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Once you are logged into Google, you would want to move around all Google services seamlessly. To that end, Google has updated the Google Bar with a new design.

The old black bar that spanned the length of the screen has been done away with for a less obtrusive design. The new Google App launcher is more simplified as it gives you access to all Google services under one common grid. The “Apps grid” button is available on the top-right and a click on it reveals a drop-down menu with all the Google service icons neatly displayed. The Apps grid is also seen on Android and Chromebooks.


Google has also announced the launch of a new logo. The new logo is a subtle modification over the old. Look carefully and you will see a flatter emblem and slightly altered letters. It is not a major change from the old logo, but the 3D embossed appearance and color gradations of the old has been dropped. Google seems to have embraced a new design philosophy.

The changes aren’t earth-shattering, but noteworthy all the same. Do you see the changes on your Google homepage? Is the new app launcher better than the old… or is it something that doesn’t bother you much? Do tell us about your impressions.

Source: Google Inside Search


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  1. Ginny
    October 18, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Please give us the option to use the bar, or provide a launcher in list view sans icons

  2. Joe
    October 6, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    I HATE the new product launcher!! Bring back the super easy to use black bar!!
    One of the most fundamental factors of usability is less clicks to the desired result is better than more clicks. With the black bar, as soon as the page loaded, if I wanted to go to "news" I'd click the "news" link (1 click). Now, I have to shift my eyesight focus to the extreme right of the screen. Click to launch the product launcher, then scan around to find the "news" icon and then click it. So the new approach is better because.... I now have to look all the way to the right and then hunt for the right product tab to click and perform 2 clicks, when with the black bar, it launched top left of screen (where user's look first) and only had to use 1 click.

    Google web usability experts are ... not web usability experts :)

  3. terrie
    October 6, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Seems like change for the worst I'd like the old Black Bar Back.

  4. Sandro
    October 5, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    I personally like the new logo, but that's all. The "Apps Grid" is not very usefull when you're on your desktop, since you have to click two times to get where you want to get.
    But that's not all:
    - they still don't have a responsive design (yes, even with like 5 elements on the whole page you get a scrollbar once your window width is below 900-1000px.)
    - the buttons to change the page something are still in the old design
    - when I log in, I loose the design (I fall back to the old one)
    - they don't even display all features in the box, when you open it

    Because of this I just made my own userstyle. Too much is too much.

  5. Cheryl
    October 3, 2013 at 1:42 am

    Change can be confusing, I enjoyed seeing my apps on my homepage and I was also able to see recent browser sites. I like the new Apps button.

  6. Brebbo
    October 3, 2013 at 1:41 am

    any way to get the bar back?
    For a few days, it was possible to get back to the old beloved page by deleting all cookies.
    Now that doesn't work either.
    If it can't be reverted, I'm going to have to stop using google. It's just too cumbersome to click through all these menus instead of just having a nice and easy-access toolbar.

    • Saikat B
      October 3, 2013 at 2:52 am

      Well, think about the time Google didn't have the black bar. Give this one time and either it will grow on you or else a time will come when Google will update it with something else :)

  7. TechnoAngina
    September 23, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Why does it seem like every change Google makes lately is to copy Apple? What is with this awful ugly "flat with super annoying overly bright colors" trend going on lately. The design seems like it just wastes more screen space, what's wrong with just keeping the black bar? It's functional and doesn't cause eye strain looking at it.

    "Once you are logged into Google, you would want to move around all Google services seamlessly. To that end, Google has updated the Google Bar with a new design."

    I read the second sentence as "To end that..." it wasn't until reading it over a few times, I realized Google was trying to be helpful, not intentionally hinder users. That kind of is a sign to myself that I think it's believable that Google would intentionally cripple the user experience just to be trendy.

    • Saikat B
      September 23, 2013 at 6:39 pm

      It does seem to be a more "mobile-ish" design. Personally, I prefer the black bar.

  8. binghater
    September 23, 2013 at 4:15 am

    Bing??microsoft just changed bing compleatly . and it still

  9. Eugene Belyakova
    September 22, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    Google always changing something. They making everything complicated and I had a enough. I am switching to Bing.

  10. SH
    September 22, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Generally, most of Googles changes fall into the category of "different, but not much better" In this case, I wonder why they decided to take up so much real estate with the large logos. If they used smaller logos, they could fit more into the first screen without the need to hit "more" Also, the selection omits some services that I use quite a bit: Images, Alerts, Tasks come to mind. It would be nice if this was personalizable - either by allowing me to select the services that show up first, or my automatically remembering which services I use and putting those at the top of the list. (BTW, the Google Shortcuts extension for FF or Chrome includes many more services than this new launcher)

    • Saikat B
      September 23, 2013 at 9:51 am

      Thanks for the feedback. I can't say you are wrong :)