Google’s Black Bar & New Look

Categories Articles, Web Design

This is a guest post by Zach Katkin – entrepreneur, web developer, designer and writer – co-founder of . Additionally Zach also owns a number of web properties including, a resource for Small Business Software News including Basecamp Project Management.

If you’re like me you’re a power user – on the net constantly – you have an account on every sharing and social site, and you jump at the latest technologies – even if they DO flop and they are sometimes less than useful.

Well, over the last couple of weeks Google has slowly been revealing their new design, and it’s mysteriously been marked by Google’s new black bar. If you’ve been following the news Google has made an unbelievable amount of changes and announcements over the last couple of days. Google first released information on their “Facebook Killer” social network called the Google+ project.

Then just hours later, the roll out of the new design was announced and all of this just days ago.

Android is the dominant phone operating system,  chrome is fast becoming the most popular browser, completely destroys the competition in search – as always Google has been hard innovating and creating new projects and implementing changes.

Back to the black bar – for those of us with Google accounts, the bar is not of much note, it’s been around for years. But, only recently did it switch to black, and really begin to pop.

What is Google’s Black Bar?

Google’s new black bar is simply a new design for the Google interface as a whole, the black bar being the common denominator among many, if not all, google services.  Take a look at the shot I just took:

Google Black Bar

Simple, elegant, exactly what a good design update should be. I suspect it’s prominence and the new contrast the dark color adds will also help introduce Google’s myriad of services to a whole new audience – as they realize – what that MORE drop down is for!

Google’s New Interface – First Impressions

I’m a HUGE fan of Google’s new interface. I’m not sure if it’s been rolled out throughout the US and the rest of the world at this time, and I’ve noticed a rollout of services over the last few days (starting with the black bar, continuing with a complete overhaul of Maps, and finally seeing Google’s completely redesigned home and search interface).

I’ve wanted to see a complete overhaul since the days of me first stumbling up the talented designer Andy Rutledge and his ideas on Google Redux – a complete design overhaul of Google. Over the years Google has made modest changes, mostly as new features required. As a web designer myself I do understand that sometimes, it’s best to leave well-enough alone, until such time that features and tools have been locked in. Ofcourse this is also a dangerous trap as any website, application, or giant brand – like all of Google and it’s services – are ever-evolving.

With that said however I think now is the perfect time to overhaul the design, creating a unified theme and optimizing the site for speed and simplicity. Where as other sites like Yahoo and Bing are at best overly colored and a reminder of “the old web” and at worst, horribly overburdened with content and imagery that distract from a single purpose – Google’s new interface(s) streamline a visitor’s distractions, keeping single goals in mind – all across different services.

Google Maps New Interface

Although mostly cosmetic additional updates including instant search (without having to select the search field on Google’s homepage ( make searching EVEN quicker – how quick can this get? I did hear a Google researcher say his ultimate goal was to have you be walking around and simply utter a search query and magically get results (in your head, auditorily-not a word, visually, etc.). Although that technology may be just over the horizon:

For now Google’s updated interface is a welcomed change that is sure to solidify Google’s stronghold on each industry and service it enters.

Zach Katkin - Entrepreneur, Web Developer, Designer and Writer - is the co-founder of Florida Web Design Company Atilus. In business for nearly a decade, Atilus has more than 600 clients worldwide.