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Joe's Google Redesign: Homepage Usability  (View post)

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

Monday, February 5, 2007
13 years ago5,551 views

It looks like search.live.com.

Dave [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

I'm afraid Joe makes a bit of fool of himself trying to 'improve' the google interface which has been the basis of their empire and which is probably the most honed and tuned page of html on the web

Joey J. [PersonRank 5]

13 years ago #

I kind of like it.

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

"I'm Feeling Lucky" is gone.

Few people use it, yet it's a kind of Google trademark. When Google launched, they used the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button to dramatically show how much more useful their results ordering was than that from (e.g.) AltaVista.

Maybe Google keeps it for sentimental and marketing reasons rather than for its functionality.

Shankar Ganesh [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

I would like to the 'more...' link preceded by Google's other services like gmail, calendar, docs&spreadsheets, etc.

I'm Feeling Lucky [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

When you have Google Desktop and you just type in a query using Ctrl-Ctrl and hit Control-K (I'm feeling lucky) and it goes directly to the most relevant, you realise the power of Google!

I'm Feeling Lucky [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

I think if you move the personlised home / sign in/out links to the center then in (say) gmail they'd interfere with the links to the other Google services so it's gotta keep them left-aligned.

xeen [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

Clearly, a design from a geek for geeks. At least I don't see a "search" button – there's a good reason why Firefox 2.0 has now a Go Button for the searchbar as well and I bet my parents would ask how to submit the form.
Plus it doesn't look Google like, too much graphics and stuff. More like Google 2.0 beta, although that may be a matter of taste.

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

<< Reorganised Google Account links, with centre alignment, to avoid too much white-space on large monitors, and merging the ’My Account’ link into the e-mail address, because it directly relates to that particular user only. >>

However, standard usability guidelines say that linked email addresses should only ever open a new mail. That's what users expect.

<< When a user is about to search, they know what they want, but they don’t always know what kind of result it will be (e.g. a video). Therefore, it would be more logical to have the search box first, and then search types. >>

Agreed. I've found that to be counter-intuitive before now too, especially if you're just using your keyboard to tab between the fields. I'm assuming that unlike search.live.com it would search as soon as you had entered a search phrase and selected a link beneath the box (or hit the return key)?

pokemo [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

This reminds me this homepage google.vc/ :P

Daniel Malone [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

How about a submit button?

Hong Xiaowan [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

The design is very good!

I add a point.

Treat "Web", "Images", .... to be button. Not links. Input a keyword and click "Images" means "Select Image and search". That will save one click for clients. Easy and simple but useful.

Wow, just think about how many person use google.

Mambo [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Thanks for the comments guys.

[put at-character here] Tony

>>I'm assuming that unlike search.live.com it would search as soon as you had entered a search phrase and selected a link beneath the box <<

That's correct. Maybe the rest of them should look like buttons, too.

>> How about a submit button?<<

>> I bet my parents would ask how to submit the form. <<

I'm trying to break the mould and the need for a submit button. it's not needed. Think of it more as a idealogical concept, rather than a tame, realistic one.

>> I'm afraid Joe makes a bit of fool of himself trying to 'improve' the google interface <<

You may be right... but that's not always a bad thing!

As for the I'm Feeling Lucky button – who really uses it?!

Hong Xiaowan [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

>> How about a submit button?<<

>> I bet my parents would ask how to submit the form. <<

How first page too short?
I also waiting the Google end his first page in the past. Just a small surprise.

Make link to be button will be the big news for google. Every will know it. Google now is not google past. So, it is not problem. Also just a small surprise.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

> who really uses it?!

I might use it maybe once a year or something. Didn't Google say that somehow users expect it to be there 'cause it's slightly irrational, hence gives the homepage a more cozy feeling? :)

Mambo [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Well they did get rid of it for a while, so I guess it must server some use! But it's my design – and I don't want it! :) lol

Utills [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Subconsciously I think we all use the "I'm Feeling Lucky Button". Often users type in a phrase into the Firefox search bar which in turn uses the first result from Google to direct the user to the site they want.

Although I agree many people do not click on the button anymore, Google have most probably kept it for historical reasons more than anything else.

I would add that Mambo's design could further be refined by swapping logos depending on the click on the tabs on the bottom. So if a user clicked on Video the centre image would be swapped for a Google logo tailored for video. More than anything this is a contextual help to the user, rather than any improved functionality.

Brian Mingus [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I have never liked these redesigns. The horizontal bar on top of the page is just terrible!

Jordan [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

I think the ideas are relatively nice, but the execution isn't that good. The fonts look awkward--I guess they're missing anti-aliasing? The logo looks like quality was lowered as well.

There are also too many lines, which distract from the point of the page, which is to get right down to search.

Finally, user interface research has suggested for many years that we include a button for actions. You can say it's not needed as many times as you'd like, but at the end of the day, it's there for a reason: because people use it. Not everyone knows that you can just hit enter, and they may actually prefer using the mouse or tab+space.

I like the decreased font size for the "extra" links.

Elias Kai [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

It won't be successful if Google Search has this design. Why ?

All Google wants is for users to Search and just search. They want the first ignorant and new internet users to do one think and that is to search.

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Why do you want to redesign the home page? Nobody care about it! An important part use the googlebar and never see the home page, the others (or at least 99,9% of them) just need a text area and a button "search". That's all.
Google understood that, that's why it became a famous search engine, cause of its simplicity.

SixSide [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

Looks nice, and for the most part I agree with your reasoning for the design decisions... except for one:

"Faded-out footer links, because they’re not relatively important."

Important to whom?

The huge piles of cash that Google is sitting on is for the most part due to their AdSense program, so I can't see how any business would make a corporate decision to downplay the 'importance' of a link to their main source of income!

Overall though, nicely done!

Jordan Meeter [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

I don't like it. I prefer the Google homepage as it is.

Trogdor [PersonRank 6]

13 years ago #

>> I'm afraid Joe makes a bit of fool of himself trying to 'improve' the google interface <<

But the truth is, the Google interface, while very clean & empty, is rather hard to use.

For example, find the Google Music entry for Aerosmith's Get a Grip album. Hint: this is the URL google.com/musicl?lid=GYtXPzG6 ...

Now, find a way to get from the homepage, to there. What about movies? or Google Health? or any of the other bits that go beyond just a nifty onebox ...

For more on Google, usability, and the false legend of Google's great usability, see Don Norman's essay:
jnd.org/dn.mss/the_truth_about ...
(he's Jakob Nielsen's partner)

or [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

[put at-character here]Trogdor

Even though there may be many things that seem logical to geeky types for Google to do, when it comes to real world testing it probably falls a part. There must be a reason people still use Google's simple interface (they don't continue to perform multiple usability tests for nothing).

   And perhaps it would not be in Google's best interest (at least up to this point) to provide easy access to other services and verticals – because essentially the search box provides that direction, hence onebox results. So basically, their search interface is reinforced as the point of entry.

And as google introduces new services, they can keep it on its own unique url, and grow that market uniquely while not detracting new users away from there main function – search. In other words, keep their search base strong and growing, while creating new markets for other products.

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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