Well, this was most certainly a challenge. Thanks Erik. Trying to redesign one of the most simply and iconic pages on the internet was no small feat, but after doing some research I actually found that this is something that’s starting to be needed.
For a lot of us, we never really noticed the additions that have been made to the Google Homepage, since we either have Google Instant enabled (which makes it so that when you type in your search it immediately shows you your search results) or, we either use Google through a third party source instead of the website (searching through your browser’s tab or your mobile device’s search bar).
If you take a good hard look at Google’s homepage the way it is, there are now 15 different things to click. If you’re logged into your Google Account, you have options to immediately share to Google Plus, a bell icon which shows you your Google+ notifications, standalone CTAs for Gmail and Images, a footer which has an About, Business and Advertising section, AND a settings button. Oh, and an updated Privacy & Terms Page.
Seems like the simplicity is starting to go away.
Another big thing that I noticed when going through Google’s multiple services is that each page is handled differently. Google and Google Image Search haven’t made any massive leaps, but if you check out Google+ and the Play Store, there’s some really neat things that are done with the navigation. Same goes with Google Drive and Google Keep. But, there are all independent of each other and there’s no cohesion between all the services.
With these factors being brought up, the primary goal for this project was to find a way to join all of Google’s services into one cohesive navigation. The next goal was to simplify the home page. The final element was to integrate Google Now’s services into the desktop service.
So that being said, let’s see what I went and did!
- Trim the fat - The first thing to do was remove what I viewed was unnecessary on the home page. This meant hiding most of the CTAs on the top right just into the profile photo for people who need them. Next, I went and removed the “Google Search” and “I’m Feeling Lucky” CTAs. On desktop, I don’t really view them as necessary since most people go on Google and immediately start typing what they need to find. On mobile, I kept the search icons and also added a drawer for any additional services which are needed.
- Responsive Layout - Oddly enough, Google still serves up a different website when you view it on mobile. Since the elements have been drastically simplified, I propose that the Google page should be able to live on its own and scale accordingly for each device
- Deep integration with Voice Search - If I want to future-proof the Google homepage, I feel like voice search is something that has been ramping up and radically improving within the last couple of years. This allows more instantaneous search and deeper integration with Google Now (which I will get to in a bit)
- Global Persistent Nav Bar - To unify the various services, I went and made a persistent nav bar which will be able to work with all Google services without drastic redesigns. As you can see with my examples for Google+ and Google Maps, you’re able to have a navigation bar which stays the same as you bounce between all the different services
- Google Now integration - This has been something life changing for me, but after getting used to it, I use Google Now for everything in my life, from setting alarms to keeping up to date with news to random stupid searches. Having the Google Now Voice CTA front and center on the home page will hopefully encourage people to use the service more. Just like the mobile version, I support the concept of having everything live all on one screen. When you ask Google for a prompt, the Search Bar will swing to the left and on the right all relevant information will be displayed.
Thanks for viewing guys! And big up’s to Erik for scheming up this awesome challenge