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May 21, 2010

Google Tests a New Sidebar Without Icons

After many users complained that the new persistent sidebar from Google Search is distracting and takes away too much space, Google tests a new version of the sidebar that no longer includes icons. I don't think the icons were very helpful and removing them is a simple way to make the sidebar less annoying.


Here's the original layout:


Those who used the page http://www.google.com/webhp?hl=all to access the old interface probably noticed that Google redirected it to the new interface. You can still use the Hacker interface, the Linux-flavored interface, but the best thing to do is to try the new interface and learn about the tools and filters that could really improve your results. I constantly use the "updates" filter to search Twitter, the "discussions" filter to restrict the result to forums and the "past 24 hours/past week/past month" options to find recently updated pages.

30 comments:

  1. I'm sorry, but the new look is just wrong. Adding new search features, sure, but why change the look? I loved using Google not only because of what it finds, but also because the look was extremely simplistic. Now, when I type something in to the search panel it screams at me in bold.

    I personally find the new layout quite intrusive, even with the icons removed. I guess I will have to go with the Linux-layout instead, which I am not really happy about but at least it is as close to the old one as I can get. The hacker-layout was just too weird for me, even it looked the most like the old one. If these options gets removed too, well then it is time to just find another place to search from.

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  2. I think you're making too big a deal out of the new interface; it is not that different, the sidebar helps navigating faster through different type of contents, and what's wrong with those small innocent icons?
    My two cents.

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  3. I like the version with the icons. It looks ugly without the icons.

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  4. Different strokes for different folks, as always. What offends me the most is the words one types for the search comes off in bold. To me that is like someone is shouting in my ear, or people that use caps when writing.

    And what's wrong with choice? Why can't we chose to use the old simplistic interface? Google was one of the few sites, and to some extent still is, that offered simplistic view of contents.

    Some people love more, I love less. And I am pretty sure I am not the only one.

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  5. They are probably testing page speed, I personally like the icons, and many more do as well, they A/B tested it for months, it wouldn't have made it if people didn't like it, it's just those who disprove make much more noise.

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  6. haha without icons you get even more search results LOL

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  7. The version with icons is better. It looks great and it doesn't distract me. The icons help me identify the search type easier.

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  8. Looks like an improved interface to me!

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  9. No matter what Google does there will always be complainers.

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  10. The box does not stay on the sidebar. It is showing over the search results and blocks the view of the first two or three results.
    Using IE 7.
    a

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  11. I prefer layout look with the icons.

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  12. I like better the version with the icons. It really helps me much better locate the type of results I need.

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  13. I think removing the icons is a huge improvement. It looks much less cluttered.

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  14. Keep the icons. Oooh, shiny!

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  15. There's a Pacman game on http://www.google.com/ right now, by the way.

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  16. Please please make this sidebar toggle ..so that i could switch it off or on similar to google's sidewiki

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  17. The new version WITH the icons is great! Some people (like me) are more organized with visual queues (e.g. icons). I find these extremely helpful!

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  18. Please don't remove the icons!
    They help to to find the right thing without reading it. And it makes it much more easy for inexperienced users!

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  19. I'd like the icons back, it makes the page look colorful, which is the good thing about webpages. If you get distracted by those icons I guess you wouldn't be capable of reading any website with multimedia!!! What about pages with pictures???!!! Do you get distracted by them as well? Come on people!!!

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  20. Wow, I really think it's a lot better with the icons.

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  21. I like the icons, it makes google look like candy

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  22. I don't need those icons since I can read.

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  23. Bring the icons back, its not only that you can read thing it gives a little bit of style. "I can read" its not a valid answer, finding things faster (visually) is better cause you don't even have to read unless a camera icons shows you the news which would be ridiculous.

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  24. I have to admit I don't know what everyone is making a fuss about - pretty much all websites have some kind of left-nav these days. I liked the icons but I suppose we can do without them if it pleases the masses!

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  25. Don't take off the icons please! They are so pretty! Gives Google more life.

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  26. I guess that again Google misses the point. It's not the icons that were the problem, but the sidebar itself. We want an option to hide it - is it that hard to understand?
    Telling us again and again that Google Knows Better, and that this new feature Is Really Wonderful will not make it any better - it only shows that Google is not actually interested in it's users' opinion.

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  27. WHOEVER WROTE THIS ARTICLE IS A GOOGLE FU[TARD IDIOT STILL INSISTING ON THE SIDEBAR. With or without icons, will your brain-dead engineerign team wake up & smell the worldwide disgust with Sidebar in ANY FORM?
    What keeps you morons form giving us an option to hide the FU[KING STUPID SIDEBAR, I AM ASKING YOU - THESE ARE YOUR FINAL CHANCES. B/c despite vile language I posted here, I am an Engineer/Scientist & we're changing all computers at this company to use AltaVista as default Search provider.
    For your info, MORON, neither Pirate nor hacker interface display old Googly anymor e- they were also infested with Sidebar as of today.
    Only thing that still works is Linux-style Gioigle.
    I am askign you, deepshlt, what is so fifficult in addign a buttoin to hide/disable Sidebar?
    WHY? Is is an impossible progrmaming task?
    I develop Firmware for Microcontrollers, not Windows, butsomehow it's obvious you refuse to add ability to Hide sidebar out of disgusting pride that Google has developed since its heyday.
    Do you kmnow who I am?
    You might be laugung there.
    I am the guy who wrote to Yahoo who at the time was united with Google, back in late 1990's asking for a simple clean interface - result was Google splitting from yahoo and taking it's mathematical algorithm & a couple of Chinese-born Engineers with them, the end result was one of the most successful co's in the world
    Right now you're doing the OPPOSITE - digging your own market share grave with this stupid sidebar.
    Unbelievable.
    20% of a small Netbook display is wasted. laptop display also wasted.
    Even my desktop large CAD/Design display does NOt like your sidebar, GET IT???

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  28. Don't remove icons - add more!
    Add animations and p0rn!
    Add music, add whatever pleases "me no habla Ingles" teenagers or people with IQ below 60.
    That would be the best gift for AltaVista.
    More stupidity by Google

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  29. TO GOOGLE FU[KTARD IDIOT STILL INSISTING ON THE SIDEBAR:

    With or without icons, will your brain-dead engineering team wake up & smell the worldwide disgust with Sidebar in ANY FORM?
    What keeps you morons from giving us an option to hide the FU[KKING STUPID SIDEBAR, I AM ASKING YOU - THESE ARE YOUR FINAL CHANCES. B/c despite vile language I posted here, I am an Engineer/Scientist & we're changing all computers at this company to use AltaVista as default Search provider.
    For your info, MORON, neither Pirate nor Hacker interface display old Google anymore - they were also infested with Sidebar as of today. Only thing that still works is Linux-style Google.
    I am asking you, what is so fifficult in adding a button to hide/disable Sidebar?
    WHY? Is is an impossible programming task?
    I develop Firmware for Microcontrollers, not Windows, somehow it's obvious not just to me but general public that Google refuses to add ability to Hide sidebar out of pride that Google has developed since its heyday.
    Do you kmnow who I am?
    You might be laugung there.
    I am the guy who wrote to Yahoo who at the time was united with Google, back in late 1990's asking for a simple clean interface - result was Google splitting from yahoo and taking it's mathematical algorithm & a couple of Chinese-born Engineers with them, the end result was one of the most successful co's in the world
    Right now you're doing the OPPOSITE - digging your own market share grave with this stupid sidebar.
    Unbelievable.
    20% of a small Netbook display is wasted. laptop display also wasted.
    Even a 21" desktop display does NOT like your sidebar, BECAUSE IT'S DISTRACTING, GET IT???

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