Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Why the New Version of Google Images Stinks

I was going to write a post on the first anime feature films to be released in the United States (it is probably earlier than you think), but yesterday Google introduced a revamped version of Google Images. Sadly, this afternoon, I became one of the many users (perhaps I should say "victims") who was switched to this revamped version of Google's image search. To say it is greatly inferior to the old version of Google Images would be an understatement.

This new version of Google Images has a wholly new layout, with solid rows images lined up, row upon row on the page. It also loads many more images, divided into pages. On the surface this layout might not seem problematic for users, but in fact I suspect it is (I know it is for three of my friends and myself). First, there is not much white space between the images, which can easily create strain on one's eyes if one searches for images often. Second, even with a cable connection, the sheer number of pages the new Google Images loads can slow the loading down time considerably. Consider this, I searched for "Beatles" and it loaded 29 pages of images at once!

What may be a more serious problem is that no information is provided beneath the images as with the old version of Google Images. One is neither told the size of the image or the website it is from. To find this out one has to scroll over the images themselves. For us who would like to know the size of an image before downloading it and have a healthy distrust of certain websites, this is exceedingly inconvenient. The old version of Google Images provided information about the image right below the image.

To give you an idea of the new version of Google Images, here is a screenshot of; my search on "Beatles:"

And here is a screenshot of the old version:

Now Google does provide a link to "Switch to Basic Version (which is the old version--that's how I was able to create the above screen shot), but it is at the bottom of the page. That means one will have to wait until the page loads (which loads slower than it used to because of the sheer number of images it is loading) or hit the "Stop" button on his or her browser to hit the link to the "Basic," yet superior version (that is, the old version).

So far I know of a at least four people who dislike the new Google Images. I know that there are many more. I paid a visit to the Google Images Help Forum and there were already many people asking how they could switch to the old version of Google Images or simply complaining about the new version. Given this, I rather suspect that if Google does not either provide users a way to permanently switch to the old version or simply reinstate the old version entirely, they might be losing users to Yahoo Image Search. As much as I like Google, I might well be one of them.

1 comment:

Jim Marquis said...

I agree, I liked the old version a whole lot better.