Announced two years ago, Material Design has yet to make its way to the most visited site on the web. There was an A/B test of Google Search back in June, but nothing came of it. The latest iteration seen by a few individuals is subtle, but noticeably different.
On the Google homepage, this design features a drop shadow behind the search bar in accordance with Material Design’s emphasis on depth. The shadow carries over to search results where there is an Android-like app bar that is twice as tall as the previous design.
Specifically, the top gray half that includes the Google logo, search bar, and app drawer now encompasses the tabs that allow you to fine tune web results by type. The company logo is larger, while a text button replaces the previous gear icon to access Settings.
Searches that turn up “Top News” results now feature three side-by-side story cards that all include images. Previously, only the first story had an image with results displayed as a list.
More drastic redesigns had each search result placed in its own card. Similar to mobile and definitely more like Material Design, it took up too much space in my opinion. These current set of changes are minor, but make a rather big difference.
This design has been popping up intermittently over the past few weeks, though at the moment the design is sticking for me through new searches.