Thursday, April 7, 2016

Google Communities for Libraries - A Peek at the New Interface

Since the beginning of the year, Google has been working on developing a new interface for Google+. Right now, the Department of Public Instruction is still recommending the use of the classic interface, but we thought it would be helpful to give you a sneak peek into the new interface. Functionality differs between the mobile version of Google+ and the desktop version. For the purpose of this blog post, we will be concentrating on the desktop version.

Home Screen

Home Screen - New.jpg
Google Plus Home Screen

The home page is fairly straightforward. The feed shows you posts from all the communities you have joined as well as posts from any collections or people you follow. Collections are curated feeds on a topic by an individual. The menu on the left hand side of the screen allows you to navigate between various communities, collections, or people.

The circular pencil icon is always located in the bottom right hand corner of the screen and allows you to post. In this new interface, post types can be text, image with text, or a link with text. Events and polls are still not supported, although polls recently debuted in the mobile version of the new interface, leading many to believe that desktop support is forthcoming.

Community Pages

Google Community for Libraries Community Page

The community screen shows you all the posts inside a community. Google recently added the ability to search inside a community in the new interface, which was a key feature leading to the implementation of the Google+ platform. Using the search bar on the left hand side of the screen, allows you to search the full text of posts and comments to see if someone has already had the discussion you’re interested in. Below the search box, you can click on the community categories to filter discussion topics. The pencil icon remains in the lower right and will default to a post within the community.

Individual Post

Individual Post - New.jpg
Individual Post in Google Plus

The look of an individual post has improved to display the number of +1s, comments, and shares of a post. This information is slightly hidden in the classic interface.

Try it out!

Google appears committed to improving the user experience of Google+ and will eventually retire the classic interface. We will let you know when we recommend moving to the new interface full time, but in the meantime, feel free to play around and start to familiarize yourself with the new navigation.

And if you haven’t already, be sure to join the Google Communities for Libraries that apply to your work and continue the library conversation!

Public Library Communities:

Other Library Related Communities:

Written by:
Ben Miller, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning