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Google News- Miss the old version ?

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:13 pm
by Gadgetguy
For many years the first site I visited on the internet each day was "Google News" to get a quick overview and update on the state of the world ( such as it is :( ). A month or two back Google perhaps in keeping with the adage "If it ain't broke, fix it until it is". redesigned (aka ruined ) the " Google News " website to much dismay expressed on various internet forums.

I was and still am able to view " Google News " in its old format by using user agents via browser extensions to disguise the browser and spoof " Google News" into serving up their old version. For example in Kweb choose the firefox mobile user agent on the Utilities page or with Chromium use the user agent switcher by "useragentswitcher.org" and choose firefox on android tablet as user agent . On my windows phone until today I was able to view the old version. Windows phone is now serving up the horrible redesign.

Searching around for a solution I made an interesting discovery that may at least for now be of use to others:


https://theoldgnews.com


see: https://www.reddit.com/user/theoldgnews or


https://memeburn.com/2017/08/old-google-news-interface/


Enjoy it while it lasts or untill Google comes to its' senses!

Re: Google News- Miss the old version ?

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:26 pm
by Gadgetguy

Re: Google News- Miss the old version ?

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:23 am
by rogerarbogast
Now Google News updated it self, Technology has been changed and new technologies are in the marketing. It's news change...

Re: Google News- Miss the old version ?

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:40 am
by hippy
"Site is down. Working on a fix"

I would guess it's simply proven too popular. I do miss the old style.

Re: Google News- Miss the old version ?

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:21 pm
by Gadgetguy
Not only is the referenced site down but as of today Google seems to have plugged all of the user agent workarounds. I can't understand why Google would go out of it's way to foist such a manifestly inefficient horrible design on its's users when they have responded with almost universal disgust. Several of our major newspapers have also went through similar redesigns to their online versions that make scanning the news and finding the stories that interest you a horrible chore. You have to wade through tons of fluff and " featured " stories. I presume there must be some kind of method to their madness or is it just total ignorance of the principles of good design?

Re: Google News- Miss the old version ?

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:46 pm
by hippy
Gadgetguy wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:21 pm
I presume there must be some kind of method to their madness
I can only assume they are following the herd or their focus groups and research tells them that is what people want or prefer, even if others don't.

All companies will do what they think is best, including the Foundation and RPT as we are frequently told when someone suggests a Pi should be this that or the other rather than how it is. As we are reminded; they are bright people capable of deciding for themselves what is best and don't need to be told. We just have to accept that even if we disagree with their decisions; and no one is forced to use Google News.

Re: Google News- Miss the old version ?

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:33 pm
by bensimmo
Madness or a way to promote and grab revenue from 'news'.

Re: Google News- Miss the old version ?

Posted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:06 pm
by Gadgetguy
For what it's worth( and I hope I don't jinx it!) but the user agent workarounds I mentioned in the original post are now working again (for the moment).

Re: Google News- Miss the old version ?

Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:46 am
by Koeshi
Gadgetguy wrote:
Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:21 pm
You have to wade through tons of fluff and " featured " stories.
This is most likely intentional as clicks=views=cash for them.

On this topic, the new youtube design is also god-awful, with the exception of them finally adding a dark theme.

Re: Google News- Miss the old version ?

Posted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:37 pm
by larsso
Why do you miss that exactly? I think that the new version is much better.

Re: Google News- Miss the old version ?

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:48 am
by hippy
larsso wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:37 pm
Why do you miss that exactly?
For me it's that Google News now just gives headlines, where the old version also gave a reasonably good synopsis of the article.

I could often get a good grasp of events or the article itself from just reading that text; no need to click through, it was easier to select which articles would likely be of interest, so I wasted less time overall.

Images are now much larger and it feels there is a lot more white space. Most text has been made bold and larger which I don't like on what I use to visit the site. Drop-downs no longer contain as many links as they used to, and the search bar returns far fewer results, just one page so if it's not there, tough, and again, only headlines, no synopsis. There also aren't the links there to all web content and images or other services as there used to be.

So for me it's mostly reduced information and that I don't find it anywhere near as nice or as useful as it was.

An example, currently on the new : "Leading moderate announces retirement from House with parting shot at direction of GOP". No clue as to who that is and no way of knowing if I'm interested or not. I have to click on the link to find out.

On the old, as well as the same headline that also has, "Exhausted from his ideological battles with the House Freedom Caucus and clashes with Donald Trump's White House, Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) has decided to retire". That's enough information for me. On to the next item.

It also seems to me that image selection for what goes alongside those headlines is far less appropriate or meaningful than it used to be, but that's more an algorithmic problem rather than design issue. That does seem to be getting better -- though I may have spoken too soon; there's now a picture of the wife of a Trump Organisation ethics lawyer next to a "Man shot at Miami airport" story and she had no involvement in that.

Added: Two other issues I had forgotten about - The selected news articles refreshes too quickly, too easily disappear off the page. Go read an article and there's often no mention of the event or issue once one comes back. And too many 'days old' news items appear in the selection, 'will happen' articles appears days after it has happened.

Re: Google News- Miss the old version ?

Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:25 pm
by Gadgetguy
Incidentally if you wish to search Google News and make use of filters as of old, the proper way to conduct the search now is not to search from Google News directly but rather to to type your query into the main Google search engine and then only after the results are returned to select the news tab and then use the tools tab at the far right to apply the filters.

Re: Google News- Miss the old version ?

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:52 am
by berrymix
I guess they change it for better, I also like it.