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Google plans UI changes for 2010

While Google has been criticized recently for being slow to update their UI, Search Engine Land reports that there are some changes planned for 2010. Google vice president of search product and user experience Marissa Mayer outlined several changes that are being planned to the UI, including adding a permanent left-hand column for search options, allowing the user to switch between All Results, Images, News and more.

Mayer said the changes are being instituted to bring more consistency to how and where search results appear. She compared the current way they are presented to free-form jazz music.

"I don't like jazz, because you never know what's going to happen next," Mayer said, continuing on to apply the musical style to Google's search results. "I've been calling this problem 'user interface jazz.' This result looks this way, and that result looks that way [something much different], and it really does slow you down."

Google is also moving to a three-pane design similar to the one pioneered by Ask.com. This would include leaving the search options window open permanently, with the results in the middle and ads on the right.

Mayer said that between one to three percent of Google users will see the changes soon as part of a six-week series of tests, with a full site rollout pending the feedback of the selected focus group.

- Richard Manfredi

 

Nov 20, 2009