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May 17, 2015

Material Design Update for Google Product Forums

Google Product Forums have a new interface that uses Material Design. "Our new design is focused on making it easier for you to find the answers you need and ask questions across all Google Product Forums," informs Google.

The new interface has removed display density settings and topic list options. Unfortunately, the new interface for topic lists uses a lot more space, so you'll see fewer topics in the same space. Here's a screenshot that compares the old UI with the new one: 12 topics vs 3 topics using the same window size. The compact view is no longer available and Google now shows the entire title of the topic, followed by a snippet from the first post and some information about the author, the number of posts and views.

To star a topic from the list view, you need to select it and use the Actions menu (or you can use the 's' keyboard shortcut). Now you can select multiple posts and star them or mark them as read.

Topic pages use more white space, bigger thumbnails and have some new buttons that let you jump forward or backward a few posts and go to the top or bottom of the page.

Many features from the old interface have been removed. I couldn't find a way to switch to the tree view or paginated view, to collapse or expand all the posts. You can only vote up a post, the downvote feature has been removed.

Google uses a funny message which lets you know that you can go back to the old interface: "Welcome to the new version of Google Product Forums! You can switch to the old design if you'd like (but really why?)."

{ Thanks, Mukil Elango. }

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