Google slims down homepage to increase appeal

By Justin Mann on December 3, 2009, 2:11 PM
From the start, Google's simplicity has been one of their more attractive attributes. Keeping in tune with that, the company has redesigned their homepage to make it more basic in appearance, hiding everything on the page excluding the logo, search box and search buttons. All of the additional buttons will re-appear if the mouse is moved over the page, quickly fading in to view.

The intention is to create a more minimalistic approach for the most commonly used Google function: search. Comments on Google's blog indicated they tried several approaches to slimming down their homepage, but the fade-in was selected among a handful of others as the least distracting.

The initial success of Google's search page was influenced by its lightweight approach. Clearly, they wish to continue that tradition with this change.




User Comments: 49

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Serag said:

But I guess that this approach leaves fair portion of normal users uninformed about their numerous other services..

swilllx2p said:

I never thought it got to a point where it was anywhere near bloated anyways. I'm not really seeing a need for this change..but that said I checked it out and it works just fine, the fading is a nice touch, but yeah never bloated at all imo..I'm not complaining though.

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

Uninformed how? A slight twitch of the mouse brings other features to view.

insect said:

One day Google won't even have a search box... just a chip in your head and when you think it, it does it!

PUTALE said:

I thought google is already slim enough. wonder how much slim it would even be

treeski treeski said:

I'm a sucker for good visuals and clean/neat web pages, so I've never been fond of the Google look, despite how powerful their search engine is.

compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The simplicity is great. However i guess i always tend to drag my mouse to text boxes where i am about to type, so this doesn't do much for me as everything else always pops into view. I would like it much better if it went away if you didn't move your mouse for a couple seconds.

Afenix said:

haha google looks great! Now it loads so smooth ( The search bar only) and other things load slower. A really nice thing they made. I Like it sooo much! Try it out now people! :]

Guest said:

Another step back for google.

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

@compdata: You can begin typing without clicking on the Google search bar -- but yeah, habits like that are tough to break.

kaonis92 said:

It's certainly looking better but it's still not anything special by visual terms.

Decimae said:

I just noticed it. It looks great now.

@Guest, it's a step forward, not backwards.

MaXtor MaXtor said:

Personally I would like it if I could customize google to have just the header and search box all the time (no fade in of anything).

Serag said:

Yeah true..but eh..I was kind of speaking of myself because way earlier I wasn't aware of their other services..so I thought others might be the same

But thats really was back when I wasn't informed about google as a whole..I was more or less like those who think browser is google hahahhaa

LightHeart said:

compdata said:

The simplicity is great. However i guess i always tend to drag my mouse to text boxes where i am about to type, so this doesn't do much for me as everything else always pops into view. I would like it much better if it went away if you didn't move your mouse for a couple seconds.

I agree with this, yes you can start typing but I tend to move my mouse and everything pops into place just as always, so the end result is nothing. If you really don't want to see all that stuff, just enter your search into your search bar in your browser and skip going to the page at all. Having said all that, I tend to go to Bing with the pretty pictures anyways.

Chazz said:

I set my homepage as bing cause the pictures are sooo pretty. Though I also like simple webpages like google's.

AnonymousSurfer AnonymousSurfer said:

That's good I guess, but unnecessary if you ask me

dellz said:

why slim down the google homepage in my opinion it is totally modest and dosent need any sliming , it feels like kinda washing a clean car =/

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Let's hope they keep those occasional festive themes which I find very refreshing.

Eddie_42 Eddie_42 said:

cant say i see the improvement...the search features (web, image, video, map, news ...etc) are all still up top, you just don't see them until you mouse into the window...but even then...they show up whether or not you want them too....seems to be something to suck a little more bandwidth. I also dont see it going away with idle activity, or changing windows.

InsaneVr6 said:

Google has been doing this for the past few months I noticed. Some days it would fade in on mouse-over on other days it would be normal.

So far I have only seen it work on Internet Explorer, never on Opera (which is my main browser).

As far as that goes I love it! Google's page was arguable the most simple home page on the internet with that much traffic, and now they made it even better. It started with the bigger search form and the topics that show up when you start typing. Google is about search, and they are right at the point with their homepage.

vangrat said:

As the fade in feature is nearly instantanious I honestly don't see what the big deal is. All of the stuff is still there it now only appears when you move the mouse...woopee...

lfg18 said:

i have just checked the site and it sure looks great, I liked the new image, but i have to agree with some of you, I move my mouse to get to the box and everything pops out, It would look better if it dissapeared again.

i hope they keep that simplicity with their Crome OS

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Good! I thought my explorer had an issue haha.

It looked weird, after all this time one kinds of get used to the full site.

Guest said:

"fade-in was selected among a handful of others as the least distracting"...

I think they missed the boat , I find the fade in distracting. let me turn it.

Guest said:

"fade-in was selected among a handful of others as the least distracting"...

I think they missed the boat , I find the fade in distracting. let me turn it off or on.

BlackIrish said:

Bing is heading in the opposite direction - adding as many pictures and tables as possible!

saintbodhisatva said:

Its a bit weird though, when I access the google homepage, I will most definitely be thinking of using the search field. so my mouse will definitely "mouse over" the page. so it will be inevitable, I think, for most folks, that all these options will be unhidden anyway.

also, Is it just me, or do the unhidden options remain visible even when I remove the focus away from the google page - whether by accessing another tab or window?

ken777 said:

It looks cool, but I don't think it's going to make any difference with users. The extra links on old the page weren't all that distracting and most of my searching these days is done from the browser's search box.

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

I noticed it when I was searching something up for school and I saw that for some reason instead of the Google logo in the middle its more on the top. I really like there slim design it makes it very fast and simple especially when loading it up on a phone browser...lightning fast!

ColdPreacher said:

@lfg18 I agree, would be nice if it would hide again,

Styl said:

Seems kind of pointless to me. I guess some people might like it, but I can't see why.

Puiu Puiu said:

I like the new look and the fact that at the slightest twitch of the mouse it reappears.

This was done most likely in preparation of the new caffeine search engine.

Hyperian said:

Looks weird with it fading in like that. too minimalist i think, but everyone will get used to it. I use the search box that comes along with firefox so i rarely go to google.com

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I have no idea what's changed. I typically just type the search text in the browser's search box. I also use iGoogle, and I don't see any change there.

timljh said:

i thought it will have to load those items that will be showed when mouse over even though it is not displayed at first.. why not just let it display then since it have to be downloaded too?

buttus said:

Thank GOD. My inlaws have every widget installed on their google homepage...everything from bible quotes to weather and it really slows their browser boot time to a crawl. Given that I have to be their tech support, anything Google can do to simplify and reduce their load time would be appreciated by me.

UglyChild said:

I personally see no point for fade in. Its completely pointless.

And there is nothing to slim down in the first place. Google page has been and still is 98% empty since day one.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I personally see no point for fade in. Its completely pointless.

And there is nothing to slim down in the first place. Google page has been and still is 98% empty since day one.

True true.

Also, take into consideration the search bars that now come integrated into the explorer, you don't even have to type www.google...

Guest said:

IMO its much worse now. They are not going in the right direction here. I think it's simply a concession to Bing.

levar said:

I like it. Simple. I didn't even notice it until now.

I also read Google's gonna change the logo design and enhance some of the searching features.

InsaneVr6 said:

Been a few days and now the fade in works on Opera.

Thumbs up Google!

TechDisciple said:

I like it alot! great job Google team.

AtK SpAdE AtK SpAdE, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I like it, simple is better in my book

I really want to like bing, but I find the page far too busy.

codefeenix codefeenix said:

Simplicity is never a bad thing, thats why i prefer "about :blank" as my homepage.

I think Google made a good move.

UT66 said:

honesty, i fn hate fading buttons and animations, unnecessary + wastes my time = but teh fading!

Guest said:

Good luck using this without a mouse! I can use this website just fine, but today I had to search with Bing because GOOGLE HATES PEOPLE WHO CAN'T USE MICE!

Guest said:

Guest

on December 3, 2009

7:08 PM "fade-in was selected among a handful of others as the least distracting"...

I think they missed the boat , I find the fade in distracting. let me turn it.

^ This.

Guest said:

Join the protest, sign the petition to turn off the Fade-In:

http://www.PetitionOnline.com/G0OG13/petition.html

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