Google+ recently redisgned their social networking platform to provide better user experience and expand ther user base. Google is trying to merge everything into similiar cotainer so that everyone can recognise "Google Products".
Most of us would think it as a step taken by myspace after their launch. Google plus is somewhat similar to hybrid myspace User interface and design with different functionality and services.
The new look and designs has been opposed by many but at the same time is love by most of the users. -- Atleast it doesn't seems like replicating facebook interface anymore.
Google should have launched itself with the new UI from the beggining, but better late than never -- Google's new interface is easy to use and fun to spend time with. It is more interactive and better navigation for most part of the website and it's services.
Here are 4 interesting changes made to the interface:
1. Sidebar or icon bar:
on the left hand side of the screen, now appears a wide band which contains a bunch of icons representing the services associated to your account. It is somewhat similar to facebook because you can mange the order of the icons displayed and even add new icons to this bar, just as you can mange services on the sidebar of your facebook account.
The sidebar is quite helpful and helps users manage their services and apps associated to their account easily. If you don't alter anything, it basically displays six icons -- 1. home 2. profile, 3. Explore, 4. Hangouts, 5. Photos and 6. More (which on hover displays -> Circles, games and pages).
2. Status bar (activity box):
The activity box has been redesigned and feels different and is responsive now. The basic functions are same as before, only the Interface, look and feel has been altered. New box gives you a feeling of modern and classic touch, while maintaining the functionality.
3. Main Activity area
The main activity area, where all your activities and friends activity feeds are embedded is now a matrix style modern tiles. it displays feeds from various source in a separate square tiles, while makes the access to the content easier and you can now focus on the things you are looking for. +1 button and comments section has been redesigned and it has been made trendy too. What feels awkward is -- Google never keep itself from copying facebook. The _+1 button and activities feeds are made similar to the facebook like button and comments are so identical.
4. Chat section
When you first look at the chat section you would say that it is just like facebook -- and yes you are right, Google's chat section is positioned right where facebook chat is situated at the moment. It looks and feels the same way as it is in facebook, besides it doesn't include the "activity ticker".
Other than these 4 main visible alteration, Google+ now offers profile covers (again, a perfect replica of facebook), and a better handler for hangouts.