What is Google+?

Google+ is the new social network of Google Inc, that is getting more relevance day by day. It experienced a rapid growth in the number of registered users in the last months but the bad thing is that almost 80% of the users are inactive. Trying to confront this issue and in order to increase the number of active users, Google Inc. has been working on improving the user experience in the platform offering attractive features for new Google users or already Google users that are registered in some of the Google products.

Best practices of user experience on Google+

The new social platform, as the other Google products, has a friendly environment with a modern and minimalist style interface. The structure is very similar to Facebook in order have a rapid user adoption.

The platform has different features that are divided into the following categories:
external image google-plus-icons-640.jpg
- Home
To keep the track of new publications of the people that a user is connected with. Users look in the home area for news and relevant information about other people.
- Pictures
Users can upload their pictures and share them with the people that are connected with in an easy and fast way.
- Profile
Personal information about the user that can be shared with different group of people.
- Sparks (Currently not available)
An easy way to share bookmarks and favorite links/websites with people.

It is the key component of the platform, because users can create circles of people, classifying them into different groups as: Family, High School friends, MBA friends, etc. This is a big opportunity for users to manage and control groups of people, privacy, sharing and filters. Nowadays, one of the most important issues of social networks is the concern about privacy, mixing different groups of people and letting people seeing personal things about users. This is a great response to all of this concerns, and the best of all, it is very simple to create and manage it.
An easy way to manage video conferences with up to 9 people. It is the next big step of social networks, the first step was to stay connected with your friends and family and now it is to improve the experience of being connected with them.
Google+ has a game room where users can play different type of games, some of them individually and others in a social way.

For the mobile application, Google+ offers two more functionalities that are:

- Instant Upload
An easy way to upload pictures from your mobile. It is a really fast service that allows users to store their pictures in the cloud and publish them into the different circles that are created in the user account.

- Messenger
A fast way for the user to communicate with his/her friends and family through short text messages. Nowadays, it is good to be always online and reachable for your friends and family.

- Social Effect
external image googlep1.pngIt is very important to take advantage of the social effect, because it's more credible and trustworthy, for a user, to have recommendations or opinions from his/her friends about the things that the user is looking for, than having recommendations or opinions from unknown people. This also improves the internet experience of users because when you search something in Google, you will have more tailor-made results. The "+1" API helps users to share their recommendations with other people.

- Full integration with Google products
Because Google created a whole ecosystem of products, it is hard to find a user that doesn't use any of the Google products. So having a platform where a user can integrate different products in a clean and easy way can be very useful. Google+ attracts a lot of users from this strategy helping them to facilitate their technology adoption.

See also
User experience in Amazon
User experience in Zappos