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July 07, 2011

Blogger Revamps User Interface, Cleans Up Nice

In the most dramatic overhaul of its blog publishing layout and interface since I switched to Blogger five years ago, the Google-owned service introduced its previously announced interface redesign this afternoon, bringing a high quality look and feel that catches the product up to the many other Google products that have recently undergone UI upgrades, including Gmail and Google Calendar, following the launch of Google +1 last week. The update, now visible to all Blogger users at the Blogger In Draft site (http://draft.blogger.com) surfaces a new statistically-driven dashboard complete with accumulative page views and post counts, and underneath the hood, a new array of icons that match the many different ways bloggers interact with their sites, including new posts (such as this one), static pages, comments, complete with moderation, detailed visit statistics, and UI tweaks to layout and design.

The new layout also promises an "Earnings" tab that will replace the monetization feature, when used in companion with Google's popular AdSense product. (Mine of course remains at a massive $0.00)

The New Blogger In Draft Dashboard

The cascade of improved UIs in Google's products hasn't missed Blogger, so recently rumored, but not confirmed, to be getting a planned name change by other tech blogs earlier this week. Blogger also announced today the addition of a new product manager, Bruce Polderman, giving team three. So don't believe anything that might otherwise tell you this product is going on the backburner as far as Google is concerned.

Blogger In Draft Statistics

Beyond the smarter and more appealing UI in managing posts and statistics, the post editor portion of Blogger is significantly improved as well, giving authors an entire screen to work with in creating their posts, looking much like a Word Processing document, with a standard formatting bar on the top, and post settings, including labels and scheduling, on the right. It makes all previous versions, including the many versions of WordPress I've tried look as clunky as late 1990s era Word for Macintosh ports. The new design of Blogger is very smooth and appealing, so if you are on Blogger, and don't tend to use the Blogger In Draft feature as I do, it's highly recommended.

Blogger Layouts In the New Interface

Blogger's integration with other Google properties, such as Picasa and Google+ also makes the platform more appealing, as you can post photos taken from your phone, sent by Instant Upload, and add them to your blog. And yes, this post was made using ChromeOS, giving the Blogger Web interface a real run for its money.