more minimalism from google


i realize with the increased use of search toolbars and igoogle, you may have not noticed the new google homepage. but it is making news.

google has just launched a new, more minimalist version of their home page.  while i have commented earlier on their already groundbreaking approach to webpage design, their new design features just the google logo and two buttons upon opening the page – the remaining elements of the page are hidden until you move your mouse, at which point they fade in.  check it out yourself at

google explains their decision, “for the vast majority of people who come to the google homepage, they are coming in order to search, and this clean, minimalist approach gives them just what they are looking for first and foremost. for those users who are interested in using a different application like gmail, google image search or our advertising programs, the additional links on the homepage only reveal themselves when the user moves the mouse.”

this is, of course, not a blog about technology or computers.  this is a blog about our journey towards minimalism and figuring out what that actually means.  but when the most powerful name on the internet journeys towards minimalism too, i can’t help but find encouragment. 

perhaps there is some pretty sound advice in just keeping the things that are “first and foremost” in my life… and letting the rest fade-out.

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Joshua Becker

About Joshua Becker

Writer. Inspiring others to live more by owning less.
Bestselling author of Simplify & Clutterfree with Kids.

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  1. says

    While I agree that it adds to the minimalistic design of the site, it could also be a usability problem. There is no indication on the page that moving the mouse would un-hide those elements of the page. There are also a number of web users, including myself, who can’t, due to a disability(RSI etc) or don’t want to use the mouse(i.e. the massive speed boost and minimal GUI junk you get when switching completely to the keyboard). Though disabling JavaScript with Noscript makes Google look exactly as it always has done.

    On a side note, Firefox can be controlled very effectively, completely with the keyboard(excluding flash) using Vimperator.

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