Google Testing Android/Chromebook-Like Navigation Element For Web Site

Google is testing yet another navigation method to find all the various Google services and products, one that potentially serves to unify Google’s website with behavior on Android and Chromebooks.

Google Operating System spotted this new test where you click on a box and it expands to show you more search options from Google. Here is a picture:


As you can see, Google+, Search, Images, Maps, Play, YouTune, News, Gmail, Drive and Calendar are the default options, but you can click on “even more” to see more Google products or services.

Similar To Chromebook Apps Icon

The box icon is very similar to how the Apps icon works on Chromebooks, which shows applications within a box:


Similar To Android, As Well

This is also similar to the apps icon that Google uses at the bottom of an Android screen to bring up apps:

UI Overview | Android Developers

Android also promotes the use of what’s called an “Action Overflow” icon of three stacked boxes to bring up a menu within an app for additional actions. For example, the first arrow below points to the icon in Chrome on Android, and the second arrow shows how it brings up a box of options:


From Mobile To The Web

Many navigation or user interface elements Google launched initially for mobile eventually have turned into use on the Web, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see this become permanent.

Of course, Google is known for testing various user interfaces and algorithmic updates all the time. Not all of them become permanent.

In fact, Google recently was spotted testing hiding the search box completely. Google, however, has tested the navigation elements fairly often. Here are some of our reports on those user interface tests.

Postscript: A Google spokesperson told us “we’re always experimenting with the look and feel of our homepage.”

Other Google User Interface Changes:

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Google: User Interface | Top News


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • bluelightzero

    Cool finally! It’s easier to pic icons than read through text. Although the images icon does not make sense and should be a gallery icon.

  • Marc Razia

    Artistically this looks nicer with the colors and I am sure there is more to the unifying aspect than I have considered, but this again seems to require two steps to accomplish what we can currently do in one step using the black bar.

    If the purpose is to handle the Action Overflow why not let us customers the black bar so the Google services we use the most individuality will appear and then adding the overflow button for everything else. They could also change the black bar to a more colorful bar that would match artistically to everything else. I’ve never liked the look of the bar but I prefer it based on its practicality.

  • Sanket Patel

    Google operating systems featured new look is such a more potential. It expand more essential services for various google websites behaviour on android and chromebooks. The box icon options make work very easy.

  • CAC1031

    There are extensions to both customize the black bar and change its color: Look for “Big G Black Bar Sorter” and “Google Bar Colour Changer” in the Chrome web store.

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