While carrying out my day to day searching with Google, I’ve noticed occasionally the results page appears to be of a different design. It would seem Google’s at it again, testing new layouts!
The recent designs all seem to keep to a three column layout, with search options (web, images, groups, news, ect) removed from above the search box, and moved to a left column, these options are now also repeated at the bottom of the results page.
The traditionally blue coloured information bar underneath the logo and search box has been simplified and altered to a dull beige colour. Originally displaying the number of results on the current page, as well as the total number of results discovered, the bar now only displays which set of results you are viewing (“Results 1 – 10” for example). The information lost from this location is now located at the bottom of the results page, next to the page selector.
Clicking though to search images, simply returns the standard images results page. The changes don’t seem to make a real difference to usability unless you take into account the repeated search options being displayed at the bottom of the screen, however it’s never seemed like too much of a task to scroll back up to select image results! The colour choice doesn’t make any sense to me, I much preferred the blue layout 🙂