Search Engine Land discovered Monday that Google is experimenting with a brand new black navigation bar. Today, the revamped bar goes live for some as the company gradually rolls out the changes to everyone. The search firm rarely messes with its legendary homepage design, so their creative director Chris Wiggins lays out in a post over at the official Google blog the main principles behind the redesign. It’s about focus, elasticity and effortlessness, he explains:

We’re bringing forward the stuff that matters to you and getting all the other clutter out of your way. Even simple changes, like using bolder colors for actionable buttons or hiding navigation buttons until they’re actually needed, can help you better focus on only what you need at the moment.

He says the new design lends itself to a consistent visual experience across desktop and mobile, “without sacrificing style or usefulness”. Google says a crucial part of the new experience is the use of the latest technologies like HTML5 and WebGL so “you have all the power of the web behind you”. They will roll out the new bar over the course of the following months to other properties, including Google Maps and Gmail.

The original homepage in 1997.

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