Google Sticks with Fade In Home Page Despite Searchers Hating It

Dec 3, 2009 • 9:09 am | comments (13) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine

Back in October, Google began testing the fade in home page and they tried several variations over the course of the time. Google has finally decided to go ahead with this look and feature for simplistically purposes.

The Google blog announced it last night. They admitted some of those tests were failures and they even admitted they were worried making this the default look. Here is how Marissa phrased it:

All in all, we ran approximately 10 variants of the fade-in. Some of the experiments hindered the user experience: for example, the variants of the homepage that hid the search buttons until after the fade performed the worst in terms of user happiness metrics. Other variants of the experiment produced humorous outcomes when combined with our doodles — the barcode doodle combined with the fade was particularly ironic in its overstated minimalism. However, in the end, the variant of the homepage we are launching today was positive or neutral on all key metrics, except one: time to first action. At first, this worried us a bit: Google is all about getting you where you are going faster — how could we launch something that potentially slowed users down? Then, we realized: we want users to notice this change... and it does take time to notice something (though in this case, only milliseconds!). Our goal then became to understand whether or not over time the users began to use the homepage even more efficiently than the control group and, sure enough, that was the trend we observed.

Here is a picture of the fade in choice selected:

Fade In Google Here

So they kept the search buttons there right away. But many still hate it, I have at least five recent threads with lots of complaints about this new look. I'll link to them below.

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.

Previous story: Short URLs Don't Want Google's Breadcrumb Display URL in SERPs



12/03/2009 11:42 pm

I hate the fade...So annoying.


12/04/2009 05:32 am

I find the fade annoying--I'm all for a clean layout, but an "animation" like this reminds me of bad PowerPoint presentations, and I don't want things to happen merely because I move my mouse.


12/04/2009 09:32 am

I don't like it either. I just don't like tricksy stuff, it's annoying time after time. Why don't they put audio on there too while they're at it? BB


12/04/2009 11:13 am

What is the point, if it doesn't enhance the results and the majority dislikes it then why change it for the sake of change?

Lighthouse Boy

12/04/2009 11:24 am

Firefox users can get rid of it!!! Get the 'Stylish' addon for firefox ( and add a new style for all google domains where you want to disable the fade...and add these lines to the style script: #ghead { opacity:1!important; } .fade { opacity:1!important; } .gbh { opacity:1!important; } #fctr { opacity:1!important; } #sbl { opacity:1!important; }


12/06/2009 04:23 pm

BTW fading in embezzles mindbogling amounts of CPU time and power if taken in worldwide scale which kinda contradicts to google's environmentally frendly public image


12/09/2009 07:08 pm

What most people doesn't realize is that Google's goal with the fade in is not to make an interface cleaner, but to generate buzz around their brand name. Responding either favorably or not to this, contributes to their cause.

joe blow

01/12/2010 02:33 am

I disagree with unimpressed that google is trying to generate buzz with this. It didn't make national news so it's horrible buzz. and pissing off your users is never a good idea.


01/14/2010 05:45 pm

I have been forced to use google firefox because this amateurish fade.

Bob Dobolina

02/04/2010 09:12 am

Horrible. Just horrible. Where is Vince Flanders when you need him?


02/12/2010 06:32 am

The use of google fade in is to trick naive users who forget to sign out before searching and continue searching on google while being signed on allowing google to capture as much information possible

James Jones

10/15/2010 10:18 am

Fade in gone GONE *GONE*!!!!!!!!! What about Marissa ?

James Jones

10/15/2010 10:29 am

I said:- "What about Marissa". She is gone *gone* GONE *GONE* !!!! "Google's Marissa Mayer switches jobs Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice president for search products and user experience, has taken on a new role within the company focusing on location-based services." I had the idea that someone must have been championing this daftness and given her job title she was the obvious candidate. Anyway, point is that my favourite home page is back:-)))) Not sure exactly how this bodes for Google's location based stuff though:-(

blog comments powered by Disqus