They like to say looks aren’t everything, but when it comes to user interfaces a fresh, new look can go a long way.
Google recently previewed and then rolled out its new AdWords interface around the globe and most critics agree the new, cleaner look is a much-needed improvement to the company’s flagship advertising product.
Given that AdWords provides Google its main source of revenue – which totaled $37.9 billion in 2011 – it’s no surprise the search giant would want its interface to remain attractive and user-friendly for ad buyers. It may sound like just a number, but it helps paint the picture of how many people rely on and use AdWords every day.
As it is arguably the most formidable Web ad tool on the Internet, it pays to look sharp and work well. In an effort to improve how AdWords works, Google techs have added a “campaign types” function that allows advertisers to work with a customized interface based on the campaign type. A search network campaign, for example, can be customized Standard, All Features or Product Listing Ads that will help streamline ad management.
The upshot is that it frees up the screen of irrelevant data and display options that will not help the user given the selected campaign type. Combined with the lighter colors and layout that includes a new graph function it is expected to make spending time with AdWords easier and – hopefully – even enjoyable. Some have complained about the color scheme of the graph, but overall it is seen as a useful addition to the design.
Google calls the new additions a part of a more “revved up” contextual engine that will allow advertisers to more easily tweak campaigns down to the keyword level. Another feature, for example, gives users a chance to visualize the reach of a campaign by combining multiple targeting types like keywords, topics and placements.
The more modern look has been a long time coming, although it’s important to note that nothing has been removed from the “old” design. The new functional additions do not change or replace the display options and user ability from the former AdWords interface.
It’s hard to say why Google chose the redesign at this time given advertisers’ unabated and growing interest in marketing through the search engine. The truth is that AdWords could exist with no redesign at all and people would still use it for lack of a more powerful advertising alternative – but it would appear that a lot of people are appreciative of the change.