The New Google Polls – Quick Review, Tips and Templates
The new Google polls are pretty fancy compared to any others I’ve seen but will people use them?
Creating a Poll on Google+
The default is two options for your poll but it’s easy enough to add more. Just click the “+ more choices” button and add away. It does look like 5 poll options is the maximum but do we need more?
You might also notice that there is a dotted line down the middle of the area where the optional photo or graphic goes. This is where things get interesting…
So far, I have not seen a poll that stretches across two or more columns (on the desktop) but that might change. It may be the same as for other posts, where the popularity or the size and quality of the uploaded image justify it but we will see. I’m keeping my eyes open!
The reason I say things get interesting with the image options is that you can create or design your poll in a few different ways.
Designing your Google+ Poll
The most basic option is of course to not bother with a graphic and just ask your question with your chosen options… probably not the most enticing way to get people interested in your poll.
Choosing an image for your poll is going to be the best option. People like pictures! The thing is, you can use just one image for your poll or one image for each option. Depending on what you choose, your poll will look different.
Two Option Poll, One Image
A two option poll will have the to options/button set side by side. Your one image is, or should be representative of the poll itself, not the different options. You could even add arrows to your image pointing to the options… get creative!
Two Option Poll, Two Images
This may be one of the tougher options to design for. Each image takes up half of the available area. If you don’t use images that are the exact same aspect ratio as the areas provided, your image will get cropped and you may not be happy with the results.
Three Option Poll, Three Images
Poll Image Sizes
Google doesn’t give any recommendations for image sizes for polls, they just let you upload pictures. It’s up to you to make them work.
As I was saying before, I haven’t seen a poll stretch across columns but there are a few sizes your poll could be seen at. Google+ will show from one to three columns depending on screen size. The widest, or largest poll I’ve seen is when two columns are being shown.
In that instance, the width of the poll is 518 pixels. I tried different heights thinking more poll options would require a taller graphic but it’s not the case. The height of the poll image is 291 pixels.
Here is a template for a poll with just one image. For each template, I have increased the size of the image from 518px wide to 900px wide. This is to allow for a nice, large image if someone decides to click to make it larger. Final dimensions for the template are 900x506px.
When using two images in a poll, they will both be side by side but your images need to be designed so that what’s most important is visible without having to click to enlarge the photo.
I’ve created these two templates using the same aspect ratio as the single image option but have created “focus areas” so you have a good idea of what will be visible and what won’t.
There is room here for some creativity though. You can have additional information, branding/logos and surprises in the “hidden” areas! I’m sure someone will find a use for that.
Michael Currey is an experienced web designer, front-end developer and social media consultant with 15 years of experience and an education from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Owner of Ripple Effect Studio & founder of inlineVision, based in Las Vegas, NV.
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