Google's Black Navigation Bar a Preview of Google+ Project

Apparently in light of Google's announcement of their social Google+ project, Google is rolling out a new user interface (UI) for its standard search product. The UI appears to be modeled after the new Google Profile design.

The black navigation bar across the top of the page Google has been testing is here to stay and is called the Google+ bar:

The Google+ bar, which appears at the top of Google products, is your connection to Google+. You can share what's on your mind, view your Google+ notifications, access your profile, or jump to a variety of other Google products. For instance, to get to Google+, all you have to do is click +[your first name].

When you're signed in and look at the Google+ bar, you'll see your full name or email address displayed with a photo or avatar next to it. This helps you identify which account you're currently signed in to. You can sign in to multiple accounts at once and switch between them using the Google+ bar.

According to Google, "over the course of the next few months, look for a series of design improvements across all our products, including Google Search, Google Maps and Gmail."

Yesterday, after the Google+ announcement, for the first time I began seeing this search "makeover," which we've previously reported:

New Look Google

The search area is offset from the rest of the page in a light gray. The search button has become graphical like Google's Who Do You Love mash-up site and drops the "I'm feeling lucky" button.

The sidebar options have lost the bright Google colors, represented in grayscale. Highlights and subheadings are represented in a reddish-orange color.

Also, check out what Google Maps now looks like (note the magnifying glass button replaces the standard gray "Search" button (Google also has a post noting the changes):

Google Maps New Look

Also, as spotted by Marketing Pilgrim, here's the new-look Places page:

Google Places New Look

Is this the new Google once Google+ goes live? Do you like it or do you think it takes Google further away from the simple search product that made them popular?

About the author

Thom is a seasoned techincal SEO and digital analytics veteran. His current role as VP of Development and IT at Internet Marketing Ninjas includes the improvement of internal processes, leading the creation and refinement of industry-leading tools across multiple brands.

Previously he was a premier independent consultant, held a a senior search position at nationally renown TopRank Online Marketing and led all digital web-related technology's at Rochester Institute of Technology's Saunders College of Business. He also led analytics strategy efforts for the university's mobile initiative.

Part of the ClickZ Academy faculty, Thom has also taught for several well-respected colleges and universities. He is a regular speaker at ClickZ Live events and is a veteran of TEDx as well.