Google removes the horizontal toolbar from its new homepage
Google has begun the process or rolling out one of the biggest changes to its homepage in its history as it removes the horizontal toolbar at the top of the screen in favour of a drop-down menu.
This new menu is revealed when the logo is clicked and reveals a greater number of the company’s services than the current design.
It takes two clicks
The design was unveiled in a blog post last November, with Google stating that the new search bar would allow users to navigate quickly between its services and would offer improved sharing capabilities.
The company says that this will improve the user experience, but users will now have to click at least twice in order to reach some services such as images or maps, something which could benefit Google’s advertising business.
Google refreshed its homepage only last summer, introducing the toolbar to allow for Google+ integration, while Gmail and Google Maps were also updated in preparation for the launch of the social network.
However this integration of Google Apps into Google+ was not received well by users of Google Reader, who were angered at the removal of the RSS reader’s sharing options in favour of the Google+ +1 universal sharing button.
The homepage design is the latest in a swathe of facelifts for popular websites in the last month. YouTube, owned by Google, underwent a radical redesign which placed particular emphasis on social features, while micro-blogging service Twitter received an update which more easily facilitated the implementation of brand pages.
Social network Facebook also got in on the act by launching its new Timeline profile pages which are designed to release older information stored on user’s profiles.