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Google Testing Completely Revamped Look 195

Posted by samzenpus
from the makeover-time dept.
SharkLaser writes "Google's search engine has always looked pretty much the same since it was introduced in 1998. However, Google is now testing a revamped look that is the largest change the search engine has ever done to its website. The new look strips the black bar running horizontally at top and places it as an openable menu on the left side. The move is said to promote Google's other services without making the search engine too cluttered. The new side menu is also more similar to Chrome OS and allows Chromebook and Google's website to have the same look and feel. Another consequence of the move is that it now takes users two clicks to enter other services such as Images and News, which is said to improve the amount of ad clicks and visitors advertisers get. Considering that European Commission is examining claims of Google downgrading rival websites and U.S. senators are calling FTC to inspect Google for unfair practices, the move comes at a surprising time."
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Google Testing Completely Revamped Look

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  • by symbolset (646467) * on Monday January 02, 2012 @02:22PM (#38564792) Journal

    Getting desperate much? Is this a new year project? Submitter [slashdot.org] is almost exclusively a Googlebashing troll.

    And the Googlebashing has no connection to the rest of the fine summary.

    Slow news cycle I guess. Let's put something else in the queue.

    • by thestudio_bob (894258) on Monday January 02, 2012 @02:30PM (#38564844)

      Yes, I agree 100%. I relish the days that /. was unbiased with all the submitted articles about MicroSoft, Apple, Oracle, Python, C++, JavaScript, Religion, Governments, Global Warming...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by SharkLaser (2495316)
      Why do you think it's bashing? It's reporting news. Just because it's Google doesn't mean they should not be reported, just like Microsoft, Apple and other companies. Or are you saying we should give Google a pass on every time just because you love them?
      • by Dyinobal (1427207) on Monday January 02, 2012 @03:08PM (#38565146)
        I just find the inclusion of stuff about the law suits to be really stupid. I get that you wanted to fill out the summary since the entirety of the article could be reduced down to. Google has slightly changed the look of their site, making their non search related features more prominent.
  • phase ii/ order 66: do only evil

    MUAHAHAHAHA

    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Order_66 [wikia.com]

    i'm joking but in all seriousness, i know a lot of slashdotters think of google as a darling, but google represents something else now: power. and all power is eventually corrupted

    • am shifting my interweb searching to search engines that don't productize me. [duckduckgo.com]

      • by symbolset (646467) *
        That's one vote for Bing: the Decider engine. Anybody else looking to bing their own Internet?
      • by cultiv8 (1660093)
        +1 for duckduckgo [wikipedia.org], local Philly startup, will be default search engine for Linux Mint 12.
      • Re:I, for one, (Score:4, Interesting)

        by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Monday January 02, 2012 @04:30PM (#38565784)

        I'd never even heard of DuckDuckGo, and then suddenly I see all sorts of "testimonials" in this thread. That seems really odd, especially given that, according to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org], it is now starting to occasionally be ad-funded (whereas before it was totally funded by its developer). Coincidence, or astroturfing?

        • by Kenshin (43036)

          Astroturfing? In MY Slashdot?

          It's more likely than you think.

        • by Toonol (1057698)
          It's been slowly building on Slashdot for a while now, at least six months. I gave it a trial run and it seemed fine. Didn't quite cause me to change my habits and leave google, but I wouldn't have minded. It's decent, and I've recommended it as an alternative a couple times.

          Not everything is all shills and secret conspiracies.
        • by eulernet (1132389)

          Do you remember Google when it started ?

          Every geek on Slashdot was speaking about it, because it was so much better than the other search engines.
          In a few years, Google became the company we know.

          Now, Google is not the most preferred search engine anymore, there is no real competition, but DuckDuckGo seems to be a nice contender.

        • by mgblst (80109)

          Just wondering what else you haven't heard about? the iPhone, Android.... wikipedia... the sun?

          DDG has been making progress in certain circles, some people really love it. I haven't, i still like google, but i have been hearing about it for a year now, maybe longer.

  • Agreed that this is hardly earth shattering news. I have to ask though, does anyone actually use the google.com start page? I'm either using Gmail, or search from the URL Bar in Chrome, or from the dedicated Google box in whatever other browser I'm using. The only time I see Google's start page is when I do a fresh install.
    • It's not only start page, it's across all pages.
    • by Trepidity (597)

      I rarely see the start page, but this looks like it affects the results pages also.

    • by rickb928 (945187)

      I use the start page mostly to avoid gmail in my face. Funny how I use Google more to search than for mail. And Bookmarks. And Reader.

    • I use a customized iGoogle page as my start page.

      On a side note - I'd forgotten Google used to include an exclamation point in their logo [bbcimg.co.uk]. Bring back the exclamation - make Google exciting once again! They should just steal Yahoo's, since they really don't deserve one anymore...

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      I have to ask though, does anyone actually use the google.com start page?

      Yes, it's better than most as a homepage as it loads quickly and doesn't make your eyes bleed. I suppose most people use facebook now though.

  • by Haedrian (1676506) on Monday January 02, 2012 @02:29PM (#38564836)

    "Completely Revamped Look"

    Its hardly as if they turned the front page into a clone of yahoo with too much information yelling at you.

    They just moved the top to the left. I don't see why this is even news.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      This is profound because Google's appeal is in its simple, link-based appearance. Now it's beginning to look like a MySpace, with all the boxy web2.0 menus, and that's not good. Take a look at Youtube, and consider that may be the direction they're heading.

      Like all big companies who hunger for constant growth, Google will only get worse as time goes on, and may even face a speedier than usual decline unless they actually sell shit (real hardware or software products, not just sets of "mouse clicks") lik
      • by Skreems (598317)

        and may even face a speedier than usual decline unless they actually sell shit (real hardware or software products, not just sets of "mouse clicks") like Microsoft and Apple do

        You must not have looked recently... they have stores for music, movies, and books, and have for at least 6 months or so.

    • It's really not news to anyone who uses Google products. It's their Google+ menu now on the search page.
      In general they are whitespacing and boxpadding things up, but this new menu is basically my current iGoogle pulldown menu with icons.

  • by BLToday (1777712) on Monday January 02, 2012 @02:34PM (#38564892)

    I get the old version of Google if I'm using my desktop but the new one with my laptop. It's very annoying. Reminds me of the multiple versions of yahoo that I use to get. And worse, it's starting to feel that google.com is turning into the latest "portal" website.

    The new interface requires more mouse movement than the older and cleaner google. It now takes one drop menu and one side expansion menu to get to "finance". Plus, sometimes my search query doesn't transfer from "web" (now "search") to "images" or "finance".

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      well they do have a portal version of their site... going back a while already. (igoogle.com)

      it's just that people don't actually want to use it so they have to bring it to the main page.

    • by jbengt (874751)
      I get it on my desktop at work, but not my laptop at home.
      Though it does not require me to perform an extra click, it still annoys me, because for some reason it is always already dropped down.
  • Classic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by markdavis (642305) on Monday January 02, 2012 @02:35PM (#38564906)

    Google would do well to offer something like-

    http://classic.google.com/ [google.com]

    That turns the clock back even more. No animations, no music, no pop-up junk on the side for search results (instant previews or whatever they call it), etc.

    I think that Google might need to offer new stuff to attract the type of person that finds the likes of Bing amusing. Having choice is a good thing. However, forcing [yet more] eye candy on people is going to alienate those (like me, who are already irritated) who just want minimal, fast, simple. Something that isn't distracting, irritating, CPU loading, complex, and doesn't use mouseovers or javascript. Personally, I would even prefer a new domain for it, like cgoogle.com so it can be easily whitelisted.

    • Re:Classic (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mashiki (184564) <mashiki@gmai l . c om> on Monday January 02, 2012 @03:03PM (#38565118) Homepage

      Sure would be nice. But google seems to be having a "automaker" complex. "We're so big, we're so great, we're so kick ass. The peons will take what we give them and like it. Where else will they go?" For those that don't get it, GM, Ford, Chrysler, AMC and so on said the same thing back when Japan was crushing them in the 70's and 80's. AMC didn't survive. Chrysler nearly didn't.

      Yeah I really don't like the changes at all, and by going with what's been said on their groups pages? The majority there don't like it at all. But then again, those are the people who can find them.

    • Re:Classic (Score:4, Informative)

      by Katatsumuri (1137173) on Monday January 02, 2012 @03:53PM (#38565520)
      You can try http://www.google.com/m [google.com] - not exactly what you want, but might be useful in some cases, like old computers or slow connection perhaps.
    • Re:Classic (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ralphdaugherty (225648) <ralph@ee.net> on Monday January 02, 2012 @06:49PM (#38566796) Homepage

      Google would do well to offer something like-

      http://classic.google.com/ [google.com] [google.com]

      Everytime they screw up the Google search page (which I have made my home page since 1999) I try to find a way to disable it and revert to the classic mode, and if I can't find it, type a bunch of searches on the latest Google screwing with the search to see how others are coping with it (or not).

      And each time I find quotes from that Marisa whatever saying she will do whatever she wants to it, they want to be on the cutting edge (or at least not left behind by Bing's changes or whatever).

      This is only happening to my laptop so far, not my desktops, but doesn't appear to be a way to revert it.

      The experience with Google is slipping day by day, attributed to Marisa's (or whatever her name is - I don't feel like Googling it in a rant against Google) perpetual meddling with it as that constitutes her justification for existence at Google.

      But everything else is worse. If it gets bad enough I'll use scripts to display the Google pages the way I want but it hasn't come to that yet. She's basically a major annoyance to me so far.

  • it's way better. why do you think I'd like to have links to my mail and notifications on my page? if I wanted a fucking portal I'd have stuck with altavista.

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      it's way better. why do you think I'd like to have links to my mail and notifications on my page? if I wanted a fucking portal I'd have stuck with altavista.

      What's wrong with having a link to gmail on Google's page? That's the easiest way for most people to access it, who wants to bother with a separate email client nowadays?

  • by artor3 (1344997) on Monday January 02, 2012 @02:37PM (#38564916)

    How is it a surprising time? A few ongoing legal procedures means that they can't make aesthetic changes to their website? Also, it does not take "two clicks" to enter Google Images - just a mouseover and a click.

    I'm pretty sure the last two sentences were just tacked on as flamebait, as they are either false or unrelated.

  • by Osgeld (1900440) on Monday January 02, 2012 @02:41PM (#38564958)

    for shit I (and many others) dont care about, if we did we would have clicked the links at the top of the page, we are not stupid or blind but thanks for thinking we are

  • How is Google using search to promote their other properties any different from FOX airing ads for upcoming shows during a football game? If they didn't have any real competition, I could understand it, but the search market has lots of competitors.

    • How is Google using search to promote their other properties any different from FOX airing ads for upcoming shows during a football game? If they didn't have any real competition, I could understand it, but the search market has lots of competitors.

      If you have overwhelming dominance in one area, it is illegal to leverage that dominance to gain in other markets. It is legal to bundle shampoo and conditioner and sell them as a package right up until you gain dominance (guidance is 70%) of either the shampoo or conditioner market. As far as I know, no one has alleged Fox has 70% market share of, well any market. Google, on the other hand is estimated to have reached this dominance in several markets including mobile advertising where some put their marke

      • Last I heard, Google had less than 65% market share. Not very dominant if you ask me.

        • Last I heard, Google had less than 65% market share. Not very dominant if you ask me.

          65% is fairly close, but then you have to specify a market to have a share of it, and a lot of antitrust law deals with defining the relevant markets. Take a subset of customers, like mobile phone users, then subtract out all of the services that don't work for mobile users and does Google have more than 70% of the remaining share? Is that influencing other markets where they have bundled a service with their products? Then again, you have to also remove non-relavent shares of the market, where they are not

  • Filter error: You can type more than that for your comment.

    I could, but there's no need. The title says it all.

  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Monday January 02, 2012 @02:49PM (#38565014) Homepage Journal

    "If you compare the original Google home page to today's version, you will see that a makeover every so often can certainly be refreshing."

    This is quite possibly the single stupidest meme in the long, sad history of stupid web design memes, and it's been the death of many a once-fine site. No, a makeover on a familiar (good) interface is not "refreshing." It's irritating, especially since it pretty much always means adding clutter to something that used to be clean and functional. It is usually pushed on users with a patronizing explanation, after a "beta" period in which people loudly and repeatedly point out its flaws, and the new interface eventually becomes the default (or only) choice with none of the problems found in "beta" addressed.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. If there's something wrong, fine, fix that and leave the rest alone. And for God's sake, listen to the users.

    • by Cinder6 (894572)

      I sort of disagree--change can be refreshing, but can easily be a hassle. On the PS3, Netflix has changed the design quite often. Sometimes it's for the better, and sometimes it's not. The worst design change was when they briefly took away the "recently watched" section from the home screen. Made watching TV shows a very painful process.

      That said, I like Google's current design a lot better than the old design(s). My only complaint is that the black at the top doesn't match other Google properties. T

      • Well, I'll admit to being something of an interface Luddite -- most of my favorite web sites looked better, IMO, 10+ years ago. If we could have 20th-century interface simplicity with 21st-century connectivity, I'd be a happy camper. I have no idea if this is a majority opinion or not.

        If the majority of users of a site I frequent prefer a new interface, as long as the content's good, I'll generally go along with it. What bugs me, like I said, is the combination of change-for-change's-sake with the patron

        • by Cinder6 (894572)

          I can get behind change for the sake of change being a poor motivation. But if you are going to make functionality improvements, I see that as a good reason to change aesthetics. As a random example (because I happened to be on the site when I got the reply notification), GOG's current interface blows away their old one. Their old one was fine, but the new one has a lot more functionality, and they tied that functionality addition with a UI facelift. I think that's a good way to do it, because having a

    • Welcome to the Internet.

      If you don't like using their "cloud", GTFO.
      -The Internet

      P.S. If you don't have the snap to figure out that it's YOUR BROWSER that's displaying their content, and that you can control YOUR BROWSER such that it can be customize the pages it displays however you like: Well then, I don't have the patience to teach you how to do it... You'll just have to "Bing" userscripts yourself, (ugh...).

      P.P.S. My local grocer changed his store layout to make it easier for their stockers, thu

    • by mysidia (191772) *

      This is quite possibly the single stupidest meme in the long, sad history of stupid web design memes, and it's been the death of many a once-fine site.

      It's a great argument against using cloud computing

      You never know when your service provider want to do a "makeover" of the visual interface, ruining your productivity.

      Compared to the horrible changes happening to Gmail, the so called "new look", the search interface bastardization and "makeover" to make the UI more complicated and harder to use are ju

    • They are the ones who click the adverts.
       

  • by RobinEggs (1453925) on Monday January 02, 2012 @02:54PM (#38565044)
    Google used to receive mystery emails from this random guy, one every month, containing nothing but a single number.

    After puzzling over it a while they realized this value was the number of words on their homepage that month; it was this guy's way of reminding them that a simple interface was working well and contrasted distinctly with the likes of yahoo!.

    Fast forward to today, and the double-layer of scrolling frames on the new front page looks suspiciously like Word 2010 or Facebook. Not nearly as bad, mind you, but suddenly showing some disturbing similarity.

    I bet that guy wants to punch them in the face right now.

    Google: you make the vast majority of your money on the ads that go with your simple, powerful search engine. Don't fuck it up by filling your products with endless references to your other products and trying to control the entire internet.
    • by mysidia (191772) *

      I bet that guy wants to punch them in the face right now.

      These days Google has implemented spam filtering, so the periodic e-mails with numbers in them probably wind up in /dev/null

      Come to think of it... I think any e-mail to google winds up in /dev/null, after being answered by an automated system that basically tells you "Little Ant, why don't you try go posting in the forums, or something"

    • by jjoelc (1589361)

      Not to troll (No.. Really...) but I do wonder how many of the people bemoaning the new changes Google is making are the same people who, when another one of Google's services is retired (health, etc..) say "Today was the first time i ever heard about Google%NowDeadService%..."

      I think they have a pretty hard line to walk. They now offer so many services, but everyone complains when there are more than 5-10 words on the homepage? How would YOU solve that dilema? I don't think they are doing too bad a job at i

    • After puzzling over it a while they realized this value was the number of words on their homepage that month; it was this guy's way of reminding them that a simple interface was working well and contrasted distinctly with the likes of yahoo!

      Or may be, there was no reason, and this guy was one of these folks here [latitudes.org].

  • I had no idea it was limited. As one of these random testers I'm not a fan of the new look. I just switched back to the old look for gmail and calendar. The old look while not as clean in over all design presents the information much clearer. The borders are of higher contrast and text is easier to read. Also going from gmail to calendar used to be a single link, now it requires clicking the drop down menu, going to the bottom for more, then back up to the top for calendar.

    But as I use ad block + and give g

  • by reboot246 (623534) on Monday January 02, 2012 @03:10PM (#38565154) Homepage
    The page as it is now is fine, but it needs one thing changed. The black bar with gray text is hard to read. Why are web designers so obsessed with making their pages so hard to read? A little more contrast please.

    It extends to programs, too. A lot of photographic software has a gray on black interface. Give me a choice of skins or at least a break!
    • by adolf (21054)

      The page as it is now is fine, but it needs one thing changed. The black bar with gray text is hard to read. Why are web designers so obsessed with making their pages so hard to read? A little more contrast please.

      Isn't this part of what CSS what supposed to do?

    • Probably using metrics which measure how long test subjects spend looking at certain elements. Being hard to read slows down the user and makes the element seem more important to analysts.

  • by rbowen (112459) Works for SourceForge

    I guess I'm special. I've been seeing this "new" look for a couple of weeks now.

  • From the article:

    "Constant revision and improvement is part of our overarching philosophy," he said.

    What is the difference between an overarching philosophy and a philosophy?

    • by artor3 (1344997)

      You can have a philosophy on specific issues, e.g. "Having a clean, minimalist main page is central to our design philosophy". An overarching philosophy gets applied to everything, from the webpage to the cafeteria.

  • by water-and-sewer (612923) on Monday January 02, 2012 @04:15PM (#38565666) Homepage

    Lots of complaining going on here. I probably wouldn't like the new look myself, as I much prefer simple, uncluttered interfaces anyway. But I can't remembrer the last time I had to go directly to the google.com website. Searches happen through the dedicated search box in Opera or Firefox, not by navigating to google.com. I also don't use any of their services, from calendar to google apps.

    Now get offa my lawn.

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