Does The Google Homepage Need A Fix?

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One designer thinks the now-legendary Spartan homepage for Google.com needs a little centering and a lot more color than it has now. Andy Rutledge has some thoughts about Google.

Does The Google Homepage Need A Fix?
Refurbishing The Google Homepage?

He sees great potential in a redesigned front door to the world of Google. On his site, Rutledge makes a modest proposal:

First of all, everything is centered; that’s where the action is. Furthermore, all of the search elements are grouped together and made very conspicuous by occupying the attention-grabbing white area of the page. This way, search gets prime billing.

Color is used to provide context in this design. The search mechanism is in the most prominent and attention-commanding area of the page. Other elements are placed outside of this space. The subtle use of color allows for relevant structure and interactive feedback when hovering on links. I chose blue for the primary color, but others might be as or more effective.

Reaction, judging by the comments on Digg.com about the redesign, has been mixed. Some noted how the suggested redesign resembles MSN Search. One commenter, ‘greenstop’, wrote “the google homepage is now iconic, redesigning would be a mistake.”

That last comment is an apt one, and especially appropriate for Google. Among Americans, Google’s brand recognition trails only Johnson & Johnson and Coca-Cola now. Brand is more than just a name. Coca-Cola once tried to phase out the taste of its brand, by replacing Classic Coke with New Coke.

The response was even more strident and widespread than Sony’s recent flirtation with PR Disaster of the Year over rootkit technology on its music CDs. And this was almost a decade before Tim Berners-Lee thought it would be a good idea to develop hypertext transfer protocol so scientists could exchange images over the Internet. (A world without the World Wide Web, kids; think about it.)

Granted, changing the “flavor” of the Google homepage isn’t nearly the abomination New Coke was, but why take the chance of damaging the brand just for the sake of change?

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Does The Google Homepage Need A Fix?
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