Dammit Google

Google keeps switching things up on me, and it’s pissing me off.

The first big one that got me was the change to their iGoogle homepage.  They think it’s better – whatever. It’s not good for me anymore.  The tab on the left hand side of the page eats valuable realestate.

Now, in the middle of my gmail session, it changes colors on me.  Now it’s got ‘themes’.

My complaint isn’t that they’re coming up with new things, but that they’re springing them on me with no warning or (in the case of the iGoogle homepage), no way to switch back.

This could be a great opportunity for Google – let people sign up to be part of a beta program (yeah, I know it’s all beta anyway) to try out these new features. It would be a great opportunity to get feedback on what works and what doesn’t (and without the masses griping just because it’s “different”).  Also, these people will feel special that they’re part of something exclusive and cool.  They’ll be more likely to tell their friends – “oh hey – gmail now has themes – awesome!”  or if their friends see it over their shoulder it’ll generate desire for change, “Oh wow – why is your gmail purple!?  I want that!”

For the people who opt not to be part of the bleeding edge, you’ve got to give them notice that things will be changing so they’re not caught unaware.

I understand not being able to maintain older code/modes/models (but would one rev back be that hard?), and even if you don’t give people a choice on switching, just give us some warning!

Not giving warning for changes undermines my confidence in your service and your brand.  It makes me not trust you.  If this keeps happening, I will eventually stop using your service.  It’s not that your product is bad – you keep making it better, but if you lose my trust, then all the features in the world won’t win me back.

Because of the homepage changes, I’ve moved to an rss reader.  And guess what?  I’m not using Google’s.  You burned me on how I tracked my rss feeds via the homepage, and I’m not coming back to get burned a second time.

Come on, Google.  You can do better!

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