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Google has started to roll out a new look, which it says will create a “simple and intuitive” user experience.

The redesign, which is only available to a limited number of users at the moment, replaces the current black strip at the top of the page with a grey logo.

Google’s services can now be accessed through a drop-down menu under the logo, unsurprisingly given the company's focus on Google+ of late, this is the first option in the list. Google+ also maintains a permanent notifications icon in the new header, while Gmail appears seventh in the drop-down.

Six other services appear in the list, including Search and Maps, with an additional link to ‘More’ options.

The redesign, which was announced in a blog post last November, introduces a similar grey colour scheme to the one that was adopted by the YouTube revamp and shows that Google is trying to add a layer of consistency to its services.

Eddie Kessler, Google technical lead, said at the time, “Making navigation and sharing super simple for people is a key part of our efforts to transform the overall Google experience.”

This new focus on sharing is to be expected as Google works to build the number of Google+ users – new figures show that it now has 62m registered users and is adding 625,000 more each month. But its still got a long way to go before it touches Facebook’s 800m members.

However, the cleaner look also means that search regains prominence as Google’s primary function, for Google.com at least.

David Moth

Published 3 January, 2012 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

1680 more posts from this author

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Depesh Mandalia, Head of Digital Marketing at Lost My Name

Its extremely difficult for a rapid-growth organisation to maintain a consistent and seamless user experience. Having seen Google redesign their various online assets over the last few years I'd love to see some data on how well this has worked - I'm assuming they're using GA & GWO to measure and improve!

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