The last time we saw Google’s accounts settings page receive a fresh coat of paint was last December when the company brought it up to date with the new Material design language, and it seems they’ve gone ahead and updated it again recently.
For reference, here’s what the account settings page looked like previously:
Right away it’s obvious by all the information you get above the fold (everything you see before you have to start scrolling down) on the new page that Google is trying hard to be as unambiguous as possible and help users find the thing they’re looking for as quickly as possible. The brief description and large header at the top directing users to “Control, protect, and secure your account, all in one place” is succinct and describes exactly how the three groups of links are organized. No more scrolling and guessing, “Maybe ‘Recent activity’ is where my search history is,” only to scroll down further and realize, actually no, it’s in “Account tools.”
Apart from condensing all the options users have to manage their accounts down to far fewer boxes and consequentially minimizing the previously large amount of scroll-space, it seems that every last manageable setting now falls under a category that makes intuitive sense, which is always the hope.
Here’s what it looks like when you click in to view everything under “Personal info & privacy,” again noting the large headers and brief descriptions that explain everything in clear, simple language:
Many major web services – particularly Facebook in recent years but Google as well – have in the past received much scorn for having notoriously complex webs of account settings pages with vague terminology and nomenclature that the average consumer has trouble understanding. Especially for a company like Google with more services across more devices collecting more data on users than one can count on their hands, giving users fine control over every last privacy and security detail, and preference, it’s not hard to see how even such a large company can have trouble making it all simple and straightforward.
This update, however, is at least a reminder that Google is still thinking about ways to make it easier for its users. You can access the new account settings page at myaccount.google.com.