10.18.2008

igoogle help

Does anyone here use iGoogle? If so, have your tabs gone missing?

I'm wondering if this is a temporary problem (then no big deal) or if Google has done away with tabs (then I hate it). All the content from my former tabs is now appearing as a feed on one side of my home page. I do not like it.

Real post to come later, if work permits.

Update: OK, I get it. They've moved tabs to a sidebar column, instead of on the top. I do not like this. And I can't find how to change it back. Can you?

11 comments:

M@ said...

It appears that the left navigation is replacing horizontal tabs. It seems to be a permanent change.

I'm interested, for purely professional reasons, why you hate the left nav compared to the horizontal tabs. I've been designing a user interface for the last four months and it would be interesting to me to know why you have the preference. (And anyone else who wants to weigh in as well.)

L-girl said...

It seems to be a permanent change.

Crap. (But thanks for the info.)

I'm interested, for purely professional reasons, why you hate the left nav compared to the horizontal tabs. I've been designing a user interface for the last four months and it would be interesting to me to know why you have the preference. (And anyone else who wants to weigh in as well.)

The horizontal tabs don't use any room on the page. They were in space that wasn't (and now isn't) being used for anything else.

The vertical tabs cause all my other content to move over and down on the page, so I have to scroll down to see everything. Knowing how I use this page, anything below the first screen is useless.

Also, I could see all the horizontal tabs at once when I open the page. My choices are all there in front of me. Now they are not visible unless I scroll down - making them much less useful.

I'll try this for a while to see if I get used to it. But because of this change I may give up on iGoogle and just go back to Google Reader. I don't prefer that - I have my blog feeds in gadgets, in various tabs called "friends' blogs", "political blogs", etc, and it's been very good. But this change may make iGoogle useless to me.

I will submit feedback to Google, but I won't expect anything!

L-girl said...

The horizontal tabs don't use any room on the page. They were in space that wasn't (and now isn't) being used for anything else.

This is why I don't understand a change like this. There's a ton of unused space on the top of the page. Why not keep tabs there, instead of squeezing them in with the gadgets. Makes no sense to me.

Now they are not visible unless I scroll down - making them much less useful.

I should add that they are visible if all the tabs are closed, but not if they are open like menus. So if I have to keep them closed to make them work for me, what was the point of moving them?

M@ said...

Thanks -- useful for me to know.

I actually find Reader way more useful than iGoogle. iGoogle had more kinds of gadgets, like weather and such, that I found useful, but it was actually the blog reading stuff that I disliked about it. I have about 15 categories organizing my 200 or so blog subscriptions in Reader, and I find it very convenient.

What it doesn't give me is the "at a glance" view of what's new on the blogs -- just the number of new items in each category, and the number of new items in each blog (if I expand the category). I imagine this would be an attractive way to set up iGoogle but it never occurred to me!

Anyhow, thanks for the opinions.

L-girl said...

I can see that.

On my "home" tab, I keep date/time, weather (in a few different places), and a few news feeds - local Toronto, local NYC, Canada, world - and a few silly things like Daily Puppy.

Then I have tabs for various categories, but not all the feeds are blogs. So in the "baseball" category, I can have scores, baseball news and blogs, and get the "at a glance" view.

Same for political. Not all the feeds are blogs, some are columnists and other pages.

I never liked using a reader/feed system until I found this. So I may just have to make it work with these new vertical tabs, but I wish they had just left it alone.

Amy said...

I agree with you, Laura. I do not like the changes either. The only advantage I see is that all the items I have on each page are listed in the navigation panel so that, for example, if I just want to look at JOS, I can click on that without switching to my baseball igoogle page. Mine changed at least a month or so ago---did you just encounter this now?

Like you, I use Reader for my blogs, but iGoogle for news, weather, etc, on the home page. I also have Reader right there so I can see what blogs have been updated right on the home page. It also shows previews of my Gmail on the home page. I then have separate pages for baseball, law related materials, and miscellaneous stuff like games. Works well for me, but I also miss the tabs at the top of the page.

L-girl said...

Mine changed at least a month or so ago---did you just encounter this now?

Today. They usually roll out changes over the course of weeks or months.

Like you, I use Reader for my blogs,

I don't use Reader for anything. My blogs are all in gadgets under separate iGoogle tabs.

Anonymous said...

Mine changed the other day as well, but I found out that if you change the URL to the .ca version, it's still the old version with tabs. Who knows how long that'll last, though.

http://www.google.ca/ig?hl=en

L-girl said...

I found out that if you change the URL to the .ca version, it's still the old version with tabs.

Oh, very nice! Thank you!

Who knows how long that'll last, though.

I'm sure you're right, they'll eventually change this, too, but for now it's a good workaround. I wonder why they don't just give you the option of putting the tabs where you want them.

Stacey said...

I don't like it either and am frustrated and surprised that the change was made and there is no option for the horizontal tabs.

Jon said...

Hi. Many people (including me) are frustrated by this. I don't know how long we'll be lucky enough to have the now old-style horizontal tabs through our .ca version.

What I do as a workaround is first get the old tabs back (by going to google.ca/ig) and then (by clicking on the small triangle on the tab) edit the setting of the tab. On the bottom of the edit page, you'll see you're able to export/backup your settings to a local file. Do this and save the file.

Even when I'm using google.com/ig and it automatically switches me over to the new side-tabs, I just restore the settings from my back up and my preferred horizontal tabs are back.

It's not perfect but at least you have something to try if it get's auto-switched to the new layout in the future.

Hope this helps!