How to Try the New Google Search UI

 
 
By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2009-11-29 Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

While the world must wait until at least January to experience Google's Caffeine next-generation infrastructure, Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience at Google, and her team are reworking Google's user interface.

More than Caffeine, this redesign is sure to drive people who have become comfortable with Google the way it is now -- with its universal search approach and search options -- to varying degrees of rage.

People are slow to embrace change, particularly on the Web, where changes are often frequent. Which is counterintuitive, of course. You'd think Web users would be more receptive to the evolution of Websites, but as they say, people like what they like. People also will say that Google shouldn't fix what ain't broke.

But that's another post for another day. Today, I bring you the new Google search design.

Or at least, as I have discovered it via Gizmodo and Google Blogoscoped.

Navigate to Google.com and paste this code into your Web browser's URL address field:

javascript:void(document.cookie="PREF=ID=20b6e4c2f44943bb:U=4bf292d46faad806:TM=1249677602:LM=1257919388:S=odm0Ys-53ZueXfZG;path=/; domain=.google.com");

Hit enter, reload or open a new Google.com page and boom, you will have access to the new user interface. The search box is fatter, the home page logo is darker, and the Google Search and lucky buttons are super blue.

New Google 1.png

A search for "pizza" in the current search UI returned this:

New Google 3.png

In the new UI, pizza looks like:

New Google 2.png

The search options are now in the left-hand rail instead of requiring you to click the option up at the top of the Web page. Moreover, the ads have crept in even more, practically right on top of search results. Some folks will be seriously angered by this.

Clicking the "More" button displays more search options:

New Google 4.png

Danny Sullivan over at Search Engine Land got a walk through of the new search UI from Mayer herself and it's a must read to bring you up to speed on the new UI, which is unavoidable.

Once you've grown tired of the new UI, you can kick out the cookie by going to your browser preferences -- typically under Internet options -- and clicking the cookies section under Privacy or Security. You'll have options to kill all or specific cookies.

In Mozilla Firefox 3.5.5, I clicked tools at the top toolbar, then options, then privacy. I then clicked "remove individual cookies," scrolled down to my Google domain cookies, clicked the plus button and selected the top folder, dubbed "PREF," and removed it.

Done! Back to normal, comfortable or whatever you want to call it. I sort of like the new UI -- having the options out in the open instead of in a small, clickable tab is a wise move to get people to use them.

But Google's creeping text ads are making me nervous. We all know Google is this massive ad-driven machine, but now it is thrusting that brashly into our faces with the new UI. How soon before those text ads become gaudy, Yahoo-like display ads?

I mean, seriously. I can't even go to ESPN.com anymore without getting inundated by overlays and other ad-oriented pitfalls. I fear Google is going down that road.

 
 
 
 
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