I'm in. After several tries, I've managed to get in to the latest trend in social networks – Google+.
I have one word to describe my initial reaction – complicated! Why must they make things so difficult?
There is a fine balance between control and usability and I'm not sure that Google+ gets it. The idea behind circles makes sense, but you really have to think to figure out how it all works. Do I really need to think about who will see every single status update I post? Really, I just want it all to be simple. I don't want to have to think too hard to use my social networking tools!
Here is a thought. Create three interfaces. When someone first signs up they get the "basic" view – this would have two security settings everyone, and just my friends and family. That is it, not too complicated. This lets me do the things I want to do when I first get started. It lets me hit the ground running – and BTW – yes, do make sure that those of us who use Facebook can relate to your new paradym! Don't allow for too much flexibility – just enough to get comfortable and get hooked.
Then create two other interfaces "intermediate" and "advanced" or whatever you want to call them. Let the user choose which interface they get. With each incremental interface, give the user more control over security and more flexibility in how they post messages. So, as I learn your system and get better at it, I can then add layers of flexibility (aka complexity) to my environment – and I get to choose when I'm ready to make that jump.
What I'm seeing is that Twitter is easy, Facebook is mostly easy, but Google+ makes me think too hard. That I'm afraid the complexity will be demise of Google+. It gives all the users too much control, and although some want it, many just want a way to share their ideas with the world and don't need or want the controls.
What do you think?