About 12 hours ago a report popped up around the interwebs that Google was testing its new design. You’ll find pictures in that article. Check it out after the break. Those pictures show a revamped, much cleaner interface for the Google search page which is at the moment quite text heavy even in its simplicity.
The engineers and UX/UI designers appear to have given a large amount of white space between each search result thus giving the whole page a much easier to read appearance. Between each search result in the new Google look is a grey dashed line indicating a clear separation.
MG in his usual fashion appears to be dumping the idea at the first possible turn whereas I couldn’t help but think of an intriguing number of possibilities coming out of these possible ‘new looks’. While MG believes that this will in fact ruin the experience because more white space means having to click the next page more often, it could actually mean that Google is redoing the entire experience from ground up in this case.
Does anyone go beyond the first page these days?
No honestly. I’m sure they don’t hire idiots at Google. Think about it. When was the last time that you really had to dig past the 2nd page of results in a Google query to find what you were looking for. A few obscure searches aside, when was the last time you had to go beyond the first page? In fact, Google is really good. I haven’t really had to go beyond the first 5 results for a long time in a Google search. Given all of that isn’t it likely that Google isn’t going to be making the user scroll and click all that much more?
Do there have to be pages in this time and age anyway?
I don’t think the concept of paging still exists in item lists on the web anymore. From Twitter updates to Facebook updates it’s all about the endless scrolling experience. If you want to go with an endless scrolling experience of course, then you should know ensuring the separation between each item is essential. As the list grows longer, if results are still bunched together then it starts to hurt the eye. In fact that would also be a very good reason to be using the line divider.
Line divider? Could that mean something more?
Yes it can in fact mean something much more. This may seem a little far fetched and indeed it feels far fetched even to me. Dividers of that nature however usually indicate that there is some amount of dynamic flow to the whole experience. What I have in mind is an experience where users could, for example, +1 the fifth result that they found and it’ll slide up towards the 1st position. Let’s say the user does that again to another result. This time the new +1 result shows up at the top thus pushing the first result out to 2nd position. If the user doesn’t like that however all he/she needs to do is, hold, drag and swap positions. This feature would be mostly for Google power users and would essentially be you telling Google that it needs to change the way it works just a little bit. It’s you telling Google that this is how you want your preferences arranged.
Far sighted thinking maybe not so far away?
Typically Google I/O is for developers. But with Google I/O just 5 days away it would be a brilliant moment for Google to try and pull a coup de grace by announcing a brand new look and feel to the way you search Google. After all, if they could introduce Wave at I/O, why not this? (rhetoric. Don’t answer)
Want to see?
Keep it locked in, I’m going to mock up some of this stuff into my own drawings just to share what I think the new Google could be.
My mockups of what I envision could be a few simple but powerful upgrades to Google
Google Appears To Be Testing A Sparse, Ugly New Results Page http://techcrunch.com/2011/05/06/google-new-results-page/ (via TechCrunch)
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