Google goes maxi-minimal with experimental home page

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The Google folks are experimenting with a new, minimal look for their basic search page. You can try it out.

At a time when a lot of Web sites are cramming more and more links onto their home pages, Google might be going in the opposite direction. TechCrunch reported that a small group of users are testing a new home page for the company that has absolutely no clickable stuff at all. The only items on the experimental page: the famed multi-colored Google logo and the search box.

It’s classy and minimal -- think of it as the Philip Glass of Web pages.

Not that the classic Google home page was all that crowded anyway. The version I use has only 22 words that were eliminated by the experiment.


How do I know? Because the TechCrunch folks have figured out a way to simulate the minimal page, at least in some cases.

Their method, which is on their blog post, worked perfectly for me on a Mac, on both the Firefox and Safari browsers. And it was easy to get my ‘missing’ links back -- all I had to do was drag my cursor out of the search box and they faded in as if they were never gone.

But a couple of caveats before you try it. Judging from the comments on the blog, many people were unable to make the method work. And my own warning: now that I have it working on Safari, I can’t seem to get rid of it, even by shutting the browser down and restarting.

I’m guessing I can get back to normal by finding the appropriate cookie in Safari and eliminating it. But I’m in no hurry -- I truly like the sleek, new look.

In this era of information overload, the minimal styling is not only classy, it’s refreshing.

-- David Colker