How Google Got Its New Look

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1. Branding matters The Google logo loses its drop shadows and TM symbol. 1. Branding matters Google’s own logo was tweaked for the purposes of the relaunch.

much here and that led to changes in the The design processtext is teekay for these many words like this. all-important search results page


11. Redundancy is O.K. Designers include text and icons for images, news, etc., for clarity’s sake. Even though some of the before launch. links appear twice, 10. But wait, there’sthe team decides that duplication is better more than removing a familiar tool. The page highlights tools that Google’s algorithm has determined might be useful, so as not to overwhelm a user. More options are available.

11. Inconsistencies 12. Pixels matter ok White space is Rather between added than get rid of duplicated the search box and links along theafter the first result top ofis determined it the page, the designers included the increased gap some of the same wouldn’t slow down links (images, news, click rates.


2. Side Navigation Color 2. Side navigation color add blue Experiments to In an earlycolumns down each side of experiment, blue columns frame the results. the results were rejected. The idea is rejected.

3. Search Query 3. Search query box Box Length The length is Extended better extended toin order to frame the establish the width of results better. the results page.

way for users to 10. But wait, similar investigate there’s more queries. Internally, The page highlights this feature was tools thatas “not known Google’s algorithm determines entirely unlike”, might changed to but be useful. the less whimsical “something different” just

4. Search query box color 4. Search Query Turning the search Box Color box blue creates a Turning the “search needless distraction. box” blue drove In the final design, users, literally, to it’s gray. distraction. The final 5. Links are no longer underlined Secondary links have their underlines removed to cut down on visual clutter. design is grey. Designers no longer 5. Links want to remove more link lines, underlined but tests show this Secondary links confuses users. had the line removed, to cut down on the visual clutter. Actually, designers wanted to 6. Somemore remove things of don’t change the link lines, The extendable “Goooooogle” icon at the bottom of the search results page is considered sacrosanct. but tests showed this confused users. 6. Some things don’t change The extendable “Goooooogle”

alignment, experimenting with the toolbar on both 9. the “Something Different” left and right hand side of A page. the new function meant to it’s on the (In the end,encourageleft). 9.“sideways search”—a “Something Different” way for users to This new function is investigate similar intended to introduce queries. search”, “sideways Originallya labelled “Not Entirely Unlike” (a tribute to science fiction writer Douglas Adams), the name is changed before launch to avoid confusion.

icon at the bottom of the search results page was considered sacrosanct. 7. Text: Flush left/right Designers tried aligning

text on left or or the 8. Toolbar: Flushthe leftright? right side of the bar. The placement of the tool bar is (Final decision: Flush left). tested exhaustively before usability 8. Toolbar: Flush pays experiments show the eye left/right Designers also played around with more attention to the left side of the Web page.

7. Text: Flush left or right? Designers try aligning text on both the left and right sides of the toolbar. Final decision: Flush left.

Home Page Evolution
Since the day Stanford computer science graduate students Sergey Brin and Larry Page registered the domain —Sept. 15, 1997, if you’re curious—the search results page has been redesigned seven times. The iconic home page has also undergone its share of tweaks.

Nov. 11, 1998 The jaunty launch design makes copious use of exclamation points and boasts an index of around 25 million pages.

Nov. 6, 1999 Goodbye exclamation points. Users now have the ability to drill into government documents or find out about jobs at Google.

May 10, 2000 The world map signals Google’s availability in 10 languages, accessible via a drop-down menu to the right of the search box.

Mar. 31, 2001 A centered logo and uncluttered page—confident gestures befitting the world’s largest search engine.

Mar. 25, 2004 Links to Google products such as News and Groups are added above the search box.

Oct. 12, 2007 Google becomes available in Arabic. Currently, the search engine is available on 157 domains and in 117 languages (including Klingon.)

Dec. 2, 2009 In an attempt to pare back distractions, the most recent change removed most of the icons, which appear only when a user initiates the mouse.