I am a die hard Google junkie. For more than 2 years, iGoogle has been home on every computer I use, while others clamor about their RSS tools, I just dig and dig Google reader, Gmail is my hub for all my non-twitter communication ;-) and I put all my time into Google calendar.
Yet, I have a gripe. It’s the menus that are supposed to make it easy to be moving around my Googlespace. For the longest time, there were no menus in Google Reader. Then a few weeks ago, Reader just disappeared from all menus.
But lately I am just looking at these menus, static, and saying, “Boy are you dumb.” Let’s say I start in Gmail…
I have top links to Calendar, Documents, Photos, Reader, and Web. Ok, I use all of these regularly except Photos. Five out of six is good. So I go to Calendar:
Okay, same choices, the active one changes, not too bad. It makes sense. But now if I look up something on Google Maps:
Huh, now my top choices are Web, Images, News, Shopping, and Gmail. Woah. I ony use 2 of thee regularly — and get the same 2 out of 6 menus on my iGoogle:
These 4 menu choices are useless appendages on my Google Experience, as functional as a third nipple (well that may not be the best metaphor, but it is fun to write). And worse, on a UI perspective, they change with different GoogleApps, which is bad design form
If GoogleApps were smart, they would know the apps I use the most, and present them to me on the top all the time, in consistent places, and provide the lesser used ones in the drop list under “more”.
And if they could not manage “smart”, they could be “nice” or “customized” meaning my Google Preferences would allow me to identify the 6 GoogleApps I use the most to have them appear on the top menu.
Demand more from your interface, otherwise you get Mr Clippy.
The post "For Such Smart Tools, GoogleApps Have Pretty Stupid Menus" was originally pushed out of the bottom of a purple jar of Play-Doh at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2008/03/google-menus/) on March 23, 2008.