New Blogger.com UI now available to all

As I've mentioned elsewhere, there's a redesign coming for Blogger users.  The new UI is now available (optionally, for the time being) to all Blogger users.  When you write a blog post, the UI will look different, but when your readers come to your blog, they won't see anything different.  If you write a Blogger blog, you can see it yourself by logging in to draft.blogger.com instead of the usual www.blogger.com.  I'm writing this post in the new UI. 

It's ... white.  The list of posts is very spread out, with the titles in standard 12-point font in something like triple spacing.  There are some very Web 2.0-ey features, like controls that only appear when you hover the mouse over them.  There are some features that are IMO missing, like the lack of hover-over text to tell me what those icons at the top mean.  They've incorporated a lot of the information that used to be in Google Analytics, and it's pretty granular.  For example, until now, I had no idea that my most-viewed recent post was the one I wrote about the closing of tabletalk.salon.com.

The new look for Blogger is visually consistent with the redesign of Google Calendar, which I really dislike.  I am a very heavy Google Calendar user, and I'm sticking with the old design as long as possible, because the new more spread-out spacing reduces how many things I can see - even on the giant monitors I use.  The new Blogger UI doesn't give me a rash like the Calendar one, though.

I think the redesign is intended to go hand in hand with Google+.  I recently heard that Google actually plans to stop using the name "Blogger" and rebrand the service with a new name when they incorporate it into Google+.  I have to admit, it's odd to use Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Maps, etc, and ...Blogger.  Blogger has retained its name so far because it's huge--it's one of the 10 most visited sites worldwide.  With luck, they'll integrate all these services together better.  There are big changes coming!