Google refreshes their UI

Google is known for sporadically rolling out new updates or test changes to the user interface for their search engine. Recently, the search giant has added something a little extra to their web page regarding the top bar, moving slightly away from their previously simple and flat theme to now more of a Chrome-like look.

Neowin reader Caleo posted his findings on the forums, showing the new Google user interface in action. However, their access was limited to using it when Incognito. This update has seem to hit others as well, and all the same disappeared too. The interface was recently shown off by accident (as seen below), but is minus the rumored social features (called "loop") and sharing abilities. This may mean we might see the services added early next year.

Google's new user interface takes on a new look now shifting the logo to the left. The top portion seems to follow the theme that Chrome has shown adding a bit of a gradient to the previously flat interface. The addition of the thin colored lines above the selected text or options helps bring your attention to either what is selected or important links the average user needs.

While a small number of users have seen this update at some point, others are also reporting only seeing the new alignment of the Google logo itself, going against conventional design ideas and concepts by keeping the rest centered.

The new design for the top bar is a welcome change to many, however the non-centered Google logo may just simply play games with your eyes.

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41 Comments

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Google never really had it with GUIs. I'm wondering how they managed to make Chrome and Android when their main webpage is plain and boring like that.

I first saw this UI months ago whenever I hit the Google homepage and I'm signed in to my Google account, and running Firefox. I don't get this UI on Chrome or IE, though.

sunspider said,
I first saw this UI months ago whenever I hit the Google homepage and I'm signed in to my Google account, and running Firefox. I don't get this UI on Chrome or IE, though.

Yup same happen to me. I was like wtf. Something hidden design lol.

Alan, You checked out Bing lately? Two great new features that are useful, instead of this crap. Try searching in images or maybe search the name of a city in Web and hit destination.

I'm confused. I have seen the gradient and colored lines on and off for months now, just not on the main page. Can't say as I noticed the logo being off-center though.

xTdub said,
I think I prefer the current design over this new one. The extra stuff is pointless.

Huh? Doesn't the new design have less "stuff" in the top bar?

Caleo said,

No one cares about bing!

Is that your name? Talking about you in 3rd person denotes a serious clinical dissociation...

Google and interface changes are a pretty big thing considering how little they change (though they've updated quite a bit recently).

-KJ said,
Google and interface changes are a pretty big thing considering how little they change (though they've updated quite a bit recently).

Yeah, when you put it like that I guess you're right.

SoCalRox said,
Not showing for me yet...

If not for Bing, Google won't move fast with UI updates like this.

I love the competition, in the end, WE CONSUMERS get the benefits!

thenonhacker said,

If not for Bing, Google won't move fast with UI updates like this.

I love the competition, in the end, WE CONSUMERS get the benefits!

True! Just let them fight!

thenonhacker said,

If not for Bing, Google won't move fast with UI updates like this.

I love the competition, in the end, WE CONSUMERS get the benefits!


Yes, this is true for most (if not all) company competition. If the company has no competition, why should it lower rates and why should it make their product any better. Take the Madden series for instance. I remember there wasn't much competition until NFL Y2K (I believe it was called) came out. The Y2K games were amazing compared to Madden (in my opinion). Then Madden bought the rights to be the only game with an NFL licence and from then on, Madden games just seemed to go downhill.