Google today announced a subtle but welcome update to its mobile search experience. The idea here is to provide easier to read search results and a more modern look with a simpler, edge to edge design.
From what we’ve seen so far, it’s not a drastically different look, but the rounded, lightly shaded boxes around individual search results have been replaced with straight lines, for example, while in other places, Google specifically added more roundness. You’ll find changes in the circles around the search bar and some tweaks to the Google logo. “We think it sounds more accessible, user-friendly and human,” a Google spokesperson told me. There’s also a bit more white space in the places, along with new pops of color meant to help separate and highlight certain parts of the page.
“Rethink the visual design for something like Look for is really complex, ”Google designer Aileen Cheng said in today’s announcement. “This is particularly true given the quantity Google Look for has evolved. We not only organize the information of the web, but all the information of the world. We started out by organizing web pages, but now there is so much diversity in the types of content and information that we need to help understand.
Google is also expanding its use of the Google Sans font, which you are probably already quite familiar with from its use in Gmail and Android. “Bring consistency in when and how we use fonts in Look for was also important, which also helps people analyze information more effectively, ”writes Cheng.
In many ways, today’s refresh is a continuation of the work Google did with its 2019 mobile search refresh. At that time, the focus was also on letting users browse the page more easily by adding site icons and other new visual elements to the page. The job of making search results pages more readable is clearly never done.
For the most part, however, when comparing the new and old design, the changes are minimal. This isn’t a major overhaul – we’re talking about minor tweaks that surely designers are obsessed with but users might not even really notice. Now, if Google had made it much easier to distinguish between ads and the content you are actually looking for, this would have been something.