Google launched a new design for their search interface and it is also live on the mobile interface. There is no way for me to do a better post on the new Google UI than Danny Sullivan, so instead of trying, just go read what he wrote at Search Engine Land. When you are done, come back here to here the complaints in the forums. There is also tons and tons of articles on this, just see Techmeme.
We nicknamed this interface the Jazz interface and I doubt Google liked it. They have been testing it since November 2009 and slowly rolled it out to more and more users over time. They even made slight updates to the user interface over time.
The thing is, those vocal in the forums hate the design. The issue with that is that Google knows best, they really do. There is no way Google would have launched this new design without testing it to death. And by testing, I mean they run statistical tests to see if it works better than the previous design. So all those complaints in the forum, they are wrong. There are hundreds of threads, so I will only share some of them. We have threads at Google Web Search Help, Google Blogoscoped Forums, WebmasterWorldand others.
Many are saying Google copied Bing. I'll say those people don't know what they are talking about. Again, Danny has a nice recap of who is copying who but who did the three-pane UI first, which one of the major search engines? Ask did under Jim Lanzone, then Yahoo and Bing and now Google. I won't get more into this, just read what Danny wrote.
Here is a video of the new design: