Oh, so you thought Google was done after it rolled out Google+, Circles, Sparks, Huddle, and Hangouts? No, no, no. Google will be done when that’s Google-brand oxygen you’re breathing. This afternoon, the search giant’s rollout announcements have continued, as the official Google blog quietly declared (relatively speaking) that the Google Search page (and products across the Google empire) will be getting “a bit of a makeover” over the next few months. And there are new web fonts, too. OMGoogle!
Basically, these updates will focus on adding enhanced usability, cleaner design, and an improved UX to Google products. While these changes will roll out across all Google products, it looks like the focus will be on cleaning up Google Search, Maps, and Gmail. According to its blog, the intention behind this iterating is to succeed in “bringing forward the stuff that matters to you and getting all the other clutter out of the way”. But what does that mean? More specifically, Google will be adding bolder colors for actionable buttons, hiding those that aren’t essential until they’re actually needed, etc.
And, as you can see below, the results page will also be getting a bit of a new look. Users will find a new gray bar and a blue search button to highlight the search box at the top of the page. Oh, and how about a black nav bar?
Other updates to search and results include an updated design for the left-hand panel of tools, in which Google has muted the color of the tools and reserved the use of bolder colors to highlight key action buttons, tools and filters. The URL will also be relocated directly beneath the headline for each search result, and links on the homepage moved to the top and bottom edges of the browser, all in the name of cleaning up the search experience.
These updates also are a sign of the enormous array of gadgets and devices on the market today, and frankly, of Google’s ubiquity across these platforms and devices. Google is essentially rolling out more featherweight design that will be optimized for use across mobile, high-res monitors, TV, and so on. Consistency in the face of fragmentation is everything. Oh, and Google also mentioned that, as part of this new look, there will also be some new technologies put to use, like HTML5 and WebGL, to name two familiar faces.
Google is also adding to its collection of free, open-source fonts — another hundred-plus fonts, to be precise. So, now you can search or browse hundreds of font families, then add them to your Google Font Collection, view them in a sample layout, and then grab the Google-served code to add them to your website. Just like that. Google Web Fonts are available via the Google Web Fonts API, which you can learn more about here.
But ‘will there be Comic Sans 2?’, you ask. I’m not at liberty to say.