" />

The New Google Results Page – A Better User Experience?

Posted on Friday, May 7th, 2010 by Print This Post Print This Post

Categories - Featured, News

If you used Google at all today then you probably noticed that something looked slightly different. If you have a keen eye like me, then you already know the look and feel of our search results have changed – rather dramatically.

Google came out with a statement explaining the changes in the following way, “Today’s metamorphosis responds to the increasing richness of the web and the increasing power of search — revealing search tools on the left and updating the visual look and feel throughout. While we are constantly rolling out small changes and updates, today’s changes showcase the latest evolutions in our search technology, making it easier than ever to find exactly what you’re looking for.”

Now, I can’t help but wonder if their goal to “make it easier than ever to find exactly what you’re looking for” was truly accomplished. How great are these changes from a usability standpoint?

I’ll go through the changes and list how great they really are…

Change #1:  The addition of a left-hand navigation to the page

If you ask me, Google has always been the company obsessed with “less is more”, “the fewer, the better”. But this new addition seems contradictory to that. To be honest, I think it makes the overall page a bit weighty, creating anxiety from a usability perspective. Not to mention the fact that it’s a total copy cat of Bing! Notice the resemblance?

Aside for the similarity to their counterpart, what’s up with the redundant 2 navs? It [totally] does not make sense to have the same functionality on one page.  Did they forget online best practices?!? Nearly all the links along the top of the page are streamlined again on the left hand column. Doesn’t seem optimized from a usability standpoint!

Change #2: An updated look and feel of the logo color palette.

As you can see I’m not thrilled with change #1. But change #2 is well done. The logo changes are slight, continuing to keep the minimalistic theme. Most Google users wouldn’t even notice, I’m sure. But the new logo looks whimsical and more modern to me. Just my style. Two thumbs up on the fresh new logo, Google! We all can use a facelift every now and then.

What do you think of Google’s latest makeover?  Do these changes create a richer search experience for users?  Or just clutter the page with irrelevant information?

About Christine Kim

Christine Kim is a Senior Account Manager with the CPO (Conversion Path Optimization) team at The Search Agency, working to help clients optimize their post click activity through a combination of marketing and best practice design tactics. When not hard at work optimizing landing pages for clients, you can bet she’s mulling around the TSA snack room – counting calories!

Tags | , , , ,

One Response to “The New Google Results Page – A Better User Experience?”

  1. Matt Kain says:

    Nice writeup Christine.

    The two navs is odd, but not actually redundant – the top nav is a channel filter, the side nav is a content filter – not quite the same. But still a weird user experience, and I imagine it will get better refined.

    The best addition for my money with the side nav filters on Web Search is the ability to filter by time – often I’m looking for something which isn’t “news” but would love to be able to limit the time window. You’ve been able to do this in News and Blogs but not Web Search, until now.



Leave a Reply

Follow Us on Twitter

Featured in Alltop

Big List - Search Marketing Blogs

2010 SEMMY Runner-Up

BoostCTR Best PPC Blogs