Although it probably feels like we've had the navigation ribbon and cover photos for a long time, the last redesign was under a year ago. That is ancient in internet years, however. Fortunately, there is evidence (that you may have overlooked) to suggest a new redesign is around the corner, here's what I've found:
|New flat-style g+ logo|
|New g+ Developers logo|
Google+ for Android
|Now Google+ Messenger sticks out like a sore thumb!|
|The new icons to the right (in landscape) would fit a new-look Google+ quite well...|
|New slide-in/out interface with big buttons|
Although the new UI took inspiration from the navigation ribbon, the icons of the default Hangout apps follow the same clean and simple style found in the other properties of Google+.
Dialogue BoxesMyself and a few other people have had "tips" of sorts show up on or around our Home Streams for the past few weeks. These tips are obviously aimed at new users, and it's great that we'll see an improved 'getting started' guide soon.
What is interesting to me though is that these pop-up dialogues don't appear in the old round blue bubble (see below), but in a square solid yellow box. This UI is consistent with the other details I've highlighted in this article.
|Here's the old blue dialogue, which can still be seen by selecting "Take a tour".|
|These new pop-up boxes are more consistent with the logo and other UI changes|
|Another quick tip in the new UI|
The Big PictureAlthough we've had a lot of hints, and I think we've seen most of them for now, I still find it hard trying to imagine how everything will fit together once the inevitable redesign does actually get rolled out. We'll most likely see bright, solid colours as a major theme, and sharp corners along the user interface (which also seems to be a common trend). As long as it doesn't look similar to Microsoft Windows 8, I'm happy.
April will mark the current design's Birthday so we might not see anything new until then, but there is a little bit of hope that Google will kick 2013 off with a bang.
How good are my detective skills +Vic Gundotra? ;-)
What do you think of the new visual direction that Google seems to be taking Google+ in?