Monday, November 09, 2009

Google link soup: Back to WEB 0.1

Only recently I took a look at the Google reader / My Stuff page which is part of the iGoogle portal. And boy, is this a mess... (Screen-shot on the right->)
Fifteen Underlined links, one that is an image (the 'Google Reader' image and one in small print light blue at the bottom left.)
Seven buttons in two different heights, all different widths, one with an icon, one greyed and one button that is actually a dropdown box and a search box. Eight clickable menu items of which two have an icon in front of the text, two have it after the text, three have no icon and one is printed bold.And still they did not have enough ways to leave this page so there is a 'More' menu of which the last entry is the option 'Even More..'
Google apps on the web is a horrible UI nightmare. I really don't understand how they ever expect to take over the desktop from a browser centric OS if they continue on this path. Let's face it: it is already extremely hard to create serious office applications that run in the browser and meet even the minimum level of usability. I even dare to say it is impossible using the current state of the browser technology. I currently use a browser app myself on a daily basis and even though it's very well thought out, does everything we need and has a slick user interface, it makes me itch every time I use it. Every day I try at least ten times to move, copy or delete a file by clicking my right mouse button. Which brings up the browser context menu...
And when I move through the explorer-like files list it annoys me that every step through the tree just takes anything between two and ten seconds. So why did we spend the last decade in doubling computer performance every year to get faster interaction if we are now giving this all away because everything must run in the browser ?