New Google Drive Revamp Updates An Aging Design

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Google recently introduced an overhaul to Gmail with a new design and function, and now Google Drive is receiving a similar treatment.

The upgrade to Gmail brings the service more in line with Google’s new design aesthetic, and it appears as if the company is extending the same treatment to Google Drive – rolling out an update that will change how to service looks and behaves on the web.

There are no major changes in the way that the service works, with the vast majority of changes involving color schemes and where icons and buttons are placed. This new design makes the Google Drive aesthetic fall in line with the company’s latest Material Design principles.

In a recent blog post, Google stated that “we built this new interface to create a responsive and efficient experience for Drive users, and to feel cohesive with other G Suite products.”

Indeed, it’s important for Google Drive to mesh well with other Google services – especially considering that Drive serves as a hub of sorts for all sorts of files and photos that you collect from around the web. By bringing it more in line with the Gmail redesign and the rest of G Suite, Google is ensuring that they offer a cohesive service on all fronts.

As mentioned above, the changes are mainly aesthetic with the most notable being where icons are laid out. More specifically, the settings wheel and help center button are now in line with the search bar, your company logo has been moved to the top right, the “new” button has a new look, and fonts for headers have been changed.

You’ll also now find that the Google Drive background is white instead of gray – bringing the service more in line with the aesthetic that the company is now shooting for.

The Google Material Design page details their overall philosophy for their redesigns, an excerpt of which we’ve included below.

“What makes a product look and feel unique? And how do you communicate that identity to the people on the other side of the screen. At Google, we make hundreds of digital products under the same colorful, quirky logo.

“And while Google’s brand has evolved and changed over the years, design remains a common thread tying together our varied constellation of apps, services, and technologies.

“With the launch of Material Theming – our end-to-end capability that allows teams to easily and systematically express a brand’s unique identity – design details, like type, shape, and color can be baked into custom Material themes and applied easily across a digital experience. We’ve built the Google Material Theme to express what makes Google uniquely Google.

“Details like the use of white space, the four Google colors, and our custom typeface, Google Sans, work together to convey a familiarity and trust to our users. Our theme gives Google apps a new, modern interface built with all the best practices of Material Design, but customized and adapted so that every part of the UI works together to serve that product’s function.”

The post continued by pointing out the various teams involved with the redesign and stressing the importance of flexibility and the ability to make products stand out from the rest.

“A number of product teams, including Gmail, Google News, Google Pay, and Google Home, helped define and test-drive the Google Material Theme. The redesigned interfaces for all four products launched recently, and we’ll be rolling out even more refreshed Google experiences in the coming months.

Anyone can use Material Theming to make their product stand out, from a small startup to a large company with a diverse set of apps. Learn from our experience developing and applying the Google Material Theme to better understand how you can use themed components to create a shared, expressive brand experience that’s flexible and uniquely yours.”

The Google Drive update is available to all G Suite users, and will be rolling out to all users in the next few days.

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