Google Sticks with Fade In Home Page Despite Searchers Hating It

Dec 3, 2009 • 9:09 am | comments (13) by | 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.

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