Once the cookie is set, refresh the Google homepage and you’ll see the changes. The search buttons have become blue and the overall look is a bit like that of Google Wave. More significant is the redesigned search results page (seen above) which features an always-on sidebar for narrowing search results by type, date and view.
The brighter, more Wave-like look of the prototype doesn’t bother us, but we’re not so sure about the sidebar, especially given that the same options are already available in the infinitely more compact menu that runs along the top of the page.
There is one new search option in the sidebar that you won’t find on the current Google page — the ability to see results from online forum sites.
The good news, should the new look utterly disgust you, is that so far Google hasn’t even mentioned the new look (and had not responded to our inquires when this story was published) let alone taken any steps toward making it official. Given Google’s track record of beta testing, we suspect the redesign will be thoroughly and publicly tested before it goes live, if in fact it ever does.