New Cards in Google Products
Google has truly defined the way that we consume information. Not only defining how we search but designing the interfaces that we use to filter and find information. This year at Google I/O, there were several amazing new introductions in every category. However, one of the most notable changes to me was the prevalence of cards. Google Now, Google Glass and Google Maps all featured cards. I think that these cards represent the future of Google search and will change search for the better.
These all seem to be the direct result of Larry Page taking over as the CEO of Google in 2011. He pioneered something called project Kennedy. You can read more about it here in this epic article on The Verge called Redesigning Google.
It seems very clear that Google is move more towards cards. Matias Duarte, lead designer of Android and Google Now was quoted in a recent New Yorker article by Matt Buchannan on the evolution of Google’s design, as saying …
“The idea is that each card is a single atomic contextual piece of information; essentially, a suggestion, a prompt, a call to action”
I completely agree and think that cards represent a great way of adding structure to information and presenting it in a clear and concise way.
Ten Blue Links are Outdated
We have seen some great innovations in Google’s SERPs (search engine results pages) in the past few years, including: images, places, knowledge boxes, author thumbnails and many other rich snippets. However, I think that there are a few inherent problems with the way that the results are currently set up.
- They don’t take advantage of the current real estate the way a responsive design would
- White space doesn’t create a sufficient separation of information and mixing media becomes increasingly jumbled.
- Ads are always in the same place, encouraging marketing myopia.
- The order of the search results is rigid and domineering – Look at the 1st result!!!
The Future of Google Search: Cards
If you have not seen the new Google+, it is absolutely beautiful. It involves posts in the same card style as Google Now and Google Maps. There is also a search functionality that involves links, videos and other things that have been shared socially. It seems pretty obvious that with the involvement of new the future of Google search will involve cards and a responsive layout. This means that ranking “number one” will be a thing of the past. A two or three column layout means that clicks will be better distributed across the first page of results. Ads could be shown in different areas to avoid marketing myopia and cards would provide a better separation of information. Basically, Google+ Search will transform into Google Search with each element in the SERP today becoming a card. Also, I really hope that this means the end of pagination. Time will tell. But, until then. Here is a quick mockup that i put together. Enjoy.