Google overhauls interface on many services

Straight off the back of Google announcing its brand new social networking website, "Google Plus," the company has started overhauling its other web services with its new interface. So far, we've seen a new global black navigation bar, and maps today, with more to come.

In a post on the official Google blog today, the company said they're working to overhaul the Google experience over the next few months, to bring their services in line with a common interface. Google says that the project focused on three main design principles; focus, elasticity, and effortlessness.

In terms of focus, the search giant says that they worked to declutter the screen and bring what matters to the user forward, this makes navigation simpler and easier. They go on to say that Google now has elasticity and supports almost any screen resolution and adapts dynamically to suit. Finally, they say that they worked to make the site even more effortless to use and strived to keep the new look "simple and clean" but running the latest web technologies such as HTML5 and WebGL.

It's easy to see this coming through in the updated Google Maps product (pictured below), the design is much less cluttered, offers simple buttons that are colored boldly to make them clear to the user, and is also aesthetically pleasing.

It's exciting to see the company doing such a major overhaul, with many designs remaining unchanged for years at a time. We haven't noticed any changes to our Gmail accounts yet, but we'll be sure to let you know when the design goes live.

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Has anybody used google on their idevice? Holy mother of god, I hate everything about it! Worst google experience possible. I feel like switching to bing after using google since day one because it bothers me so much. It loads up these little icons which pop out later on when you try to click the search bar and you end up clicking the icon instead of the bar. Also, the black bar is just purely ridiculous. I like the regular home page where you search your term and you can then choose what type of result after. Most people search for text first anyway.

"there is an old saying, don't ever change anything"
"that's an old saying?"
"yes I have been saying it for years"

I like the navigation bar, but its very inconsistant.
It might list one set of services while viewing the web, and another set of services while in gmail.

the bar isn't black on my gmail (and I'm pretty sure its a dark charcoal everywhere else, least in chrome), its a really dark transparency, but still reveals the background on the themes I've tried.

I was wondering why I hadn't seen any articles about this. I've had the new design for a few days now (since Friday afternoon).

The black bar is new today, but the updated google maps and new icons on the search page I've had for at least 4 days

google maps looks great, but this black bar is the exact opposite of everything google has ever done. it makes no sense

Why can't they use the top bar as a global notification system? If that gmail tab can display notififications about new mail like a red box on top of it like on chrome and the notifications from plus as well it would be much better.

Unless they moved it, they broke labs compatibility with the google maps url shortener. Also seems to be kind of buggy in chrome too. Not really impressed with the changes so far.

the interface changes remind me of the Metro look from microsoft, especially in google maps. that's a good thing since the Metro scheme is awesome

i definitely think it's an improvement overall, but I don't like the black bar mainly because the foreground text is gray. I had trouble reading the text using my laptop outside since there isn't as much contrast as with blue text on white background

AnarKhy said,
That black bar is so dark

that black bar is so

I think we should give it some time and see if it grows on us!

s3n4te said,
i hate the black bar

Good so its not just me thinking that this Black bar is abit "heavy" for a white website

Kills my back ground image i have on my google page as it leavs this black bar mid screen for the "advertise" etc links

s3n4te said,
i hate the black bar

Agreed. When I'm logged in my background image just happens to work, but A) I'm rarely logged in, and B) the dark bar splitting the light grey Chrome browser top bar(s) and the all white Google default page looks baaaaaaaaaaaaaad. 8P

brent3000 said,

Good so its not just me thinking that this Black bar is abit "heavy" for a white website

Kills my back ground image i have on my google page as it leavs this black bar mid screen for the "advertise" etc links

remember dat u can change the bg

looks horrible and there seems to be no way to disable it in google settings. Luckily someone has released a greasemonkey script that removes it entirely.