You may have noticed recently that Google Image searches look a little different. It appears as though they are rolling out a whole new layout for previewing images in the image search results.
Instead of loading image previews with a black background frame, preview images are now appearing to the right of the image results. It seems to have been a widespread rollout so far, with many people being able to use the new feature already.
Google image results last underwent a face-lift in September 2018, where captions on images, the URL of the image and new filter bubbles were added in order to bring the desktop image search experience in line with mobile.
What does the new Google Images preview look like?
As you can see from the screenshot below, the image preview appears in a box on the right side of the results. A larger thumbnail view of the image is shown at the top and includes the name, copyright, description, share button, bookmark button and also a link to see more. Below are related images and related searches, much like the previous layout.
How does it compare to the old preview?
It is possible to still view the old image preview layout, for example the below screenshot is from Google Chrome, but only when signed out of any Google accounts. The main difference here is the image preview opening below the image clicked, with the preview area being on a black background. The information contained within is pretty much the same, however there is a lot of ‘dead space’ around the preview unlike the new layout.
Is the update rolling out to everyone?
At this stage it’s unclear whether the new update is being rolled out globally. As stated, a lot of users are able to see and use this feature at the moment, however Google is yet to confirm the official state of the rollout. As always, Google likes to test new features thoroughly, especially when it comes to user experience updates.
What is the impact of the new layout?
There are both good and bad points to note about the new image preview layout. It does appear as though it uses space far more efficiently, however it can also be said that the preview area can be easily missed and makes the page too cluttered – this could lead to less clicks and therefore less traffic to the website that hosts the image.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the new design change – have you found it easier to use? To you find that it has gotten a little too messy?