Early last month, the design blog Letter Society posted a challenge asking its select group of designers to submit redesigns of Google.com.
The site, which positions itself as a “collaborative and challenge based” blog, asked the designers to do a “reskinning” of the current site:
With there being already a minimal approach to the page, re-imagining should require us to think hard, critically and outside of the box to create a quality solution.
Seven redesigns were submitted, each with an explanation from the designer on the choices they made. Submissions included a range of ideas, from an even more simplistic homepage than the existing one (with the Google logo in gray scale) to a wildly colorful rendition from designer Erik Wagner.
“I wanted to bring Google’s color palette forward and create a vibrant, larger-than-life presence for the search function,” said Wagner.
His redesign included a map at the bottom of the browser with the option for the map to take over the browser window. “When the map search page takes over the browser, the scrubber reappears at the bottom, this time allowing the opportunity to expand the main search bar back onto the browser window,” explained Wagner.
Designer Mark Manalaysay chose to “trim the fat” by removing things like call-to-actions on the top right portion of the page as well as the “Google Search and “I’m felling lucky” options. He also included a deep integration of Google’s voice search to “future-proof” the home-page.
“If I want to future-proof the Google homepage, I feel like voice search is something that has been ramping up and radically improving within the last couple of years. This allows more instantaneous search and deeper integration with Google Now,” said Manalaysay about his design.
Here’s a look at Manalaysay’s redesign of Google’s mobile homepage:
One designer went the opposite, and instead of stripping down the homepage, added personalized search options. Alli Grunthaner said she based her design on simple tiles that could be personalized to a user’s common searches.
“I was inspired by today’s technology of touching/swiping/browsing…so I thought it’d be a nice interface to use for the different search fields,” said Grunthaner.
Grunthaner wasn’t the only designer to add to Google’s homepage. Frances Palmer’s submission inserted the use of Google Trends to give the homepage a “bolder” look with popular searches displayed in real time, and Google Now information added to the bottom of the page.
My personal favorite was Jake Nolan’s design which integrated an extra-large search box and easy to access Google services buttons at the bottom of the page.
I’d like to claim this has nothing to do with constantly reaching for my readers, but I imagine I’m not the only one with withering eye-sight who would benefit from this redesign:
The full portfolio of the Letter Society’s redesigns can be found at http://www.lettersociety.com/tagged/Project-9.