Google Drive on the web is getting a minor facelift over the next several weeks in order to match up with new Material Design standards. G Suit customers on the rapid release cycle will see the changes first, followed by a scheduled release within the next two weeks and full roll-out planned to be complete within three days of that. Google says the new design is similar to that rolled out to Gmail recently. The ultimate goal of this release and future releases like it is to bring consistency to all Google apps with an interface that is responsive and efficient by design.
Primarily, that means changes to the interface itself which make things easier to navigate and reduce the impact the interface has on performance. Breaking down the changes themselves, that means that the logo at the top left of the page will now be just the Google Drive Logo. Custom logos, such as those used by businesses who customize their G Suite environment, will be moved to the top right-hand corner. Both the settings icon and help center icon will now be lined up with the search bar, with the help icon leading ahead of the settings icon. The button used to create new documents and folders has been updated to a rounded design in white with a colorful "plus" symbol, just as the compose button was for Gmail. That stands out thanks to subtle shadowing effects, since the background is now white by default as well instead of gray. Fonts have been brought in-line with those used in Gmail, as well. Taken together, the entire page will now look much cleaner and more user-friendly, especially when switching between Gmail and Drive pages.
None of these changes will necessarily affect the underlying functionality of Google Drive, of course, but that's deliberate. Consistency in design is one area Google has consistently struggled and the goal here is to rectify that. That's also been a major focus for its other products such as Android, as shown with its new Android P updates on display at this year's Google I/O 2018 Developers Conference. The timing of this update also makes tons of sense with consideration for that event, which runs through May 10.