Google has of course announced the Google+ Project, the company’s new approach at a social network. You may have noticed that there are some subtle design changes to Google properties as well – most noticeably a black bar going across the top.

In a post on the official Google blog on 28th, the company said they’re working to overhaul the Google experience over the next few months, to bring their services in line with a common interface. Google says that the project focused on three main design principles; focus, elasticity, and effortlessness.

In terms of focus, the search giant says that they worked to declutter the screen and bring what matters to the user forward, this makes navigation simpler and easier. They go on to say that Google now has elasticity and supports almost any screen resolution and adapts dynamically to suit. Finally, they say that they worked to make the site even more effortless to use and strived to keep the new look “simple and clean” but running the latest web technologies such as HTML5 and WebGL.

It’s easy to see this coming through in the updated Google Maps product (pictured below), the design is much less cluttered, offers simple buttons that are colored boldly to make them clear to the user, and is also aesthetically pleasing.

 

 

The bar running across multiple properties should help it promote Google+ greatly, as it kind of ties things together. This should be key in Google’s strategy. Interestingly, the bar doesn’t appear on all of the key properties. For me, it’s lacking from both Gmail and YouTube, at this point, which are arguably two of Google’s strongest social assets.

It’s exciting to see the company doing such a major overhaul, with many designs remaining unchanged for years at a time. We haven’t noticed any changes to on Gmail and Youtube yet, but we’ll be sure to let you know when the design goes live.

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