Late last month, Google News changed its design to be more personalized and the reaction was quick and seemingly unanimous – everyone wanted the old version back. Users lamented the design as hard to scan and rued the disappearance of custom sections.
Today, it looks like Google has heard the cries and complaints and changed the Google News homepage to “reflect your feedback”.
Google writes in its Google News blog that the redesign was the biggest since Google News’ launch in 2002. Customization, it said, was a big hit, but “some of you wrote in to say you missed certain aspects of the previous design, such as the ability to see results grouped by section (U.S., Business, etc.) in two columns.”
Google is bringing back story clustering, rather then hiding it until users perform a mouseover, and giving back the ability to hid local weather forecasts. It is also making it easier to switch between views and is adding a two-column view, “which shows the three top stories from each section.” Offering the multiple columns, instead of the single stream, was definitely a gripe among many users, and offering a way around this should help ease the blow.
While this isn’t a reversion to the old design, it incorporates some of the old features. So what do you think? Last time, we asked “Did Google Blow It with the Google News Redesign?” and now we’re wondering if the re-redesign has saved the day.