The web is rife with discussion about Google’s new results page. Google has been testing it’s new-look page over the weekend, making it visible to a small number of select users.
The new design, as you will see below, is a lot cleaner than Google’s current results page. There’s a huge amount of white space, the spacing between each result has increased, gone are the underlined blue links, each result is seperated by a feint dotted line and the colour scheme is a little easier on the eye.
If Apple did SERPs:
Image courtesy of TwitPic, @chanian (Twitter engineer)
Pretty as it may be, a quick scan of the social web revealed it’s not going down too well with the masses, nor with the major tech press. “Ugly” seems to be a common criticism.
There’s also been some interesting discussion in various tech forums with designers and tech-bods locking horns in the time old form vs. function debate. One commenter raised the a good argument – that “the new design is built to appease the general public as apposed to your power-users”. Perhaps so?
At first glance we must admit, we like the design, it’s given Google a certain ‘freshness’ that it’s been lacking.
However, put aesthetics aside for a second and enthusiasm soon turns to mild concern. Based on our first impressions and information gathered from general web chatter, here’s why;
- News results appear to have less emphasis than they do currently. This seems odd considering all of Google’s recent noise about the importance of delivering fresh & original content to it’s users
- The amount of space allocated to each search result ultimately means less results per page
- Fewer organic results shown above the fold
- Less information on each page means more scrolling for the user. Making the user work harder for information is a big step backwards in user experience, don’t you think?
- Google seems to have ditched the ‘cached’ and ‘similar’ links tools that currently appear next to the link result. Evidently, a lot of people are not happy about this
That said, Google is only ‘testing’ the new page design, so don’t fire up Bing just yet.