Google News refresh: Now you get cleaner card-based view that's easier to navigate

Google brings new customizable controls and cards in its Google News redesign.

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Google News before the redesign, left, and after, right.

Image: Google

Google has treated Google News to a redesign, which it says should make it easier to navigate than its former user interface.

The new-look Google News features a new navigation bar with Headlines, Local, and For You tabs that offer different feeds according to the user's location and personal tastes.

Gone are the list of blue titles in the old format, which has been replaced by a series of cards that contain headlines, the name of the publisher, and where possible, related coverage.

The new design for the desktop has a "renewed focus on facts, diverse perspectives, and more control", said Google News product manager Anand Paka.

The new layout is meant to offer a "clean and uncluttered" look that's easier on the eye and provides a quicker access to additional stories that provide more context.

This change should support Google's recent efforts to combat fake news with features like its Fact Check tag. Clicking on the card will expand the list of stories beneath the main headline, offering links to related coverage, opinion and a link to full coverage. The expanded view was available in the old format but separated by lines rather being enclosed in a card.

Also, Google has dropped individual icons for sharing on Twitter, Facebook, email, and Google+ for a simpler share symbol.

It's also cleaned up the navigation column on the left, which now lists sections like World, Health, and Technology with symbols for each.

Both the navigation column and the navigation bar are customizable. Users can add their own sections based on search terms, such as World Cup, while the navigation bar can be personalized if the user signs in with a Google Account.

The Local tab allows the user to track stories from a particular part of the world while For You offers a mini news feed that can be populated with the user's specific interests. Users can add topics of interest in the Manage Interests setting.

In addition to the Fact Check tag, Google News will feature a Fact Check block to the right-hand column under the local weather and news box, though this feature at present only appears in the US version of Google News.

Google is also improving the relevance of video it displays to reflect its more central role in storytelling on the web. The company says it's improved how it selects top videos, which are highlighted in a story card. It also has an improved player, which will display related videos beneath the one playing.

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