Three cheers for Google for finally letting their designers do their jobs.

You gotta problem?

What problem does Google+ solve? Well, that depends on your definition of a problem. Did the world think Myspace was a big problem before Facebook came out. Probably not, since most users had not experienced anything better. After Myspace users got a taste of simplicity from Facebook’s early interface, the contrast was almost offensive. Now Google+ seems to be positioning themselves as the cleaner, friendlier interface of the social networks.

Competing for the best user experience

I can come up with a few problems Google+ at least attempts to solve. What about the problems of inferior user experience and lack of healthy competition?

The Problems Google+ May Help Solve:

  1. Inferior User Experience – Facebook is great, but there’s plenty of room for enhancements. Google+ Circles, Huddles, and Hangouts appear to be new take on common social media functionality. Circles are supposedly a big improvement on Facebook “Lists”.  Allowing you to group friends more easily and filter what you see and what others see gives more control to the user and hopefully improves the user’s experience. You also have the ability to “Follow”, in the Twitter sense, someone you aren’t “Friends” with, in the Facebook sense. The best of the both worlds perhaps.
  2. Lack of Healthy Competition – Facebook has exploded in the last several years with no one coming close to competing with them as a full social platform. Google can and will compete for users. This will cause Facebook to improve their service in response, only giving users more options and better social media experiences.

Everybody Wins

For most people the current Facebook interface is familiar, so they wouldn’t consider it a problem. The mere fact that Google is launching a very serious social media platform designed from the ground up with the user in mind will benefit all users of social media even if they aren’t using Google+. They are raising the bar and their competitors will have to jump higher.

Yes, according to Neil Postman‘s definition of a problem, a newer/better social network from Google may not solve any of the world’s biggest problems.

It may only help us communicate more efficiently.

What do you think?


Goodbye, office ninjas.

Office Ninjas

I was looking at the asphalt walking slowly to my car, thinking, “This is it. This is the end.”

I’m not dying. But, it’s true. I’m moving to a different company. Starting Monday morning I’ll be sipping coffee, about 15 minutes across town from the people I’ve worked with the last 3 1/2 years.

Good people.


Office life is an odd thing. After sitting next to the same group of people for most of your waking hours everyday, you become part of a community. Inside jokes, office enemies, team victories, Internet Explorer bugs; over time these experiences build a micro-culture. Different rooms have different auras. Each personality adds a unique flavor to the mix. No office is exactly the same.

Only those in the region around your desk belong to your tribe.

Outsiders are received with cynical squinted eyes. Sales people are watched with ninja laser beams. Only your eyes move, following them as they stroll gingerly past. Your heart sinks as they pause at your comrades desk.

“Be strong, my friend!”

But it’s too late. You can only watch in horror as they learn how the feature being requested has already been sold to the client.  Your fellow warrior is bleeding from the face.

You quickly send instant messages mocking the situation to ease their pain.

“… yeah, we’re gonna need this by the end of the day. Thanks! See ya later.”

More blood.

You resort to some hilarious tweets.

Your friend smirks.

Its working.

With a screech and a clank the gears of productivity jerk back on task.

Its battles like these that create soldier-like bonds between office mates.

Now I face the challenge of becoming part of a new tribe. Are they ninjas? Robots? Ninja-bots?

Whatever they are… I’m ready to fight.


3 Things Designers Need at the Next Networking / Meet Up / Event.

Blomus Business Card Holder

1. The Blomus Business Card Holder

Instead of cramming all those business cards you’ll be exchanging into your overstuffed wallet, impress your new contacts with this elegant business card holder. Buy It Here

The Flip Mino HD Video Camera

2. The Flip Mino HD Video Camera
Give your fans high quality footage of your event with this tiny HD digital video camera that lets you upload directly to YouTube and Myspace once connected to your laptop. Buy It Here

The E Connector

3. The E Connector
The physical version of the popular “Add Friend” buttons found on social networks lke Facebook, the E Connector allows you to add people you meet to your online social networks by simply touching your connector with theirs. More Info


Myspace Sucks

I think all designers would agree that Myspace sucks. A usability nightmare, Myspace is the perfect example of those money-hungry banner-ad-loving sites that cares more about squeezing pennies out of pixels than creating a sane user experience. I know they’ve got to pay the bills, but… they suck. Appropriately, Myspace recently got #1 on PC World’s list of the 25 worst websites ever. If you have any knowledge of the use of “white space” I think you will read the review and nod smugly, as I did, in justified agreement.


Lean Back


Every breath like rumbling rivers

Repel from conversation.

Its public solitude.

Banal life seems to waste hours…

I could use a few more.

An addict of time,

Stretching each day

Can i trust the night?

Will i live my dreams or

Keep dreaming of life?


A sum of experience.

How great will my number be?

If you are the book keeper,

How will you score me?

Repel from your circle

And spectate for a change.

Watch the power of words

Break a joyful spirit,

Or renew a smile forgotten.

Be sobered and enlightened.

Maybe they are wrong.

Maybe they minipulate.

What if they can’t be trusted?

Decide for yourself.

It’s your eternal right.

Does the stone enjoy its flight,

Seeing only a blur?

Why do you hurry, scurry?

Who’s waiting for you?

I’ll be the feather.

Riding waves of the air

Take in the landscape.

Release all care.

Drink in lush arrays of flowers fully bloomed.

Relax on the daisy.

Rest under the moon.

The stone is still talking.

Deaf to surrounding beauty;

Beauty of the feather that has

Fallen to its side.

I’ll be the feather, watching your crowd.

Content in the center

Of a book i once read.

I am consistantly at ease…

Even if the crowd is dead.