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Google Search's Design Debt

In some ways, Google Search has evolved over the years, and in others it has stayed the same. Has some of that left over original functionality bloated the Search Engine's capabilities?

Google Search Homepage Screen
Google Search Homepage Screen

On the homepage, it still has the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button, however, it has morphed into a hidden rabbit hole of random facts.

Google Search Homepage Screen - Curiosity Filter
Google Search Homepage Screen - Curiosity Filter

If you hold your pointer over the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button it spins and offers other phrases. Most of them go to Google Arts & Culture pages. Or random facts and questions.

So we have this moment of delight, however, the buttons are still light grey. Grey buttons typically mean that a button is inactive. Also, the button color does not match Google's Material Guidelines. So we have this leftover design debt that would be a quick fix, but it hasn't been done yet.


Google Results Count
Google Results Count

Google started out as the page index master. They crunched through pages faster than Microsoft and other search engines at the time. They made sure to tell you how fast it was and how many results they found. However, now, when are you searching, do you really want 143,000,000 results or do you want the top ten best results for your search? We all know Google's capabilities, but more results doesn't mean helpful results. This is no longer serving their message.

How many people go past the first page of search results? 75% of people never scroll past the first page of search engine results. So what we need are better results, not more - quality over quantity.


Google Search Results Screen
Google Search Results Screen

So now we are at the first page of the 143,000,000 results. Notice how much information is on the page. The lack of information hierarchy. Are these results showing what is most popular? What is trending? As a user, you don't know.

What else do you see as Google Search's design debt?

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