A while back, Google announced their intentions to roll out a sweeping series of graphical improvements across Google Search, Google Maps, and Gmail over the next several months. It appears they are now ready to deliver.

This morning, I knew there was something unusual about the way Google looks but could not pin-point exactly what it was. They rolled out a new look for Google.com today, with some subtle changes and others more immediately obvious.

The first thing you'll notice is that there's now a black bar along the top forming the background of the options menu. The Google’s logo was slightly shrunken. The logo used to appear just below the search buttons but have now been moved to the bottom of the page.

In an explanatory blog entry, Chris Wiggins, Google's Creative Director, says the changes were inspired by principles of focus, elasticity and effortlessness:

  • Focus: The new Google will try to remove the clutter from its interface, highlighting the content you’re looking for while removing anything distracting. Even the search buttons won’t light up until you mouse-over, apparently.
  • Elasticity: No matter what device you’re viewing Google.com from, the search giant wants you to see pages with a consistent visual design.
  • Effortlessness: In short, Google wants to keep everything looking clean while invisibly running current web technology like HTML5 and WebGL.