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Google Unveils Brand-New Fade-In Home Page. Did you even notice?

December 2, 2009

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Google has finally launched a fully public new version of its homepage after extensive testing, so you can look forward to the following exciting new features: the text on the page fades in when you first move your mouse. And … that’s all. I guess Google didn’t want to mess with a good thing, and the site does look a lot cleaner on first load, with just the logo and the search field, but I’m sure a lot of users won’t notice the change for a while.

You can sleep well at night knowing it’s a perfect fade-in, though. Google tested (at least) 10 different versions of the fancy new transition, and ultimately chose one that was “positive or neutral on all key metrics.”

According to Google, the new fade-in does slow users down, but it also improves their efficiency at using the homepage over time. Apparently a few extra-milliseconds to stop and smell the features actually makes a big difference. I personally think this change is very clean and friendly; I like my products to be simple-looking and therefore, minimalistic.

However, with only a relatively small percentage of users actually visiting the site to perform a search, did you even notice this change? Love it or hate it? Leave a comment! 🙂

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