There’s no question about it: Google is great at search, and its huge lead over competitors is well deserved. But the site’s spartan design can sometimes leave something to be desired — sure, the company gradually makes tweaks to it, but we haven’t seen many radical changes in a very long time. Now WebMynd, a Y Combinator startup that launched back in early 2008, is looking to help spur the search giant to make itself a little better, or at least give it a few ideas to help. Tonight, WebMynd is launching a contest appropriately called RedesignGoogle.com that invites designers from around the world to give Google a makeover.
WebMynd has posted all the details details on its blog, but here’s the gist of it: designers are invited to revamp Google using any CSS modifications they’d like. The contest starts accepting submissions today, and will run through November 1. Then, a number of judges (which include Y Combinator’s Paul Graham, the WebMynd team and — full disclosure — myself) will pick the best designs. The winners will take home a brand new MacBook Air.
The nice thing about the contest is that it isn’t purely theoretical — you’ll actually be able to start using the new design in your browser, using a stripped down version of WebMynd’s browser plugin. The Plugin, which launched back in March, gives users the ability to customize their search experience and includes a number of other features, like a comprehensive browsing history (advanced features won’t be enabled by default on the streamlined contest plugin, but users will be able to turn them on).
Here are a few of the early submissions to the contest. You can see a full gallery here.