When Google+ iOS app came out last year, my first impression was that someone familiar only with Windows Phone Metro theme wrote that app. The side swipe for filters (All, Nearby, etc.) was not what a user would expect from an iOS app. If you add more filters to your list, the swipes grew. When you try to swipe, it scrolled sometime.
It gave more prominence to text and deprecated photo and video experience. Zoom to photo UX was broken. Trying to read comments and annotations of a post was hard. Overall, it was a bad UX. I hope no UI / UX designer was involved in the first release. If there were one, I would like to get his perspective on these.
The new overhaul is refreshing. I was happy to see the swipes go away. Filters are prominent and easy - users can act on it with ease using their thumb.
Users come to social network to look at pictures, videos and then links / text. This design overhaul puts the media first - photos take the width of the screen and are crisp against black background. +1s and comments are easy to see and add. Animation for new post is nice touch.
I hate to see the controls not disappearing when you act on the media. I would love to have the controls disappear on a tap on picture so you can see just the picture. You will get to see the pictures in full screen - you don’t need to have two step process to see the pictures in full screen and a tap to get back.
Previously, you had to go into a home screen and then select an option. It was unnecessary. Glad to see the home screen go away now in favor of panel based UX. I would have given search, settings and notifications at the bottom some differentiation and space but it works OK.
Writing a post UI is functional and safe. Don’t know how many users will get the subtle differentiation between ‘X’ to remove location vs tapping on location text to pick a new location from a list.
Few glitches but a good and a much needed overhaul.