Google +1 Button Changes, Twitter Redesign Up the Ante on the Web
In the last couple of weeks, several changes have taken place across the web – from search to social media – that reflect rising trends on the internet as a whole. Simplicity is a characteristic shared by both the Google +1 button changes and the Twitter redesign.
Google + 1 Button Goes Simple
Recently, the Google +1 button has been creating quite the hullabaloo. There was a great deal of confusion because the numbers showing up were different in different places (for instance, on a website and in that website’s analytics). Now, the +1 is making headlines for its recent aesthetic change in the search results. Now, instead of always being in the results, the +1 button only shows up when you hover your mouse over a search result (it shows up next to the URL). All this is supposedly in an effort to de-clutter the search results pages.
This kind of change is in-line with the simple design Google promotes across most (if not all) of its product, especially Google +. And with a recent survey noted that most people surf the web because they are bored, drawing people in is probably best done with simplicity rather than overwhelm. The survey was conducted in both English and Spanish and was completed between July and August of 2011. 2,260 adults over the age of 18 were surveyed on both mobile phones and landlines. Today, according to this Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project survey, 58% of all adults (up from 29% in 2000) use the internet for fun and without any particular purpose (well, I guess having fun is technically a purpose!).
Here’s a breakdown of the demographics of those who surf the internet just for fun – this chart is courtesy of the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project. It’s important to note that 58% of all adults translates to roughly 74% of online adults.
So – simple and easy is good when it comes to design, because it might help draw in these bored internet users. Also, doing things like creating animated, fun options on your business website could help you grab some of this traffic – for instance, OfficeMax has “Elf Yourself” – a fun animated song with dancing elves (powered by Jib Jab), which you can grace with the faces of your coworkers via pictures.
Twitter Goes Simple, Too: Home, Connect, Discover
Many have said that Twitter’s changes now mirror Facebook’s capabilities – and while this may be true, I like them. Though I love Twitter for what it is – a place to follow celebrities and to share anything you want, as long as it is under 140 characters – when I first started using it, I was confused and slightly overwhelmed. The new Twitter is much simpler – and as we know, simple is key (especially for grabbing those bored internet surfer dudes and dudettes!). Twitter’s new intuitive design breaks things down into three simple categories: Home, where you can read what the people you follow are tweeting about, Connect, which allows you to see your interactions and mentions, and Discover, which allows you to see the things that are trending in a more visually impressive way (pictures, etc) plus shows you things that you particularly might be interested in. Further, brands can have a much more expansive presence on Twitter now, as Twitter profiles are much more page-like. Check out EverSpark’s Twitter profile below:
As you can see, our Twitter profile is slightly more like a page here – you can Tweet to us easily on the page, and the layout is more conducive to brand interaction.
Simplicity and fun gimmicks might just be the way to capture larger audiences in 2012. Since so many people are just surfing the internet for fun, it’s important to understand that making your company appealing to adults today has to involve jocularity, personality and simple usefulness.
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