Yesterday I noted how users by and large are complaining about Google's new search user interface, which sports more slice and dice features on the left-hand rail and some other cosmetic changes (I'm thinking of the lighter logo and streamlined footer).
Users can still access the Classic Google here if they are unhappy with Google's UI changes.
Google has no plans to offer users the option to switch between old and new search and I noted:
"The only reason I can think of is that Google doesn't want to be burdened with keeping the old UI updated and fresh."
I checked with Google about this and turns out I was correct. A Google spokesperson told me:
"Currently, we do not plan to offer an opt-out of Google's refined results page. While we do like giving our users choices about how they use Google products including search, it would not be scalable for us to provide a detailed set of preferences for every feature we launch."
No big surprise there, but the spokesperson then spouted an impressive stat that made me realize that perhaps Google needs to stick with its usual methods of search refreshments.
He said Google "launched more than 550 changes in 2009 alone, and the vast majority of our users seem happy with our various enhancements."
What's done is done for this new search UI, but it seems clear to me Google's solution for future UI changes is to stick to the usual M.O.
That is, Google should roll out a new search feature or two incrementally rather than dump a swath of new changes, jarring the 65 to 80 percent of searchers worldwide out of their comfort zones.
Launching 550 search changes over the course of the year without making a big stink is preferable to alienating users by launching a handful of changes over the course of a day or two, no?