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4th December 2009 |  Written by Dave Ashworth

Google launch new homepage

One of the most recognised pages on the internet, the Google home page, has now changed.

Before, it was pretty clean and minimalist:

Old Google Homepage

But in a move described as a “clean, minimalist approach”, they now unveil their new look page:

New Google homepage

Only when you move your mouse do the old links fade back in.

Personally, I don’t see the point and find the links fading back, not annoying, but a little distracting. The thinking behind it, as stated on the Official Google Blog is:

“For the vast majority of people who come to the Google homepage, they are coming in order to search, and this clean, minimalist approach gives them just what they are looking for first and foremost. For those users who are interested in using a different application like Gmail, Google Image Search or our advertising programs, the additional links on the homepage only reveal themselves when the user moves the mouse. Since most users who are interested in clicking over to a different application generally do move the mouse when they arrive, the ‘fade in’ is an elegant solution that provides options to those who want them, but removes distractions for the user intent on searching.”

So the assumption being the user intent on searching doesn’t use their mouse and will tab around the screen –whereas the old “distractions” actually become a new distraction for a user who users their mouse to get to the search box.

It’s not a big deal really, I just don’t get it and you can bet a lot of money went into this minor change with many variants being tested and test groups being questioned over their user experience etc etc etc.

Whilst they were doing it, they could’ve made sure it was valid HTML – there are 44 errors and warnings in there, as a HTML geek, for me that just won’t do.

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