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Google UI Update 2024: Why The New Look Works

Google just updated its UI for 2024. So, what’s changed? And how can you use Google as an example to improve your UI?

In early 2024, Google rolled out a new UI update to a small number of accounts. The full update was rolled out to all users on March 4th, 2024. The new UI update primarily consists of visual changes. These include changes in the layout, structure, and design of Google pages. However, virtually no functional changes have been made to any tools or features. 

Despite the UI update being apparently superficial, Google’s decision to modify the layout of its UI works to subtly enhance the user experience. The changes made by Google work to increase accessibility, workflow organization, and makes the site easier to navigate.

Some users enjoy the new UI update, while others aren’t happy about trying to figure out the location of features within the new layouts. Although the update is somewhat controversial, there are many reasons why Google’s 2024 UI update is ultimately an increase in the quality of the website. 

UI Trends Utilized by Google’s 2024 Update

A user interface feature that has been becoming increasingly popular is minimalism. UI follows the law of simplicity: a more simple, streamlined design makes it easier to communicate with your users, meaning your users will be more attracted to the UI. Minimalistic, or simplistic, design benefits the user experience by removing unnecessary design elements. This prevents users from being overwhelmed by too many features and visual distractions.

Google’s new UI update incorporates many aspects of minimalist design. One of the changes is the modification of Google sign-in pages to appear more similar to that of Gmail and Google search. Material Design, for example, is being integrated into the sign-in pages.

First of all: What is Material Design?

Material Design is a design language created by Google which is highly reliant on onscreen touch experiences, cue-rich features, and motions that mimic that of objects in the real world. It is primarily used for mobile apps.

User interaction is the core of Google’s Material Design, whose goal is to provide a natural, intuitive UX experience. The priorities of material design are:

  • Clear structure
  • Organization
  • Simplicity
  • Appealing aesthetics

Material Design attempts to familiarize the digital world by imitating paper and ink, as well as other aspects of the physical world. Material Design recreates shadows, textures, and physics familiar to users from their everyday lives. 

Material Design is an open-source code, able to be utilized by UI developers everywhere. It was designed to allow Android app developers to maintain a consistent system. 

So, what aspects of these design choices make them so successful for UX? The answer: subtle, seemingly superficial changes make the difference.

How does Google utilize Material Design in their 2024 UX update?

So, what aspects of these design choices make them so successful for UX? The answer: subtle, seemingly superficial changes make the difference.

Image: Screenshot of Google’s previous sign in page.
Google's sign in page before the 2024 update.
Image: Screenshot of Google’s 2024 updated sign in page.
Google’s sign in page in its 2024 UI update. Note the horizontal format and text box. 

Rounded Corners

Google’s 2024 UI update added a pill-shaped ‘next’ button at the bottom of the sign-in page. The shape of the button utilizes rounded corners and soft colors, which contribute to a naturalistic design. The ‘next’ button also diminishes confusion users may have while signing in.

The rounded corners utilized in the 2024’s new ‘next’ button were a deliberate choice by Google. Rounded corners, despite being minute design elements, have become ubiquitous in UI across the internet. But why is that?

  • Rounded corners contribute to an organic, friendlier design. Rather than using sharp, aggressive corners, buttons and other design elements using rounded corners are less intimidating for users.

  • Rounded corners are easier for the brain to process than geometric, sharp-edged shapes.

  • Rounded corners, which can vaguely resemble a circle, direct users’ attention to the ‘radius,’ or the content within the container. This means users will not be distracted by the shape of the content and rather the words or images within. 

  • Rounded corners are reminiscent of shapes in nature. As humans evolved in natural environments, which generally lack straight lines, we are not used to sharp angles. Sharp angles can therefore be distracting. Meanwhile, rounded corners are what the brain is programmed to see, and thus you can more easily look past the rounded corners to the UI’s actual content.

  • Rounded corners are more responsive to changes in screen size, such as between phones, iPads, and computers.


Google’s 2024 UI update has shifted the color scheme to focus on softer, muted colors. Why? Well, an important aspect of Google’s Material Design is its color system

Google’s use of colors in their UI is intentional and consistent across platforms. Over the years, many Google applications—including Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Meet—have taken on a similar color scheme. Google’s official brand colors are blue, red, yellow, and green. The use of thematic, consistent colors is an important part of making a recognizable and accessible UI.

But how exactly does Google utilize color in an effective manner?

  • Color is used to indicate which elements of design users can interact with. For example, the box in which users can enter their sign-in information is highlighted in blue, indicating they can type in the box. Other elements that you cannot interact with are white. In addition, the ‘next’ button is blue to show you’re supposed to click it.

  • The ‘next’ button added to the sign-in page is white text overlaid on a dark background, making the text readable and prominent. 

  • The Google label is now more visible on top of the ‘Sign in’ text, reinforcing Google’s brand style.

  • Color draws attention towards the elements of design users are meant to interact with.

Reducing unnecessary text

Google’s 2024 update extensively modified the layout of the Google sign-in page. An “email or phone” field was placed next to the Google logo and the sign-in header.

Previously, the sign-in page consisted of a list of all your Google accounts. To reach the sign-in page, you would have to click on the correct account to proceed, or you would have to navigate to a small ‘Use another account’ button.

With this new update, you can type in your email directly rather than selecting from a list.

How does this update benefit the user experience?

  • Error reduction - Users have the full power to type in their own email address. In the previous design, with a list of many different addresses, it was easy to select the incorrect email address. This causes the user to have to backtrack.

  • Less frustrating - In the previous update, a user with several addresses may not have the one they’re looking for pop up in the automatic list. When a user was at this point, figuring out what to do was frustrating. This update ensures users have the full power to type in their own address, no matter how many addresses they have. 

  • Less overwhelming - Having many email addresses on the page fills it with unnecessary text which overwhelms the user. The new UI update removes the majority of this text, making their experience more streamlined. 

Streamlining results

Image: A simple graphic comparing good and bad web design.
Google’s new UI update removed many poorly designed pages from Google search results.

In UI, it is vital to guide the user’s attention towards the most important content on a page. In order to accomplish this, Google has sought to eliminate low quality websites from search results starting in its March 2024 UI update. This prevents users from being overwhelmed with unnecessary search results.

What exactly does Google classify as low quality content?

  • Websites with poor UI - This includes websites that spam users with ads.

  • Outdated sites - A search result from 2009, for example, is less likely to be relevant to a user’s search than a website from a year ago.

  • Unoriginal content - Pages that are largely plagiarized will be deindexed. In addition, Google has grown better at identifying AI-generated websites—these will be deindexed from search results as well.

  • Low-effort content - This encompasses many different types of websites, but a specific example is sites specifically written to answer certain search queries. These websites are created just to generate as many clicks as possible without providing quality—or, in some cases, correct—content.

Google’s new UI update automates the process of deindexing sites. Because of this, a website fitting into one of the above categories can be taken off search results almost immediately after being posted. Some argue this is a good change, while others are concerned about Google potentially targeting too many websites.

Regardless of your stance on whether or not Google should eliminate these search results, simplified text on a page is a fundamental principle of UI. By leaving only high quality search results, Google attempts to ensure users are not frustrated by unhelpful, inaccurate websites. Users are more likely to be satisfied by the content of their search results, and thus satisfied with Google as a whole. 

When looking to optimize your UI through text, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Negative space - Make sure your text is not crowded together, allowing users to migrate from one element to another without getting overwhelmed.

  • Placement of text - Make sure text is placed and justified in a coherent, organized manner, as not to come across as unprofessional.

  • Sentence length - Vary your sentence length. Many long sentences in a row can lose user interest—having sentences of multiple lengths can better keep users engaged.

  • Contrast - If your text isn’t readable, it will instantly put off users. Be sure that your text and background contrast highly with one another.

Which Google UI update is your favorite?

The 2024 Google UI update succeeds in many ways. How can you apply Google’s UX/UI strategies to your own interface? Get in touch with our team of experts at UXAX for help developing effective UX/UI practices.

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