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Google testing ‘Search’ button and colorful icon on desktop web

Earlier this year, began testing Material Theme icons on the desktop web for News, Images, Maps, and other search filters. The latest A/B test is somewhat more minor and involves the addition of a new Google “Search” button.

This tweak is wholly-focussed on a minor redesign of the search field found on the main homepage and at the top of the result page. The left-hand side of the bar gains a magnifying glass icon in Google’s four colors of red, green, blue, and yellow. It compliments the current voice search icon on the other side.

When on the search engine results page (SERP), a new “Search” button replaces the previous blue magnifying glass at the right. The new colorful variant remains to the left, and does not change when viewing different tabs like Images or Shopping.

The new Google Search button is part of a small-scale A/B test that we encountered today on the web and one device. In all, it was live for a dozen or so searches before reverting to the previous design. Especially with a service as important as Search, Google will often run numerous tests before widely releasing a final design.

The change might reflect how explicitly labeled buttons are more likely to be tapped, and helps users navigate. However, the odder change today is the addition of a magnifying glass to the left that is purely visual and cannot be clicked. As a result, the field houses two symbols that signify the same thing.

Also of note, is how this A/B test does not add the Material Theme icons that more and more users are seeing to note the various search categories available.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: