The Google homepage has been one of the most enduring aspects of my main computer, providing I can claim the iGoogle page as well! I’ve had different keyboards, mice, monitors, power supplies, cases and even operating systems but I’ve kept Google as my homepage. The traditional page has largely been the same for a decade and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it turns out. It’s minimalist but it does what I need it to do. Back in May, Google’s lead homepage designer, Jon Whiley, said that he wasn’t sure if the design would ever fundamentally change (and I have to ask myself if this guy has an easy life, then!?). However, designer Aur©lien Salomon has posted four images of what a Google home page could look like if given a lick of the Material Design paint. Unfortunately, the image above and gallery at the end of this article don’t convey the animated user interface that this homepage would involve but it’s taken from Android Lollipop, Android Wear “and other Google products,” so I would suppose the Android applications and Android TV set up boxes.
These mock ups show that the fundamental design hasn’t changed so much, but we’ve a bolder look with some icons adjusted here and there, but ultimately it’s largely where and what we would expect to see. I like the bolder layout; it brings the interface up to date but wouldn’t disorientate those who are less familiar with a computer. And for this, Aur©lien has done a great job of modernizing the interface without alienating long time users. The beauty of the changes are that one doesn’t necessarily need to have spent time with Android devices to understand how things work, but if you have, it’ll give you a comfortable familiarity.
Unfortunately, Google do not publish how many people use Google as their home page. And I imagine it’s a little difficult to calculate as well: for my own purposes, when I am at work my employer enforces the Intranet as the home page through a security policy. When I am using my own devices, here I typically use a variant of the Google homepage: some devices load up the Google search page with quick links to bookmarks whereas others grind away at the hard drive until eventually producing the UK Google page! A change in the design and layout of the Google homepage would make an impact on it as even if it’s not my home page, my default search engine is set to Google (no matter how difficult it is to change this in Internet Explorer; at least work don’t insist I use Bing!). How about our readers? Do you use Google as a default homepage, is it your default search provider? Let us know in the comments below.