Google redesigns its homepage
Google has redesigned its homepage, simplifying an already minimalist webpage, and adding a sleek black bar across the top that rolled out with the Google+ social network on Tuesday.
The new look popped up for a small numbers of users Tuesday and was being pushed to a wider but still limited audience Wednesday. Over the next few days more and more Google users will see the black-bar design when they visit Google.com, as well as across other Google products -- Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Picasa and others.
"We're working on a project to bring you a new and improved Google experience, and over the next few months, you'll continue to see more updates to our look and feel," said Chris Wiggins, Google's digital creative director, in a blog post.
The Google logo, or Google Doodle as its sometimes called, on the search giant's homepage is now a little smaller and links that had appeared near the search box have been pushed to the top or bottom of the page for what Wiggins described as a cleaner look.
"The way people use and experience the Web is evolving, and our goal is to give you a more seamless and consistent online experience -- one that works no matter which Google product you're using or what device you're using it on," he said.
Other upcoming changes for Google products will mark an attempt at streamlining the look of things like maps and email by "using bolder colors for actionable buttons or hiding navigation buttons until they're actually needed" so users can focus "on only what you need at the moment," Wiggins said.
The redesign also makes use of new Web technologies such as HTML5 and WebGL, he said.
Wiggins said that constantly evolving design was part of what Google was all about, and to back up his claim he offered an example of the Mountain View, Calif., company's first Google.com homepage -- from 1997.
One interesting design detail the company dumped along the way -- the Yahoo-like exclamation point at the end of the original Google Doodle.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Images: Google's June 2011 redesign and original 1997 homepage. Credit: Google