John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Google Now a Bit More Bing-Like

Google has finally caved in and added a permanent menu of search-refinement options to the left-hand rail of its results pages. The feature is being rolled out today, along with a new logo, as part of the company’s most significant redesign in years.

While it might seem a simple tweak, adding permanent contextually relevant left-hand navigation to its results pages is a noteworthy move for Google, which is adopting a design element first implemented by its rivals. debuted it in 2007. Microsoft’s (MSFT) Bing launched with it last June and Yahoo (YHOO) added it a few months later.

Not that the company will admit to copping the left-hand refinement menu from any of them. Asked by VentureBeat if its redesign was inspired by the competition, Google (GOOG) senior user experience designer Jon Wiley said it wasn’t.

“I think really the biggest changes and sources of innovation really come from an analysis of what our users need,” Wiley said. “We spend a lot of time just going back to search options or universal search. The way that people have been using those particular tools and features gives us a lot of insight.”


And what of the changes to Google’s logo? They’re largely unremarkable: The elimination of drop shadows and a punching up of its colors. Said a company spokesman: “The refined logo exemplifies our thinking and our design process. We took the very best qualities–personality and playfulness–and distilled them into brighter colors, simpler shapes and softer gradients.”