Since Google+ launched last July, Google has introduced a few design updates to help blend search options with new social features. It appears that Google is still tweaking its design and a new navigation menu has been reported.

Last November, Google announced a new navigation bar that would replace the black bar with a new and bigger gray bar that houses all links to different products under one drop-down menu.

Google is now testing a new layout that increases the visibility of your Google+ account and notification widget. These options have been removed from the black bar at the top of the page and integrated it into the search page.

It’s unclear if or when this new navigation layout will be introduced to the public, but if you prefer this look over the current one, you can start using it now.

To try out the new navigation, visit Google.com and open the Developer tools within the browser.

  • Open the Developer tools within the browser. If you are using Google Chrome, press CTRL + SHIFT + I, in Firefox press CTRL + SHIFT + K, and if you are using Internet Explorer (8+) press F12 and then open the tab Console. Safari users press CTRL + ALT + I and in the panel that opens choose Console.
  • Copy the code in this text file into the developer/console screen and hit Enter.

As soon as you hit Enter, the new navigation should show immediately. If you’d prefer to use Google.co.uk – or any other variant – replace “.com” in the code with “co.uk.”

The company hopes this layout will help to increase interaction on Google+. It could be helpful if you use Google+ frequently, but it could also be met with more criticism by those that don’t want Google integrating social into search. Despite the backlash, however, Google appears to be moving forward with a strong focus on social.

[Via: State of Search, Image credit: Meneame Comunicacions]