Google is on a roll with unifying their online applications to bring them in line with the styling of Google+. The redesigned Google Docs and Google Sign-In are, at least for the moment, “just cosmetic.” and follow in the footsteps to the changes recently made to Google Calendar and Gmail.
The big G outlines why they’ve made these changes:
The way people use and experience the web is evolving, and our goal is to give you a more seamless and consistent online experience — one that works no matter which Google product you’re using or what device you’re using it on. The new Google experience that we’re working toward is founded on three key design principles:
- Focus: With the design changes in the coming weeks and months, we’re bringing forward the stuff that matters to you and getting all the other clutter out of your way.
- Elasticity: The new design will soon allow you to seamlessly transition from your desktop computer to your mobile phone to your tablet, while keeping a consistent visual experience. We aim to bring you this flexibility without sacrificing style or usefulness.
- Effortlessness: Our design philosophy is to combine power with simplicity. We want to keep our look simple and clean. But behind the seemingly simple design, the changes use new technologies to make sure you have all the power of the web behind you.
If you’ve been on Google+ then the interface will feel familiar with lots of white space, the red and gray buttons, etc. While I think the new UI is easy on the eyes, they’re being more liberal with white space than I would like to see. When you load up Google Docs you’ll see a link in the top right hand side inviting you to “Try the new look”, either click that or access it via this link and the new interface will be enabled.
Google Sign-In is also getting a make over but enabling it might not be as evident as you’d think. You’ll only see it the first time you go to sign in, or if you’re already signed in then you’ll have to log out of your account and return to the Google Accounts Sign-in screen. Once signed out you’ll then see a yellow bar across the bottom containing a link that tells you a new design is coming with links to “Preview It” or “Learn more”.
Once the new interface is active the sign-in pages for Google Docs, Google Reader and all the other Google services will also change. If you don’t care for the new look (I don’t know why you wouldn’t, this is the least dramatically changed Google thing so far) Google says “For a limited time, you can switch back to the old version of the sign-in page by clicking the link at the bottom of the page. However, eventually this change will be permanent and you will not be able to switch to the old look.” After enabling the change, your Google Accounts Sign-in’s will all look plus-y. Again, you’ll notice the small yellow bar across the bottom, this time containing a link to return “Back to old page”.