You won’t get very far through your morning intake of weblogs and news sites without reading about the Blogger relaunch. But for all the talented people involved in the re-design and the clear amount of effort that’s gone into it, I’m unimpressed. The problem is that once you strip away the attractive design - the CSS smorgasbord of sliding door tabs, rounded boxes and drop shadows - very little has changed in terms of its user interface.
As a user of Blogger, I appreciated the way in which it made maintaining a web site so much easier; you could just concentrate on your writing rather than having to use HTML and FTP to make date headers and maintain archives. As a free and unique service, I was never going to complain about its regular downtime or the fact that its user interface was merely adequate rather than stunningly elegant and intuitive.
Now, under the mighty wing of Google - with their mastery of functional web interfaces - I expected Blogger to take a similar route towards setting new standards in web application UI design (much like Google has purportedly done with the Gmail service). For me, the fact that Blogger’s user interface remains largely unchanged is a disappointment and if Google wants to continue to own the most popular weblogging tool, I think they need to do much more than this seemingly superficial redesign.