While its first implementations were seen — understandably — on Android, it took a little longer for the transition to take place on the web; we are now seeing Chrome being reworked under Material’s principles, and it now appears that the company’s stronghold, Search, may be on the verge of its long overdue redesign …
As it often happens, the change is being spotted just by a handful of users — on Twitter as well as Reddit — with no identifiable pattern in terms of OS or the actual browser being used, indicating that the redesign is rolling out slowly via a server-side switch.
Considering the importance of the product it is no wonder that Google is taking such an approach, but we will likely see it increasingly more and more widespread over the coming weeks and months.
All considered, the visual change is actually not so drastic. The results’ grid, which is the fundamental UI element of Search on the web, has remained intact. However, instead of relying solely on spacing to distinguish a result from another, white cards are being used to wrap them up, laid over a grey-ish background and outlined by a small drop shadow to accentuate the idea of elevation.
Other minor changes see the old settings cog replaced by Material’s standard vertical three-dot menu icon, as well as a toned-down magnifying glass eschewing its blue box in favor of a more streamlined white background.
Engadget is also reporting that results usually shown in the Knowledge Graph‘s box on the right have now been moved inline to the ‘main column’ above the other results; a somewhat weird change that may be only experimental and tweaked again in the future.