Google is known for its spare, clean search homepage. A single search box, two buttons, and 28 words or less. Contrast that to Bing, which features a beautiful new background photo every day. Well, now you can add your own background wallpaper image to Google search.
Google is starting to roll out a new feature today which allows users to upload images from their computers or a Picasa Web album to personalize the search homepage. Call it Bing-envy, or just a case of Google loosening up its design strictures. But Google is going from spare minimalism to anything-goes design. Actually, opening up the design palette to users is more MySpace than Bing. But it is not the first time Google introduced user-controlled design option to one of its products. Gmail, iGoogle, and Chrome both have their own selection of themes, for instance.
People live in these products, and cosmetic features like this one perhaps make some users feel more at home. So go ahead and put up a crazy frog photo or a picture of your favorite beach at sunset. Ooh, I’m getting the warm and fuzzies already!