11 May 2012

Wait ...Google Cares About Web Design? :sigh:

Before Larry Page took over as CEO, this is what most Google pages used to look like.
Not pretty, but memorable.

With all the reports about Google's new focus on design and user-friendly appearance, we are oddly comforted by obsolete examples like the one shown above. It's a good example of those classic Googley webpages where the design is what you might call 'low-concept'. Ok, maybe the 'design' is simply non-existent.

Or just downright fugly.

So, let's celebrate how Google pages looked, back when User Experience Group (UX) didn't fuss over every pixel. Sure, we're talking about pathetic zombies, shambling toward deprecation. But knowing they haven't long to live intensifies our nostalgia. It's like saying goodbye to an old, faithful (and homely) friend...

Old school Googley: here's a typical Google book serach results page from two years ago.
Old school Googley.

With some effort, MobilePhonesFan has rounded up a dozen specimens of this proud, dying breed. Better look quickly; most of them appear to be stragglers so they'd make good candidates for Mountain View's 'bit bucket' hit-list. If you have a personal favorite or if you'd like to suggest some we missed, please post links in the comments.:

Yeah, good times.

'Course, that's not to say change can't be for the better. There are lots of things we don't miss about Google's early days. For awhile, the site had no 'Submit' button -- searchers had to use their keyboard's 'Return' key. Then there was Google's original logo, tormenting us with a jaunty exclamation mark, à la Yahoo!

Circa 1997, the original Google home page logo included a final exclamation mark, à la Yahoo!

So, we won't complain. We'll just bid a fond farewell to the simple charms which first endeared us to the little search engine that could. Here's to a bright tomorrow of new and exciting things from those propeller heads in Mountain View. But we do say a silent prayer that they never start placing form before function.

Windows Phone design can be beautiful, but it's often 'this close' to placing form ahead of function.
Yeesh in Zegoe!

Like some people.

Disclaimer: If you happen to be responsible for designing any of the pages mentioned here, please don't take it personally. In case we haven't said so lately, we love Google's free services. :mwah: :-)

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