Google Appears To Be Testing Material Redesign Of Help Pages

Google is reportedly testing a new implementation of Material Design standards on its official Help site. That's following reports that some users are seeing the pages redesigned with more color added to separate various sections and selections. Going further still, Google appears to be tweaking the alignment of some page elements in order to create a greater distinction between page elements. As is always the case with test features, it bears mention that users should not be concerned if they don't notice any changes for themselves and that the changes may never be made permanent or become widespread.

The changes themselves seem to affect nearly every aspect of the Google Help pages. Starting at the top of the page, the colors that are shown on a given help page now appear to be dictated by the primary color scheme of the application or service a user is seeking help for. For example, navigating to the support page for Google, in general, results in a blue scheme, while the Gmail help site features a red variation and those seeking support for Google Keep will be greeted with a yellow variant. The colors also appear to extend beyond the header and into the options available to a user, once they have clicked to open a subsection or category of article to look at. Google has added a new header underneath the three-dash menu and page title which reads "How can we help you?" The search bar has been moved below that header and has some new text as well. Inside the search bar now reads "Describe your issue." The page's auto-complete algorithms appear to be unchanged, regarding the search bar's functionality, but the new prompt will probably assist at least a few users with making use of that tool. Interestingly, although those new additions and tweaks to the page have been aligned to the center, other elements such as the page's title and contextual links seem to have been realigned to the right. That creates an interesting right-to-left flow for the page and may be intended to provide a greater sense of importance or give priority - from a user's perspective - to the contents of the page and the search tool.

Those changes appear to be enacted across both the desktop version of the support site pages and the Android mobile variation. However, navigating to any specific help article also appears to revert a given page to the pre-testing layout - for now, at least. So, it bears repeating that these changes are not necessarily going to become permanent and users shouldn't be too surprised if they haven't noticed the changes for themselves.

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