Normally my policy is not to shit on other people's products. I know how hard it is to take unsolicited negative feedback and how easy it is for some random douche on the Internet to give it. But I feel like I have a special place in my black heart for Google Calendar, so I'm going to break that rule and just lay it out. Here are before and after screenshots of my real calendar from today for comparison.
Old and usable:
Google Calendar team, did you consider how people use calendars when you redesigned your product? The new design is terrible. Here is why:
- Search button is a big blue button in the middle of your field of vision. I search on my calendar maybe once a week (I think that is being generous). It is visually distracting and one of only two colored elements on the page. Just because you're a search company doesn't mean that search should be emphasized at all costs. Search is not part of a normal calendar user's work flow.
- You can now see much less of the My Calendar and Other Calendars boxes. We went from being able to see 10 items to about 3. For someone with multiple calendars, it went from being a usable guide at a glance to an unusable one. This might look fine on cinema display but on my 13" Macbook Air it does not.
- You can't tell at a glance what fucking day it is. Before it was yellow. Now it is a shade of grey that is pretty close to white. What day it is is important, because you use that info to figure out what appointments you are going to have to show up for.
- Previously, the blue frame around the calendar draws your attention to the most important part of any calendar app: the fucking calendar. The month box calendar, search, view selectors -- they are all much less important that seeing your appointments for the day/week.
- Lastly, this might just be because I'm used to the old colors, but I think the white-on-dark-color appointments are much easier to read than the black-on-color appointments. Maybe I'm just being a grumpy asshole here.
Over on the Gmail blog it looks like those guys are about to commit a similar atrocity. Please don't make these changes mandatory for all calendar users. When I was working on our calendar startup Kiko, you brought us in, pumped us for info, and then released your own product and rolled up our early adopters. Despite all that, I eventually came around and switched over to Google Calendar because it worked decently well with Gmail. Now, you're about to pull the trigger of a gun that is pointed at your own head.