I received an email in my gmail account, saying that a person has added me to their (google+)circle. The subject is “XYZ dded you on Google+”.Here XYZ stands for the name. Now I go into my mental database and think of all the people with that name. The email next says that I can add him to my circle as well. Then as an afterthought it tells me that I don’t have to. It also gives me this link, which tells me further about what a circle is and how it can make my life better.
Now where can I go and see who this person is? I don’t see his name as a link anywhere. Later I realized that the image is a link to that person’s profile. They are so involved with their own devised feature (the circle) that they forgot to add a proper link to that person’s profile. Also their seems to be an assumption that I would not be inclined to add that person into my circle if I did not know him beforehand. At the very least the name (XYZ) in this line “Follow and share with XYZ by adding him to a circle” should have been a link.
What would you do when you see one of your friend’s pic in your gtalk list with the head section cropped off? Most of you I would guess might want to see the full picture. That is how the profile pic interaction works across the internet. In fact at some places that small aspect is also used to push people to signup. Case in point being twitter, where only signed up users can view full profile pictures. When you click on a thumbnail of a profile picture you expect a full size picture.
But google thinks most people want to change the picture. In fact they have thought about this feature so much that it has two parts. For friends who have not added any picture, I can add pictures as well. So it clearly is not a lack of thought. I think it is a very individualistic view of seeing things. Being social is not changing another person’s profile pic for our own view, but to maybe suggest the person to change the picture. Which is what happens elsewhere, “change the bloody picture, it has been there since ages”. Ever seen that?
The good point about this is, you can stop getting scared of google taking over the world :D.