Sunday, November 6, 2016

Dear Google, Using Google Photos is Painful

Dear Google,

I use your Picasa desktop app to edit and to upload photos, for years, it worked swimmingly until I was forced to embrace Google Photos. To my horror, when I was transferring photos from one Picasa site to another Google Photos site, in an attempt to consolidate work, I found that all the Picasa app editing did not translate.

My photos look awful in Google Photos.

Now I'm stuck with either using a different desktop app, and the Google Photos online editor. Alas, your editor is not as robust, and it's slow and cumbersome. Did I mention cumbersome? Try using it with a variable DSL speed sometime. Oh, btw, we upgraded to ATT Uverse, much faster, but still boggy at times. Still your glitches persist.

When you have 1000s of photos to reprocess, Google Photos makes editing impossible. No batch edit of albums—Picasa's desktop Auto Contrast and I'm Feeling Lucky were great filters. And the Darken Sky filter was brilliant. Can't do that in Google Photos.

So disappointing. The entire Picasa app and online experience was so much better than the online Google Photos experience. I'm sure I've told you before, I started out loving all Google products, Like The Guy (Kawasaki, who got me into this blogging mess to begin with back in 2007), I was an Google-evangelista, but I've discovered the more you tinker with our online experience, the worse it gets.

Blogger is a case in point. I continue to use it, but most of the time I'm seething. nay, frothing. The revamped Blogger has been a royal pain in the ass to use for years—since its last upgrade, and now I see Google Photos has followed suit. The relatively new Gmail revision is bad enough. At least I can opt out and use the old school version for slow HTML. Bells and whistles are not necessarily a good thing. I avoid Google+ for the same reasons.

There needs to be multiple ways to do things, and there needs to be quick and dirty methods to deal with multiple blog posts, bulk images, etc. It seems you've gone the way of Microsoft—bloatware. It's fine in small quantities, but frustrating on bigger jobs.

And while we're at it, what the hell happened to all my historical album annotations when you forced my Picasa photos over to Google+ Photos? Have you ANY idea, how much work went into that process, and now it's all gone. Poof. Like with my Seamus Heany Memorial photos, I had written a curatorial pieces identifying the readers, etc.—including poets laureate, and the Consul General of Ireland. Had I known, I would've copied the comments.

I want my Picasa web albums site back. I want my album comments back.

The more I use Google Photos the more I HATE Google Photos, and I mourn the elegance and simplicity of Picasa. What were you thinking? And  yet you've let some users keep their Picasa sites, why not me? I know others are still using their Picasa sites, including Robert Lee Haycock.

I want to opt out of Google Photos, as a user, and have access to my Picasa Web Albums again. All five sites. I don't mind that viewers interface with Google Photos, but, as a user, I need something better designed for behind the scenes access. Something like Blogger-All Posts listing. But with thumbnails.

It seems the more you make things better, the worse it gets. You need to use a much wider test market before you roll out some of these design changes. You do use a real test market, right? It's not all in-house?

And while I'm ranting, do you actually ever listen to your constituents? I get it that I'm proverbially biting the hand that cyberfeeds me. Clearly I am ungrateful. But I was once one of your most ardent supporters. Once you were great, now, you're  bloatware. Cumbersome, at best. Get a new design team in, fergawdsakes. And test drive it to a wider audience. Especially to us dyslexics. I'm offering it up, here.

1. Google+ Photos needs to also have an additional thumbnail user contact page style design—like film strips—for overall ease of viewing. Not just this multi-sized format that fills the entire page that the visitor sees. The eye needs places to rest in order to comprehend, not to be bombarded with imagery.  Please take care of the user as well as the visitor. And modular organizing of images, not by exif dates.

2. Each album needs to have a discrete space to include album prose, and not just the space on each photo, but for overall curatorship. People need context as well as visual imagery.

3. On Blogger, you also need another way of organizing posts. It's cumbersome when you have 2K's worth of posts, to navigate. Perhaps a hierarchical decade index as well as a year/month index.

4. Your in-house blogger search engine is not very robust. In fact, it's tetchy. Gawd help us if we add an extra space between words, or misspel (stet) a word. It needs to be more like Google search engine, more boolean in nature. I know you have the skills. I know you can do this. And when we get the results of the blog search, just list the titles, not the entire piece—I'm long-winded, in case you can't tell. It's otherwise impossible to access the older pieces via the in-house blog search. Even with Hot Links enabled—which bogs down the loading of Blogger, BTW.

5. On the Blogger Compose page, an actual date listed up there with the toolbar. The Schedule button is not always visible. And the helpful Schedule And Label slide-out windows are a little too trigger-happy. Sometime I have a cat-and-mouse chase the window to nail it down. Nothing worse than an overly helpful  hide-and-seek window anticipating my every need, only to have it be the wrong need. Sort of like using Autocorrect. And what's with the ghost drafts of blogposts I've already corrected and reposted? Hard to track down and delete.

I'm sure I'll have more suggestions as I continue to use the site...but at least this is a start.

Thank you, I feel better now. So let's get to it, improve Google Photos and Blogger. Or at least keep those legacy pages available for the users.

Yours under the Cranky Sign,

Dear Google, Using Blogger is a Painful Experience...

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