What on earth was Google thinking when it added the fade effect?

I am totally confused on this one: Google, so often a shining beacon of good interface design and elegant functionality, has for some unknown reason added an apparently unneccessary fade effect to its homepage.   It starts off sparse, then the rest of the content appears once you move your mouse in the window.

Check out my tasty simulation after the jump.

I say ‘apparently’ unnecessary because I can’t quite bring myself to believe that Google would add something so frivolous, that slows down the browsing experience, for no reason.

I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal – They added a fade effect?  My god, man; these power-mad fools must be stopped! – but it is.  The great thing about Google is that it is one of the purest examples of simple and effective functionality around.  Almost everything they do is simultaneously very powerful and absurdly easy to use.  Google Maps, Analytics and Docs spring instantly to mind, and that leaves aside Google’s core mind-blowing ability to search through tens of billions of documents in sub-second times.

It just seems kind of erratic.  Like your dad ditching his U2 CD collection, buying an iPod and downloading Jay-Z’s back catalogue, you sort of stand to one side looking bemused, wondering when normal service will be resumed.  Perhaps it an elaborate joke, or the first step in a hitherto unforeseen master plan that will soon become clear.  I hope so, because the other possibility is that it’s the start of a longer downward trend that ends with a red convertible and regrets all round.

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009 Uncategorised

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