Google to redesign and simplify the Google Bar

Google users have become accustomed to the Google Bar when they visit the search site. It's that dark bar on top of the page with all sorts of menu choices that take the Google user to various Google products like Gmail, Documents and more. Now Google is planning to get rid of that dark bar on top of the browser in favor of an all new approach.

In a post on the Official Google Blog, the company revealed that instead of a dark bar, users will now move their cursor to the Google logo on the top left of any Google page. That will bring down a menu that will give access to most of Google's features and services. Besides the logo, the only things on top of the page will be the search bar and a link to a user's Google+ tools such as sharing and a user's number of notifications. You can check out how the new Google Bar (which isn't really a bar anymore) works via the YouTube video above.

This new change is just the latest in a series of refinements for Google's various services. Recently it made some changes in the layout for Gmail and also made some improvements in its Blogger web blogging tools. Google has also been active in shutting down a number of services and business divisions over the past several months, including some more announcements of various Google services that were made last week.

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Good initiative, but they need to allow users to customize the drop-down menu and save settings to the respective Google account. For example, I hate that the Reader is not in the first menu and so far away in the expanded one. That's the one I use the most!

JSYOUNG571 said,
They really need to include a link to Google Music and the Android Market in their service menu.

Oops! They did add Google Music, but the Android Market is still missing.

Why do I get a feeling that constant experiments and "fooling around" with the Google UI will eventually make Google lose users? Already insane changes like moving "Cached" links to the preview, no option to never ever show the annoying preview, and Google Instant are making searching difficult for me. Google search is no longer clean and simple it used to be. It's littered with excessive JavaScript and widgets popping out from everywhere.

Brian Miller said,
Why does the new bar have to take up so much vertical room? It's unnessacery to do so.

I'm pretty sure it's part of a touch-friendly initiative. The web is trying to reconfigure itself for tablets. While I'm not 100% on the pros and cons or where this direction will lead, it's a little amusing to think that the web is pushing toward a user experience that feels like hyperlinking through full-screen applications.

Honestly it feels a LOT like it wants to function the same way old online services used to, before windowed environments. Technology has spent 20 years finding a way to recreate the old information superhighway on top of an open document format.

They need to let each user control the order of the items in the drop-down and sub slide-out. They've never done that and it would solve a lot of people's complaining about wanting this or that to be visible at the top level of the menu (in my case, Reader).

I love all the changes google is doing. their old designs looked like stock android before ICS. Something the dog threw up.

Get used to it people. google is growing up and will have better designs in years to come.

Now that does the job... at least esthetically speaking. The Dark, although very cool, wasn't part of Google at all (it looked like a Halloween theme IMO).
Let's see how does this turns out to be.

Jose_49 said,
Now that does the job... at least esthetically speaking. The Dark, although very cool, wasn't part of Google at all (it looked like a Halloween theme IMO).
Let's see how does this turns out to be.

Part of the "old" google. In case you missed it Google is changing its looks for the better.

Jose_49 said,
Now that does the job... at least esthetically speaking. The Dark, although very cool, wasn't part of Google at all (it looked like a Halloween theme IMO).
Let's see how does this turns out to be.

Part of the "old" google. In case you missed it Google is changing its looks for the better.

Thank god, I hated the dark bar when it came out, I still hate it, I will always hate it, it is just ugly and I am not the type of person who is adverse to change (eg: I have never had a problem with Facebook redesigns) the only other thing that annoys me with Google is that Google instant can only be turned off using a cookie, the preference is not saved in my Google Account.

Simon- said,
Thank god, I hated the dark bar when it came out, I still hate it, I will always hate it, it is just ugly and I am not the type of person who is adverse to change (eg: I have never had a problem with Facebook redesigns) the only other thing that annoys me with Google is that Google instant can only be turned off using a cookie, the preference is not saved in my Google Account.

I quite liked the black bar at the top. Anyway, it's "averse to change".

The Dark Knight said,
This is MUCH better! Although I am not sure of the black menu options. I love black as a colour, just not sure it is the right choice for this.

+1, I think a little contrast between the light colored page and the black menu bar is nice.

The Dark Knight said,
This is MUCH better! Although I am not sure of the black menu options. I love black as a colour, just not sure it is the right choice for this.

The black doesn't really fit imo.

The Dark Knight said,
This is MUCH better! Although I am not sure of the black menu options. I love black as a colour, just not sure it is the right choice for this.

Really? Two clicks and no hover crap, instead of one click to get to News, Images, etc. This is better? The ****.

Where is the sign out button? Oh wait. They don't want you to sign out.

Terrible UX.

If Google could make a UI there would be no elements on it at all. Congratulations on saving a few mm of space at the result of a hell of a lot more people going "wtf, where is it".