Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Are you ready for "The new Google experience"?

After many weeks of testing, Google finally updated the homepage and search results pages. The changes aren't so radical, but they're still significant: there's a black navigation bar, two updated buttons for "Google Search" and "I'm Feeling Lucky", while the corporate links are moved to the bottom of the page.

Google says that this is just a small step from a redesign that will affect many other services. "The new Google experience that we've begun working toward is founded on three key design principles: focus, elasticity and effortlessness. (...) With the design changes in the coming weeks and months, we're bringing forward the stuff that matters to you and getting all the other clutter out of your way. Even simple changes, like using bolder colors for actionable buttons or hiding navigation buttons until they're actually needed, can help you better focus on only what you need at the moment."
The new Google experience is focused on three design principles, none of which is utility or ease of use.

Now it's light gray text on a black background, which is harder to read than the former dark blue on white. (Also, text is/was aliased in both cases, which I think makes the lesser contrast display - aka the new Google - more difficult to scan.)

BONUS! Google has already implemented on their maps page a label-less blue button for search (it has a magnifying glass instead). And there's talk that Google may do the same on it's home page - removing the pesky, and informative, "Google search" label from the button. That's following in the steps of the excellent Microsoft Office U/I where the File menu was replaced by an unlabeled four-color "office button", along with other deletions of text labels.


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