A lot of modern-ish websites have slick effects: transitions, animations, filters, etc.

But on Google, the main page doesn't have a single animated transition. No input, button, or link state change is animated.

Why is that? Is this because Google's main page is not designed to attract anyone, sell anything, and for a lot of time was serving only one purpose?

  • This sounds "primarily opinion-based" to me.
    – Uwe Keim
    Sep 16, 2015 at 13:17
  • Google's main page is very utility based, it is designed to focus the user as quick as they can into the searches (i.e. the part that makes them money and the part people use google for)
    – DasBeasto
    Sep 16, 2015 at 14:03
  • From personal experience, the primary reason I switched from using Altavista to Google back in 2000 or something like that was because Google had such a clear and no-nonsense interface. The same reason still applies, even though DuckDuckGo is becoming a better and better choice. Sep 16, 2015 at 14:24

2 Answers 2


This is well discussed in a brilliant book: Marissa Mayer and the fight to save Yahoo! by Nicholas Carlson.

Google won over Yahoo in Search because Yahoo's majority of income came from their Advertising, which made their homepage cluttered with several ads which might not even be relevant.

Marissa Mayer was the Product Manager for Google Search and the primary focus was UI/UX. Minimalism is key here.

Yahoo! never really knew what it was. Google was very well known to do one thing, the best - Search.

The minimal web design also ensures that you get to see what you will expect to see.

For example, let's say Person A keeps Yahoo! As their homepage and Person B keeps Google as their homepage.

Person A may get all sorts of ads which add up to the data usage and these ads might be inappropriate or unrelated and so, it's an unexpected outcome. Also, loading these ads up might take longer than 3 seconds, which is the time it takes for your user to give up on your service waiting.

Person B knows what to expect from their homepage. It doesn't have any ads, a whole lot of white space, a Google logo in the middle, and interesting doodles signifying of different events worldwide once in a while.

Animations, Transitions, Buttons, Filters, etc. consume time and lead to more data usage. Definitely not something you want to add up into the loading time of your website when it's the most visited webpage in the world.

  • 1
    compare however to Japan which has a culture of loving 'clutter' and has text everywhere even in the real world and in its TV shows....there yahoo remains number 1. Sep 16, 2015 at 15:51
  • Hahah! I love Japan for the weirdness! Sep 16, 2015 at 17:31

Pages like google's front page are about having a clear vision, and sticking to it.

Many clients do not take the time to clarify their vision, understand how to come up with a vision statement, how to keep to a vision, encapsulate their vision in the design of their products, or communicate it to others.

Google do, and that is why the front page is like it is.

IMO :-)

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