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August 11, 2006

New Interface For Google Image Search

Google Image Search can learn a thing or two from Windows Live Image Search. And I'm not talking about relevancy. Windows Live manages to show more results without complicating the interface. You can see only the thumbnails. If you're interested in one of the pictures, hover over it and you have some details.

Google tries to change Google Image Search interface, by adapting Windows Live's clean interface.

Assaf Rafaeli saw the new design experiment and saved the source code. The change is simple: the details about an image are visible only if you hover over it (you can see the blue rectangle in the screenshot).

Update (January 23, 2007): The new design is live.


  1. I dislike the windows live image interface. It is very slow to load and uses up huge amounts of processor to just wave your mouse around the screen. Google could improve it's interface but I hope it does not learn from windows live. Google sites have high accessibility which is better than a fancy interface.

  2. While I agree that google images could improve its interface I certainly don't want anything like windows live searches. I'd like to be able to view more images on a page at a time but think about searching for a high resolution image, windows live makes that impossible, how does someone distingush from a 50x50 icon to a full resolution photograph with it? While I like the enlarged thumbnail I also like to know the dimensions and quality.

  3. That new interface SUXX BIG TIME !!! I really want to see the size in pixels and website for all images and it really disturbs me that i have to move the mouse to see details like website and size !!! This is really a big step backwards from the simple&clean interface that i was using for years. I think they should always include the ability to use the old interface for people who like it.

  4. Show me the size of the pics, whithout having to moose over it. It was better before. This is very annoying.

  5. I agree, it is quite a pain to have to drag the mouse over every image to see the resolution and source. This information is highly useful and necessary to filter the wheat from the chaff. I'm sure google's ultimate aim is to provide only results that are exactly what we want, but they are still a long way from this. Part of doing an effective web search is the searcher's own experience in quickly seeing at a glance the most likely result for what we are looking for. Removing information (and there's no real excuse for this here, it doesn't create any more real estate for extra images, just hides the info in a white space until you mouse over) that can help in this regard is a backward step in functionality. I definately suggest having the option to use the tried and true or the new and unfathomable...

  6. Make it stop! These hobbled image results showed up several months ago on my laptop, and today they appeared on my desktop PC.

    The "classic" Google Images results are far better, show more information in a quick glance, and you don't have to mouse over each image individually.

    With more mousing and less info, the new, improved version ISN'T!

  7. The new system is A PAIN IN THE....
    If they want make things "easier" for mono-neuron people, please add that as an option.
    For normal people, just get back the old way....

  8. The new interface is like said NOT an improvement at all. Searching for product images daily, it's a pain to hover over all images to see it's dimensions and most important, on what domain the images can be found.
    There is no added value to this feature and i think it has only be reinvented by some interface designer without much usability background. By the way, since when does Google use Microsoft as an example? Don't just copy please, this is a step back. At least have an option to return to the old interface!

  9. The new interface is not an improvement: hovering over each photo to see its size and dimension is time consuming and real irritating.

    Google needs to revert to previous style which allowed a quick glance at the screen to see what's what.

    Is there any official Google email address to send a complain to?

  10. Options to complain:

    * Contact form
    * Group
    * You can also complain here. Some Google employees will read it and send the feedback to the right team.

  11. Just as mister bijou said, this interface is time consuming and really irritating.

    Not being able to see the URL is a pain aswell, since now I might click an image from a site I don't want to visit.

  12. Wow this is terrible. Someone please write a greasemonkey script for firefox to put those hover divs back to visible by default. I could understand doing something like this if it meant you could show more images on one screenful, but each image is still taking up the same amount of screen real estate, at least on Firefox

  13. Do they have economic problems? Do they want to reduce the amount of users (banwidth) by making it harder to find an adequate result? Cause that's the only thing they will achieve.

  14. What a moron-oriented idea! This is a perfect example how to screw up a good software with a dumb interface. Please absolutely revert back, or at least add an option to turn off this mess.

  15. Wow I can't believe how stupid they just made the Google Images search interface. What are they supposed to achieve with this? There's nothing "new" in it, so why did they change it from the nice classical older version?

    I really dislike this. Like everyone said, they must either remove it, make it better or add an option to choose what type of interface they would like to use.

    They should make some sort of Google Beta page or something where they can put all these new experiments and let people vote on them so Google can see wether people like them or not instead of making it live and then waiting for people so send complaints.

    Getting to the good side, they could start making lots of versions and then create an option to use it when you're Google Image searching.

    Concluding to this,
    I am very unhappy with the two experiments I have seen so far - The "new" Google Web Search, and Google Image Searches that have been appearing and disappearing from time to time.

  16. Please, give us the possibility to use the old interface again.

  17. I agree with all of the above - this is absolutely horrible - what moron thought this was a good idea?

    it offers zero benefit or functionality and in fact as noted takes away functionality

    this is Google - not another site - and this crap goes against the very permise that Google is - no bells - no whistles - just the basic simple info

    please get rid of this - and next time try a little research with your users first before you add "features" into the mainstream environment that actually reduce functionality

  18. VERY annoying! can we have the old interface back please?!?! Or at least the option to switch to it... Extremely unuseful to have to hover to see the resolution!!!

  19. I found this page by googling: "google images" +irritating +mouse
    The new interface sucks the joy out of what used to be enjoyable.
    I really don't like stuff appearing and disappearing just because of mousing over stuff. I hate that kind of crap. It's like sites that are Flash based, which are crap.

  20. It's a horrid solution, but not having image dimensions defeats the whole purpose of using google image search for me. If you disable javascript, the dimensions come back.

  21. 90% of the employees at google vote far-liberal. You can expect more nonsense from the non-standard 'non-conformist' mentality at google. They especially offend advanced users by all their reinvent-the-wheel crap. Lack of usability testing at google. Google image search is still limited to a mickey-mouse max results per page of only 20 'thumbnails'. Been this way for 10 years. They would rather reinvent something 'new' than perform usability testing on EXISTING products and make improvements that would allow advanced users to freaking CUSTOMIZE THE UI. It's the mentality at that place.