Online Innovation May 12th, 2010
Google has never been a company to shy away from improvement. Be it an online utility like Google Docs to fun stuff on your iGoogle Home page with gadgets.
Now here is a spring surprise for all of us. Google has come up with a new look for its homepage. If you look closely at it you will may even find a lot of similarities between the much acclaimed Microsoft BING.
So what are the big changes? There is now a left column where you will find an array of links for images, videos, books, discussion, shopping and more.
Google has also introduced changes to the search box. While not that obvious they do seem to make the engine feel a little bit more contemporary.
Here is what Google has had to say;
“We’ve added contextually relevant, left-hand navigation to the page. This new side panel highlights the most relevant search tools and refinements for your query. Over the past three years, we've launched Universal Search, the Search Options panel and Google Squared, and it’s those three technologies that power the left-hand panel.
Universal Search helps you find the most relevant types of results for your search. Our expandable Search Options panel launched last spring brought many rich slice-and-dice tools to search. In addition to the left-hand side changes, we’ve updated our look and feel in terms of our color palette and our logo. These changes are slight, keeping our page minimalist and whimsical, but make our overall look more modern. Google Squared (available on Google Labs) helps you find and compare entities.
The new design refreshes and streamlines the look, feel and functionality of Google, making it easier to pinpoint what you’re looking for. It’s powerful, yet simple. Today’s changes are the latest in our continuing efforts to evolve and improve Google. We've been testing these changes with users over the past few months, and what we're launching today reflects the feedback we've received.. We want to ensure that the Google you use today is better than the one you used yesterday, and these latest changes open up many possibilities for future features and enhancements”.
With Google has released is an improvement on the overall search experience.
It is nice to see that along with the improvements in the actual Google 'algo' they are also focussing much attention on the usability of their page as well.
Google has lightened up the Google logo and the footer too, by getting rid of the lines under the links. (think they used Website Optimizer to figure this out?) Also blue is now the color of the links being displayed. They had had tried various versions before deciding on blue..
So if you haven't tried it yet. Go have a look! The changes a subtle yet an overall usability improvement!