Google released a major update to its homepage earlier this month, introducing an array of features aimed at enhancing search efficiency while maintaining the simplicity and usability that its vast global user base associates with the Google experience.
Now when someone enters a query on Google, the left-hand side of the results page contains a panel of links such as News, Maps, Books, Images and Blogs to further filter the main results to the search intent of that user.
To compensate for the clutter factor, Google has reduced the visual weight of its own logo, lightening the colours and removing the embossed shadow effect on the letters.
A move like this is always bound up with risk. One the one hand, Google could be commended for recognising that, even though they are currently the best at what they do, there is always room for improvement. On the other, why try to fix something that clearly isn’t broken?
Initial reactions have been mixed. Within the E-Web office, some enjoy the new additions as forward-thinking and solutions-oriented, while others cannot think of “old Google” without a pang of nostalgia.
Personally I have found the absence of the option to click ‘Pages from Australia’ on the homepage to be a hindrance. Having to wait for the results page to load before being able to refine my search to Australian sites is not in keeping with the efficiency I’ve come to expect from Google.
At E-Web we are curious about further feedback on Google’s attempt to strike a workable balance between its trademark innovation and the comfortable familiarity that users have with its layout. Does the new design work for you, or was Google better how it was before?
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