Why I Hate The New AdWords Interface – And Why That Doesn’t Mean You Will Too

We’ve all used the New AdWords Beta interface by now, or as I like to call it, AdWords Express 2.0 because I like using outdated tech references. If you’re in an agency, you’ve probably reverted to the previous iteration on more than one occasion.

If you’re in an agency and you’re like me, you despise the new interface.

It’s not that I don’t like change. If I didn’t like change, I’d be in the entirely wrong industry. It’s not that the functionality is limited, although it actually is, albeit an issue that is either being rectified or has been rectified. It’s not even that it appears to focus on visual and aesthetic appeal over substance while shifting the “wireframe” structure from horizontal to vertical.

I don’t like it because I knew where everything was with my eyes closed. I’d literally be able to assist clients on how to navigate their account while I was on the road speaking on my mobile. Everything from Billing to Mobile Click To Calls, to you name it and I wouldn’t even need a screen in front of me to get there. And for such a go-getting, man-about-town like myself, this was a great benefit.

When the new interface came through I doubled the time I was spending on the phone due to having to firstly decipher a client’s understanding of what was on the screen, then determine if it is Beta or the previous iteration that they are viewing. Further to that, in the beginning, the Settings link was three black dots that was difficult to see in the top right-hand corner of the screen, they’ve since changed this to a spanner, which is, ahh, like, okay? I mean, why not just keep it a cog/wheel?

Anyway, that seems like a pretty petty reason to dislike the Beta rollout, I admit. It’s also the fact that the colour scheme sucks, there has been a dramatic change from having the tabs for AdGroups, Ads, Keywords, etc. These tabs were previously horizontal across the top but are now vertical, with a variety of other details that are there, but not where they were before, so where I used to be able to glide across the keyboard and click the mouse so it sounds like a courtroom stenographer, I have to click two or three things to find it.

I’m going to make a grandiose and probably entirely inappropriate comparison, but I imagine it to be similar to when we moved from imperial to metric, and I was a 5+ year carpenter accustomed to feet and inches, and the architect started sending plans in millimetres.

That’s why I don’t like it.

But new clients like it. That’s why I call it AdWords Express 2.0, it shows a lot of the information that a business owner appreciates on the opening dashboard. It explains, to a degree, what the data is as well, something that was missing in the impersonal data structure presented in the previous AdWords.

I’m not concerned that it will make it easier for my clients to manage their account themselves, or harder for me to obtain new clients. On the contrary, it will assist me to obtain and maintain my client partnerships. I’ve always been an open book with my clients and the strategies that I employ, it wasn’t the strategy that was the issue, it was the representation of the results that was difficult to communicate.

A client can see relatively easily on their dashboard the Search Terms that are coming through, we can personalise their dashboard with bite-sized snippets of information that they want and need.

I’ll probably keep using the old interface for as long as possible, and slowly begin to move to the new interface in order to ensure that, when they do pull the trigger on making Beta the real and only deal, my navigation skills resemble a hacker in any 90s movie. Until then, I reserve the right to be a grumpy old man.