If you’ve run a Google search on your smartphone or tablet recently, you may have noticed things are looking a little different. With the new year came a major visual redesign of Google’s mobile search experience. Now, weeks after its initial debut, more people are beginning to ask what Google’s mobile redesign means for digital publishers.
Google is frequently at the forefront of web design trends, so the company’s updates are something digital publishers will want to stay on top of.
Before we explain exactly what Google’s mobile redesign means for digital publishers, let’s take a step back to understand why Google updated its mobile experience in the first place.
The search engine giant is known for reimagining its search products every few years. In a recent blog post, Google designer Aileen Cheng said this year’s visual redesign was meant to make the search interface easier for people to read on mobile devices. To achieve that goal, Cheng and her team needed to provide users with a cleaner, more modern mobile search experience.
Google’s new mobile search experience features updated fonts, colors, and shapes. It also includes updated looks for the Knowledge Panel and the main search results snippets. Although the differences between the old and new mobile search result snippets are subtle, they represent an evolution in mobile search at Google. Today’s search pages encompass so many different types of content and information, it’s no longer just about organizing web pages.
With its redesign, Google is hoping people will be able to better focus on the information when they conduct keyword searches on mobile devices, instead of the design elements around its search results. The simplified experience is about getting people the information they are looking for as quickly, clearly, and directly as possible.
Other key changes in Google’s mobile redesign include:
- New design layouts
- Search results that are easier to read
- Larger sections and labels
- Cleaner overall design
- Greater consistency in fonts and layouts
- Increased use of color to highlight what’s important
- Improvements to results card designs to add more white space
- An overall more approachable look
What does this mean for digital publishers? For starters, many of these updates are things that we have been recommending to our digital publishing clients for years. More white space. Cleaner fonts. Larger labels. Google is moving its mobile search experience in the same direction that we’ve been suggesting for digital publishers, with a greater interest in helping people consume content on their smartphones and tablets.
Anytime there are design updates, whether it’s a basic website design update or a complete reimagining of the entire Google mobile search experience, there will always be an adjustment period. It takes time to get comfortable with anything that’s new. This is especially the case with Google. Anytime the company makes an update to its search interface, users lament the changes. Regardless, the latest adjustments represent a step forward for mobile search and design.
Google expects mobile usage to continue to soar, and digital publishers should take this into account as they strategize future updates to their website designs. In particular, digital publishers should consider whether the design of their existing websites could be improved by making these changes:
- Centering content and images against a cleaner background
- Use of bold colors to guide the eye to important information
- Keeping main pages free of clutter
- Minimizing the use of shadows