Google Play speeds up instant gratification

Let's compare Google Play redesign to the D.C. Public Library's design

Google has released what it calls a "fresh look" for Google Play, with a goal of making a purchase quick and easy.

It will be rolling out over a period of weeks on mobile devices and tablets a user interface with larger art and images "that jump off the page." It will have bars that make use of color icons to aid in navigation, and recommendations that "continue to appear."

Google doesn't say how it is simplifying check-out except that it plans to "breeze" it. This was announced Tuesday on the official Android blog.

What is Google trying to do here? It wants to speed instant gratification. If big art, apparent navigation, and perhaps one click check out makes that easier than this might be a success.

Buying things is good. It spurs the economy. But libraries are good, and they were spreading knowledge long before Google. Libraries, too, are making it easier to find things, and are entering the instant gratification business as well.

Let's compare then Google's new interface with the D.C. Public Library Web page and what do we find? Note on the right hand side of the library's Web page are colored navigation bars, vertically placed, not unlike the horizontal arrangement favored by Google.

The library also strives for larger art, and a rotating display of interesting things. Although the library has enough data about its users to make personalized recommendations, it doesn't and makes a general but continuing recommendation of "hot" things.

Just like Google, the library has e-books but they are uniformly free to check out. The library puts up a little box about in a hard to miss place, the upper right corner, advertising its e-book capability.

Check-out at the library is a breeze. The D.C. Public Library even has self-checkout. No credit or debit needed unless you are late.

New Google Play interface Washington D.C. Public Library website

Patrick Thibodeau covers SaaS and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov, or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed . His e-mail address is pthibodeau@computerworld.com.

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