Google Tests a Black Navigation Bar for Google Plus

About two days ago, I noticed the Google navigation bar is now black as shown below.

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I did some searching to see what was going on, but couldn’t find an answer into why it was black. I posted on Twitter, but no one seemed to have it like I did. I tested out Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer, but they didn’t have the black navigation bar. It only appeared on FireFox 5 (could that be the reason too?)

Reports are now appearing saying that Google is testing out the new black navigational bar to a limited number of users to see what they think about it. (to prepare for the launch of Google Plus). It also appears that they are also testing out a new black YouTube player as well.

Update: It is now clear, that Google is having a complete make-over. The black navigation bar is currently being rolled out to everyone and will appear on all of Google services such as Google Reader and Gmail.

Along with this, Google search has also had another make-over, and becoming even more simplistic. If you do a search, you will notice that the sidebar has changed to a more red and grey colour scheme. This colour scheme and layout will become default, as Gmail now has a theme for this colour scheme, as well as the new Google Plus that is in private beta mode.

 

New Google Search Theme

 

New Gmail Theme

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The new Black YouTube player

What’s your opinion on the new black Google navigation bar? I actually quite like it – it’s much better than the old one in my opinion. Do you dig it? Let me know your thoughts about it in the comments.

Update: Recently, Google is in the process of launching a new social networking tool to compete with Facebook called Google+, which uses a black navigation as shown in this Flickr image. So I’ve come to the conclusion, that the black navigation bar you see in this post is to do with Google Plus.

Update 2: Google has published an official blog post outlining the changes with the Google homepage. The design is to help in regards to: Focus, Elasticity, and Effortlessness; and is currently being rolled out to all users – so look out for it!

I might as well post a screenshot of the current look of the Google Homepage because you kind of miss what sites look like after the undergo a make-over. Just look at the how the user interface has changed for Facebook over the past few years. It’s so much different now then when Facebook first came out; so it’s good to have a record of Google’s current search page if the new black navigation bar roles out to everyone.

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