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February 12, 2012

Back to the Black Bar

Google admitted that the navigation UI launched last year wasn't good enough and brought back the black bar (the color is actually dark gray). Some of the features from the old interface are still available: the list of services, the notification and sharing boxes, the settings menu.

"The new design retains many of the feature changes we made in November that proved popular, including a unified search box and Google+ sharing and notifications across Google. The biggest change is that we’ve replaced the drop-down Google menu with a consistent and expanded set of links running across the top of the page," explains Google.


The black bar doesn't look that great in Google's redesigned interfaces, but it's more functional than the "invisible" menu hidden behind the Google logo. It's always a bad idea to hide important navigational features, even if they clutter the interface. When you have to explain basic features because they're not obvious, you've already failed:


{ Thanks, Cougar and Matan. }

26 comments:

  1. They need to take off Image from the black bar (and possibly maps too) because it comes under search. Also they need to allow us to set the order ourselves.

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  2. I loved drop-down menu more, because it had icons, the new one is dull.

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  3. Damn this, I loved drop-down menu, I hate that intrusive obstacle of a menu, especially when I have each Google service I want already open in tabs... arggg

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  4. Any way to return to the drop-down menu?

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  5. At this point, I just want them to stick with one so my stylish and greasemonkey scripts will work.

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  6. Most people have widescreen devices now days. Giving up screen space on top sucks. I much prefered the sidebar/dropdown menu.

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely agree. This is frustrating...

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  7. It really sucks that Google caved to the cavemen who can't adjust to the times, but then again the neanderthals died out so there's still hope... Survival of the fittest: Adapt or die :P

    All joking aside it's a really sad compromise we've ended up with. Not only do we get to keep that ugly black 90's-look nav bar but the added search area takes up even more of the screen area now :( The new look tried to incorporate the best of both worlds by giving us a search box in the same place across all Google products as well as getting rid of that ugly bastard of a nav bar by implementing it as a dropdown menu... Unfortunately because of some very vocal idiots we're now stuck with this hopeless "solution"... welcome to the future... NOT :(

    It was those same morons who also kept spreading FUD about how you had to click more than once with the new look even though it was a mouse-OVER: meaning you only had to hover the pointer over the Google logo for the dropdown menu to appear! AND the dropdown ALWAYS appeared automatically without you having to do anything (as to introduce people to the new look) on Google's core product: Search...

    Sigh... no wonder we haven't been to the moon since '72 and electric cars are only just starting to take off... we live in a world where a lot of the neanderthal genes have somehow survived... see also religious fanatics et. al. ;)

    /rant

    - Anonymous 2

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    1. neanderthal us non Neanderthal need to get more vocal.

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    2. Didn't those old Geico ads teach us all about the danders of using Caveman as a pejorative?

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  8. I rarely make use of the left side of the black bar. It's fine if all you do on the web is google. But if you leave a google service you lose visual reference. So I've accustomed myself to using the bookmarks bar, pared down to the essentials, to include a lot of the links in the black bar. So it's always there. So I'd still recommend that Google find some cross browser, universal menu system.

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  9. Geez, I've been the subject to multiple experiments with these new interfaces, and I don't appreciate it. At one point, every time I logged in, even on the same day, I got a different interface. I saw all three versions (old bar, new bar, logo) in one day.

    I keep wondering why they are demoting Google Reader. It makes me worry that Reader is going to be dropped or no longer developed, like Notebook. That would be very sad.

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  10. I thought the old new navigation bar was kind of cool. I liked how it looked and it kind of reminded me of the Windows Start menu.

    This new new navigation bar is nice, too. The only service I use that isn't shown by default is Reader. Otherwise, all the service I use would be there.

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  11. I want the logo drop down menu bar back. The new new one is one ugly duckling.

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  12. I don't understand what is happening to Google... Today is the sad day that I started having better results with Bing. Google simply ignores part of my search query. Adding the '+' operator or quotation marks does not work anymore, putting the ignored word first doesn't make a difference. Bing DOES take into account all words, and gives me what I need. What is going on?!

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  13. I don't understand what is happening to Google... Today is the sad day that I started having better results with Bing. Google simply ignores part of my search query. Adding the '+' operator or quotation marks does not work anymore, putting the ignored word first doesn't make a difference. Bing DOES take into account all words, and gives me what I need. What is going on?!

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    Replies
    1. Google now has a verbatim option to make up for this. You can specify this to refine your search if a normal search doesn't give you what you want. And there is duckduckgo.com :).

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  14. the links running across the top of the page interfere with the search field. When I try to enter something in the search field, I invariably open one of the links instead. This is extremely frustrating
    How can this be fixed?

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  15. Check out this conceptual mock-up for a better Googlebar that combines icons and drop down and eliminates the black bar (sandbar):
    https://plus.google.com/106803428216413544405/posts/dWboGs7s71P

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    Replies
    1. Very much nicer than the black bar!!!

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  16. I don't like the black bar...Old one is better please apply the old one.

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  17. looks much neater and cleaner like that - thank goodness they saw sense

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  18. I actually really like the new black bar. It's clean, and I can easily access the stuff I commonly use (Gmail, Calendar) without having to hover over a menu. From an interaction standpoint, the black bar just makes more sense.

    I feel like the old one was better only if you hate the color black, or have a desperate need to hide all links from your page.

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  19. i like the menu nwo much better.. :-) but what i didnt like is that why when i click the term google it doesnt go anywhere.. pls fix it google

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  20. I don't care which it is, as long as I can customize it, which I can't. There isn't even a script yet.

    Seems the main headings can be rearranged, but I'd like to, at least, be able to pull Reader out of the drop-down menu and move it up to the main headings.

    C'mon Google, tweak it right!

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