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Friday, March 23, 2007

Google Testing New Navigation Links
By Tony Ruscoe

Benjamin emailed me this screenshot of his Google search results page:

It shows what appears to be yet another user interface test, this time moving the usual search option links from just above the search box to the top left of the page. Some links to other Google services have been added too. As shown on the Google Operating System blog, it seems this test isn’t just restricted to the results page either.

In my opinion, this could potentially confuse some users. When logged into Google Services – like Gmail, Calendar or Docs & Spreadsheets – there’s already a similar style link bar with links to Mail, Calendar, Photos, Docs and Groups (although different services show different links and some people recently reported other links being displayed there too).

So, will clicking the Images link take me to Google Image Search or Picasa Web Albums? Does the Video link take me to YouTube or Google Video? Will clicking the News link actually search Google News using the query I’ve already entered in the search box (as it does currently) or will it just take me to the Google News homepage?

Many have already suggested that Google should let each user decide which links should be shown in the top-left corner. But should the same links appear consistently across all pages? Is this interface test an improvement on the existing Google homepage and results pages or does it just add more inconsistency and confusion?

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[Thanks Benjamin and Haochi! Image by Benjamin.]


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