Jazzing up its famously plain website, Google is offering a new option that places its internet search box in panoramic settings that change with the time of day and the weather. The colourful graphics will be unveiled on Tuesday. While most of Google's users remain content seeing little more than the company logo and the search box that has anchored its home page for nearly a decade, millions of others have created log-ins that enable them to select from a variety of features that appear with each visit.
The features, introduced nearly two years ago, include stock quotes, local weather and news headlines. Google's new package of decorations, also known as "skins", are designed to make the home page feel even more homey, said Marissa Mayer, the company's vice president of search products and user experience. "Google has become the doorway to the internet for a lot of people, so we want to make (the site) feel more like an online living room," Mayer said. "We feel we are personalising things in a very tasteful and useable way."