Editing your own personal google+ profile is easy enough, but editing a page you have created is less so – for some.

This blog post is more of a rant on usability. But if you want to know how to update/edit a profile on a Google+ page you’ve created for a business, company, organisation, product or brand then follow this link.

It would seem a bit obvious for some. But recently when creating a Google+ page for a client and going back to update the page, it didn’t feel intuitive or at first very simple. My brain froze thinking how do I update a page I have created?

At first thought, one obvious way would be to search for the page and be able to get in an edit the page that way. The symbol next to the page’s name looked like it would help. But no, it just says the item is a page. Not helpful Google.

Where has this elusive ‘Edit Profile’ button gone? (I hate calling a page a profile; I can get over that though).

So I went back to my own personal profile page and I couldn’t figure it out. I tried searching in Google – but it looks like I am the only one having this g+ page update blindness and fatigue. I understand the concept of page’s being separate entities from profiles, but should they really be that far removed?

Well anyways, I finally figured it out and I thought I’d blog about it. But seriously, I was like ‘what the?! Am I the only one that has experienced this?’

Looking at it again, for me, it looks like it was a last thought by the Google design department. I was literally thrown off the scent by Google’s own ui.

The normal practice of editing a profile/page you have created in Google Plus is to go to yourprofile page, locate your avatar (profile picture) and underneath your Name there is a tiny dropdown menu that will display a list of pages your account is associated with. Like so…

The normal way to edit a google plus page

Easy, yes. But if you have a bright screen those light greys for the dropdown are a little less obvious and when you see ‘Google+ Pages’ section in the lower part of the right column – your eyes are trained to that area.

So what am I drivelling on about you might ask? What was the problem?

It is this symbol on your home profile page…

Google plus page icon

…Being planted next to text saying ‘Create a Google+ page’ like so…

Misleading Google Plus Text

I haven’t got anything against the icon, but I’m against how Google could potentially be driving some people nuts on something as simple as trying to edit a page you have created (like I did for 15 minutes).

The icon’s placement is awful – it is not clear at all what it is supposed to do.

The general consensus with most well designed web sites is that an icon with text immediately before, or after it, are usually the same item (unless the symbol is recognised outright as being a separate entity leading to somewhere else).

What Google have done defies Gestalt’s Principles of both Similarity and Proximity. If you’re not familiar with Gestalt’s laws then check about.com‘s page on it.

For instance, if you look at Google’s navigation bar they have put this into practice by separating text and icons by employing tiny vertical separators. But unfortunately that is not the case here.

In this instance, having the icon/button and a text-link next to each other is misleading. It looks like you can only create a new page so you are left wondering where to go find your pages. You go to create a new page thinking there might be something in there but nada, still no joy.

It does work out though that the symbol to the left of the ‘Create a Google+ page’ text is actually the google+ pages manager. So if you happen to be a person who likes clicking on the text link rather than the icon beside it, you might have a long night ahead of you.

A few suggestions for Google:

  1. Make the link underneath your profile name a little more obvious and in its functionality
  2. On the profile home page have 2 icons there or clearly separate them showing their functions.
  3. If you are the owner of the page and you are logged in you should be able to search for the page and have a clear symbol providing you with an option to update/edit it. (Like when you are finally logged in to a page to manage it with the ‘Edit Profile’ button)

Anyways, rant over.

Here is how you update a google+ page.

In short, you can visit this URL: https://plus.google.com/u/0/pages/manage and follow on from point 3 below.

If you can’t remember the URL (like most normal people) and want to find your way about:

  1. Click on your profilepage button.
  2. Locate your avatar and underneath your name click on the link (which lists how many pages you have).
  3. Select the page you wish to edit.
  4. Click on the page’s name or avatar.
  5. Click on the blue ‘Edit Profile’ button
  6. Now you should hopefully have access to update all of your page’s name, introduction, photos, etc.

Or try this alternative painful route Google have developed which led me to this blogpost – grrr.

  1. Click on your profilepage button.
  2. In the right column locate the section titled ‘Google+ Pages’
  3. Click on the Icon (not the text beside it saying create a page). This will lead you to the pages’ management area or ‘Your Pages’ area.
  4. Click on ‘Manage’ of the page you wish to update. Note: This will now transform yourprofile into account.
  5. Now, similar to editing your own profile page, click on your page’s logo or page’s name located at the top of the left column.
  6. Click on ‘Edit Profile’
  7. Now you should hopefully have access to update all of your page’s name, introduction, photos, etc.

Well, hopefully, I have cleared that up for some who might be having a bad day when it comes to editing a simple page.