Google tests Material Design makeover for Google search on the desktop

The look recently landed on Chrome OS and now Google is aiming its Material Design makeover brushes at its legendary search engine.

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Google started testing a Material Design makeover on YouTube earlier this year, and now it’s doing the same for the company’s search engine on the desktop. A small set of Google users noticed their searches displaying material design touches and shared the news on Reddit and Twitter, as first reported by Engadget.

Google introduced Material Design in June 2014, saying in a blog post that the new aesthetic would be “one consistent design that spans devices across mobile, desktop, and beyond.”


YouTube’s Material Design makeover is currently in testing.

The change will be noticeable to longtime Google users, but at the same time the new design is more about subtle tweaks than drastic changes. You can find an image of Google’s Material Design test on Imgur.

In the new Material Design look the background for the search results page is gray instead of white. Each search result is also cordoned off in a card-style layout instead of the unified list of results we have now. The cards do look nicer, but it suggests there will be fewer results on the first page. That may not matter too much, however, as Google has noted numerous times that most people will either find what they’re looking for in the first few results or move on.

Engadget also says that the information boxes that appear on the right side of the search results page are dropping in-line with the rest of the results. As we’ve seen in other iterations of Material Design, the settings cog is replaced by three vertical dots.

The impact on you: Don’t count on seeing the new Material Design changes in your search results anytime soon. This appears to be a small-scale test and will likely change many times before it goes live—assuming it does roll out to everyone. There also doesn’t appear to be a trick to get to switch to Material Design the way there was with the YouTube Material Design tests that popped up in late April. 

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