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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The New Google Homepage in Perspective

The Google homepage layout changed several times in the last decade, as one would expect. But it changed less than other homepages, and less radical – its changes are evolutionary, rather than revolutionary*. The last change was a move of the navigation to the top left, the place where applications long before Google put their menu – e.g. Apple Lisa OS from the early 1980s below**. For a more complete overview, take a look at the updated visual History from 1997-2007.

And this likely won’t be the end of changes as Google cross-integrates even more products, and tries to unifies even more of those into its “universal search.” Perhaps one day, the Google AI is smart enough to present just a single search box for all our needs [WMV] (websites, news, images, videos), along with a Windows Start button-like dropdown to launch the several Google office applications (mail, calendar, photo management and so on).

*Compare this to the relaunch of the Yahoo homepage in 2006, for instance... or the way AltaVista changed its look over time.

**A reproduced screenshot courtesy of Wikipedia’s entry on Lisa.


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