Posted in Book Talk

Things I Love and Hate About the Goodreads Redesign

Ugh.

If you use Goodreads and haven’t seen it yet, the book page on their website has been redesigned! Personally I’m not a fan overall, but I tried really hard to think of some positives about it too. 😂 Below are my lists and overall thoughts. Vote below on if you like it or not and drop a comment about why!

Love!

  • The fact that they redesigned it means they’re giving Goodreads more attention than it’s gotten in like a decade. Maybe that will bring some good changes soon!
  • The spot that shows how many people have the book marked as “currently reading” is really cool! It feels more like a community thing with that.
  • It remembers your settings for whether the book page should show the edition&book details or have it collapses by default.
  • The reviews show a breakdown of people you’re friends with or following and how each of them rated the book.
  • The book cover, status, and rating in the left sidebar stays with the main page as you scroll through sections.

Haaaate.

  • The reading status / tags button. I hate that it’s popped into the middle of the screen now — why make me go somewhere else from where I just clicked? I also hate having to select reading status, THEN tags on a new screen. Again, more clicking. Ugh.
  • Everything is HUGE! Why is it all so giant!
  • I can’t get to my individual review page from my review on the books page — only through the “My Books” listing. EDIT: Misty noted that you can see the review page by clicking the date on the review. Added a photo below! Thanks Misty!
  • If you’re looking for other books in the series, you have to scroll WAYYY to the bottom of the page in order to find them. WHY.
  • The book details button to collapse it when it’s open is not intuitive to find as it’s buried under a bunch of stuff instead of remaining at the top as a coherent “open/close” toggle.
  • There’s just SO MUCH on the page and I have to scroll so far to get to any of it. God forbid I’m at the bottom and want to return to the top. A floating Table of Contents with links to each section or TOC embedded in a sidebar would help navigate the page a ton. Even a standard “Back to the top!” floating button! SOMETHING!
  • Randomly get an error saying it cannot load reviews under the Friends and Following section, and retry doesn’t work. Kind of also a pro though, because now I have less scrolling to do!
How to see your review page: click the date on the top right of your review!

Overall thoughts

Look, I’m glad they’re paying attention enough to bother even doing an update to Goodreads for the first time in like a decade. However, this is not what I like. 😅

Everything on the page is about 40% larger and I have to scroll for DAYS, without any natural navigation options to make it easier to view what I want. I think a lot of the placement changes here make it a clunkier user experience.

I just checked and using the mouse wheel to scroll using my natural scroll amount, it took twelve scrolls to hit the bottom of the page. That to me is way too long. Long enough for me to get bored and annoyed that I’ve done all this scrolling and I’m still only looking at reviews, goddamit.

Here’s 2 changes I recommend to tidy this page up a bit after their changes:

  • Ditch the separate panel popup for reading status/tag changes. Just keep it in the same place where I’m clicking the button!!
  • Add a navigation quicklink TOC to the sidebar under the cover, and/or add a “back to top” floating button as you scroll.
    • If nothing else: allow all sections to be toggled expanded / collapsed (book details, friends and following reviews, community reviews, etc)

Author:

Reader, traveler, photographer, and always looking to learn!

15 thoughts on “Things I Love and Hate About the Goodreads Redesign

  1. interesting…i’m actually enrolled in goodreads’ beta testing group (idk how i got there lol) so i’ve had the “new” interface for about a year now. it took some adjusting, but overall i found it relatively smooth to use. also—you should be able to get to your review from the book’s page. your review will be under the main section that contains the summary and all that jazz and under your review, there’s a link that says “see review.” when you click that link, it takes you to your review page, where you can view/edit your review. oh, and also—the toggle link to “book details” for the synopsis sounds like it’s acting funky for you as well. idk the fix for that one (mine works fine), but if the issue continues, i’d contact goodreads support if possible?hopefully this helps 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re helping shape the future 😍 I see under my review there’s an “Edit Review” option, but I’m not seeing the standard “See review” link here. Another person mentioned clicking the date on the review will get to the review page which worked, so at least I have that!

      It would make sense if the Details button is broken for me somehow because it seemed like a really weird (bad) design choice haha. Maybe I’ll try another browser or something, though I’d expect Firefox to be supported!

      Thank you! Any other new exciting updates coming down the line for GR? 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I haaaaate it. So much so that it prompted me to finally stop using Goodreads (or at least 95% stop using GR). I am no longer adding books to my GR shelves, or adding reviews, or marking things as read. I have one book still “in progress” there, but once I am done with that book I won’t be tracking things there anymore. The StoryGraph and LibraryThing are more what I want out of a book tracking service, anyway.

    I also had access when it was in beta, so I tested it and gave some feedback, and then switched back to the older style for as long as I could. Obviously they didn’t listen to my complaints. (One of which is that I had to scroll too long to find out what my friends thought of the book.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The scrolling! I honestly don’t know how so many people apparently don’t hate it that it got through design. Are we the minority?? Thanks for trying to get heard in the beta, at least haha

      I still use GR for some things I like better, like review exports and being able to go to “all books” easily instead of a bunch of different tabs, but SG is more of my main now. I use that one daily and track all my reading there for sure. I’m with you on that one!!

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      1. I have seen a lot of people complain about GR—whether this re-design or just in general—but (as with everything Amazon) I think that most people just go there because it’s got the big name. It’s easy.

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  3. About six times I year I think, “Ok. THIS IS IT. You are FINALLY going to make posting on Goodreads a priority. THIS TIME it will work”…and then I get overwhelmed or bored or forget for a few books and then give up. I am so jealous of people who figure out a way to integrate Goodreads into their lives. But, alas, I’ve yet to do so. However, judging from this post, it saved me a headache from the redesign! I’m sorry it’s become so much clunkier :/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. xD I definitely have reasons that I still use Goodreads – I can easily export my review code for a blog post, for example – but I use The Storygraph DAILY without fail. That’s my main go-to now. If stats are a motivator for you, it’s impressive and lovely (my page example here)

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