The DuckDuckGo search engine has a new minimalistic design with a fixed header on search result pages that is currently in beta.
DuckDuckGo saw an impressive traffic increase after the Snowden revelations, and while some may have thought that this is just temporary and that everything will return to normal after a while, it apparently is not the case.
The search engine hit the 5 million direct access mark recently. This may not be much if you compare it to requests that Google or even Bing gets, but steady growth is always a good sign.
The redesign has not been officially announced yet on the company blog, but if you visit the site using the link above, you will notice the difference in design right away.
If you have never been to DuckDuckGo before, visit the current homepage of the search engine as well to see the difference.
Here are two screenshots visualizing the difference. First the homepage (click on the image for full resolution).
A hamburger button was added to the top right linking to settings, privacy and help information, as well as a community website.
The footer links have been removed, and you find three button links below the search form. The first offers an option to add the search engine to the browser you are using, in this case Chrome. The second to set the search engine as your homepage, and the third to learn more about it.
Even though things have changed, they are not as drastic as those on the search results page.
The header is fixed now, which means that it will stay in position while you scroll. It displays options to switch to image and video search results, something that is missing on the old result page. Previously, you had to use a bang to redirect image or video searches to other search engines.
Depending on your query, you may find other information here as well such as places or meanings.
The Zero-click information bar has been redesigned. While you get less links here, you will find links to the source of the information and if available the official website. If a logo is displayed, it is larger than the one on the old page.
Official sites are now highlighted with a red official site sign next to them which highlights them clearer. Text colors have been changed as well. The new low-contrast colors do not highlight links in the standard blue color anymore.
When you open the settings, you can modify what is being displayed on the search result page and how it is displayed. Note that you can modify the text link color and the fixed header if you like. Here is how that is done.
- Switch to color and modify the links color with a click on the menu next to it. Select custom and use 0000FF as the color code. You can use any other color code that you may prefer, but this is the default link text color in most browsers.
- Switch to layout next and click on the header menu. Change it to on and scrolling or off, to get rid of the fixed header.
You find other customization options here and it is recommended to go through all tabs once to find out about them. Options include changing the font size used on the size, the maximum width and position of content, and to turn of advertisements or top links.
According to the makers, the plan is to launch this new version in the next coming months on the main site, but that the decision depends on user feedback more than anything else.