Friday, July 9, 2010

Google News: design for democracy

Bruce Tognazzini has a great post on the bad redesign of Google News. He raises lots of good points on both the interface (which has gone very much backward) and the process (which seems to have ignored all sorts of user feedback and UI design theory), but his number one reason that the new Google News sucks is the one I find most interesting: political drift introduced.

He suggests that Google News has (prior to the redesign) helped Americans find the political center of any story because it has presented so many different sources in a reasonably un-biased way. He also points out something I have long believed: that while customizing news is seductive, it ultimately hurts one’s perspective by presenting narrower and narrower viewpoints.

It is disappointing that a company that has gotten so many design things right over the years got this one so, so wrong.

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