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New Google home page. Is this for real?

by Brandon on December 3rd, 2009

A recap of what went through my mind yesterday as I read the Official Google Blog post about their new home page design and tried out the “updated” page:

– Is this a joke?
– This is terrible.
– If this is real, why is this Google person so excited about it?
Marissa Mayer wrote the blog post?!?

What am I missing here?

Update: A Googler stopped by the comments section to point out that the post is actually credited to three people, not just Marissa.  I missed that on my first reading.  Thanks to Darren for bringing that to my attention.

Also, what do you think of the new “fade in on mouse movement” behavior? 

From → Technology

  1. Well, her last post was about making the search box and font bigger on – it was quite a long post too 🙂

  2. With all due respect, Google has spanked Microsoft’s butt pretty hard over the last 5+ years or so with web search. Google might know what they are doing in terms of UI design in this area.

    Haven’t you ever made a small change to a product that goes in-front of millions of people and considered its importance, however minor. Do you ever wonder why windows mobile is so heartily laughed at why people flock to Apple products (when given the choice)?

    Maybe one of the other people listed as authors other than Marrissa wrote the post, and also consider why you think it’s bad that a VP should care about things like this enough to write about it? Would you be ashamed if your boss’s, boss’s, boss’s boss wrote about a feature that you had worked on?

    In summary: Junior engineers from Microsoft shouldn’t complaining about Google VP blog posts on usability – they should be trying to see what they can learn. My advice is to do this before your whole 90,000 behemoth of a company completely disappears up it’s own ass once and for all.

    PS Vista.

  3. UI design has never been Google’s strong suit, and this latest folly isn’t encouraging. How long until they revert it?

    What I find most laughable about the post is that it actually comes out and says that this was “change for the sake of change.” In fact, they even say that they’re okay with taking a hit to usability just so that people will notice it’s not the same!

    I hadn’t noticed that others were credited as authors on the post. Thanks for pointing that out. The post makes (somewhat) more sense in that context.

  4. come here to see the blog so many times.Thanks for pointing that out. The post makes (somewhat) more sense

  5. Janson permalink

    I’ve shown this to a few people, and guess what…. a number didn’t even notice the change.

    Do you know what else the fade in approach gives? That the page hasn’t loaded correctly…. So if people do actually notice this subtle change how many will actually hit refresh? One last thing, when you navigate to google using the mouse, how many people do that and instantly leave the mouse alone. A plus to Google, that homepage loads dam quick – I have to concously not move the mouse to see the effect. Somewhat subconciously I tend to push the mouse to the side, so I can type, and often this menat I didn’t even see the effect.

    Probably is change for change sake. But what I will say – simple isn’t always better.

    Perhaps when accurately the computer screen can make out which part of it you are looking at and show the content – on demand so to speak. that is fade in more UI that is there. The problem with that approach is you need to remember its there in the first place… you will still need to be guided to it IMHO.

  6. feels like a gimmick..

    I actually find it disconcerting though the post refers to that being the case initially – maybe it will improve over time though I am still using Bing – I am a sucker for the square info boxes on the start page (which is also a gimmick).

  7. Dave permalink

    On the plus side, it shows attention to detail and an effort to explore how minimalist a search page can be.

    On the minus side…um, ok, so, the links fade in using a mechanism most people won’t even notice. woo (?).

  8. My biggest concern is that the page feels “stuck” until I move the mouse. It’s irritating, and I can imagine a lot of people having similar reactions.

    What’s the benefit? They gave no indication that any useability studies have shown people are distracted by the little bits of stuff around the edges of the page which are now hidden.

    I just don’t like change for change’s sake. Not that we aren’t guilty of that sometimes, but at least I haven’t seen us go around bragging about it.

  9. Dave permalink

    Someone needs to explain how users are supposed to know that the fade in starts when the mouse moves. Why would you move the mouse if you don’t see any links? For anyone who uses the links a lot (which I’d think they’d want to encourage, yes?), you’re adding milliseconds of aggravation, time after time after time – or if you don’t move the mouse, much longer. A completely unnecessary and annoying gimmick.

  10. I didn’t even notice till I read this post.

    My qualm (aside from the ‘no one in a million years goes to the page and waits several seconds before moving their mouse’ factor) is that it is useless!
    I love the minimalist look, but that just goes away as soon as you try to use it- literally!

    Having a button to change, or a specific area to mouse-over would be cooler…

    (I never use those links up there anyway…)

  11. Boo permalink

    The new fade-in is pretty gay. I don’t like it.

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