Google News has been given a fresh lick of paint for desktop users on its 20th birthday, with a redesign that gives more prominence to local news and personalized content.
Users can now more easily customize the topics they’re shown by hitting the blue “customize” button in the right hand column (it appears just below “Picks For You”). They can also add multiple locations to the “Local News” section by hitting the settings button to the right of the Local News header.
In practical terms, the biggest change is that various categories of news – like world, business, science, and health – have been moved from the left-hand side of the screen to a menu bar at the top. You can compare the before and after in the screenshots of the new design (up top) and the old look (below).
Google says it’s also expanded its “Fact Check” section, which highlights debunkings of viral claims from organizations like Full Fact. However, it’s not that prominent really, and tucked away in a section most visitors won’t see at the bottom of the homepage.
Overall, I think the redesign of Google News makes it look more like a newspaper’s frontpage than an aggregated source like an RSS feed (RIP Google Reader). It’s a pretty small change, but a welcome one.