Google Uses Its Googley Eyes When It Comes To Design - InformationWeek

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IoT
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Mobile // Mobile Applications
Commentary
4/25/2008
11:36 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
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Google Uses Its Googley Eyes When It Comes To Design

Does Google's design language do anything for you? Do you find the cleanliness of its sites pleasing to the eye? Or do the white spaces and primary colors drive you nuts? Even though it looks like some Google sites were designed by a kid with crayons, there's a method to the madness.

Does Google's design language do anything for you? Do you find the cleanliness of its sites pleasing to the eye? Or do the white spaces and primary colors drive you nuts? Even though it looks like some Google sites were designed by a kid with crayons, there's a method to the madness.I can't help it. I am very sensitive to design. If I don't like the way a site looks, I won't use it. I abandoned Hotmail ages ago for this reason. The site became too cluttered with Microsoft malarkey and it turned me off.

Same goes for many other things, such as cars, phones, and, yes, even laptops and such. The design has to appeal to me. Things that are overly complicated get on my nerves. This is perhaps one reason why I use a lot of products from Apple. Apple's sense of design is second to none (when it comes to high-tech, anyway. Porsche still makes the best-looking cars on the road, if you ask me).

Anyway, the simplicity of Google's sites and user interface is part of the reason I use them. For me, they just work. They are quick to figure out and don't clutter my screen with unnecessary buttons, graphics, links and such.

Turns out, this is all by design (pun intended). The Official Google Blog tells us how it goes about coming up with designs for its sites, and I find the insight interesting. Last year, Google's User Experience group set out to define what makes Google designs "Googley". The team came up with 10 design principles that form the basis of Google's design philosophy.

They are:

1. Focus on people-their lives, their work, their dreams. 2. Every millisecond counts. 3. Simplicity is powerful. 4. Engage beginners and attract experts. 5. Dare to innovate. 6. Design for the world. 7. Plan for today's and tomorrow's business. 8. Delight the eye without distracting the mind. 9. Be worthy of people's trust. 10. Add a human touch.

I see these principles in many of the things that Google does. Google's User Experience Group sets them as the core of its mission statement: "Design products that satisfy and delight our users." Google tries to strike a balance between all ten principles with its end products.

I don't know about you, but I am (mostly) satisfied with what Google does from a design and general usability standpoint. Am I delighted? Occasionally. Like yesterday, I was updating my personal blog and noticed a new design element that Google is offering to users of its Blogger product. You can now embed slideshows directly onto blogs. Since I had some fresh pictures I wanted to share with my readers, that was the perfect new feature to have at my disposal.

Keep the new designs and new features coming, Google.

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