Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 24th Jan 2013 17:43 UTC
Google Fantastic article by The Verge: "Something strange and remarkable started happening at Google immediately after Larry Page took full control as CEO in 2011: it started designing good-looking apps. [...] We went to Google looking for the person responsible for the new design direction, but the strange answer we got is that such a person doesn't exist. Instead, thanks to a vision laid out by a small team of Google designers, each product team is finding its way to a consistent and forward-looking design language thanks to a surprising process. They're talking to each other." I think Google's recent complete design transformation is one of the most remarkable shifts this industry has seen post-iPhone. I think the importance and possible ramifications of this shift are best captured by Tom Dale: Google is getting better at design faster than Apple is getting better at web services.
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For tastes there are colors...
by tylerdurden on Thu 24th Jan 2013 20:27 UTC
tylerdurden
Member since:
2009-03-17

I would not necessarily refer to a very subjective piece of editorialized PR fluff as "fantastic" but to each their won...

Reply Score: 9

RE: For tastes there are colors...
by WorknMan on Thu 24th Jan 2013 21:59 UTC in reply to "For tastes there are colors..."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Exactly. I'm guessing this is the team that's responsible for breaking the mobile version of Google Plus, and making it nearly unusable. It used to be very clean and easy to read, with an emphasis on text. But now it's just a huge clusterf**k and an eyesore. The last thing I want to see on my phone are posts with giant-ass images. Plus, they removed the ability to long press on a thread to mute it. Whoever decided to remove that feature should be fired immediately, and then removed from the gene pool. Anybody who is stupid enough to do a thing like that has no business ever reproducing.

Hopefully they will stay away from the Google Voice app. The GV app is in desperate need of an overhaul, but not from these assclowns.

Edited 2013-01-24 22:02 UTC

Reply Score: 4

some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

Also most design changes in Android 4.2 range from lame to awful.

Reply Score: 5

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I have to agree on most of the g+ changes. I don't mind the picture size or the mute rearrangement, but oh god who the hell thought those four buttons that appear with a downwards swipe were a good idea?

Photo, check in, mood, or write. Mood? Seriously Mood? My mood is Fking pissed off that these four useless colorful eyesores popup every f'n time I scroll. That's what my f'n mood is man.

Reply Score: 2

v What a title...
by kovacm on Thu 24th Jan 2013 22:52 UTC
RE: What a title...
by kwan_e on Fri 25th Jan 2013 02:15 UTC in reply to "What a title..."
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Make sense.... nnnNow!

Reply Score: 3

RE: What a title...
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 25th Jan 2013 04:34 UTC in reply to "What a title..."
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

FYI, the article was from 2011 you linked to, G+ has been redesigned since then. it could or could not have been a different designer. In any case it looks like its part of the same suite of applications as the other google web apps, which is the point of the article. All of the one off designs are being harmonized. I don't think anyone for a second thinks its Larry page doing the actual design. Something great has many authors, and I think the verge's piece does a good job expanding upon that idea.

Reply Score: 3

RE: What a title...
by JAlexoid on Fri 25th Jan 2013 05:45 UTC in reply to "What a title..."
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Applying "engineered" to Page is more appropriate, because Page is an engineer! (Unlike the other guy...)

Why Google+ Looks Good: Original Macintosh Team Member Andy Hertzfeld

Yes... Andy sat on the couch between working on the original Macintosh and joining Google.

Reply Score: 3

RE: What a title...
by judgen on Fri 25th Jan 2013 09:01 UTC in reply to "What a title..."
judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

that line is stolen by Steve Jobs from the dutch king of british empire basicly. Where he claimed that for britain to be prosperous the Dutch need not to lose. And lo and behold, they got along mostly fine.

For reference i ment this bloke: "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_III_of_England" I am bad at tranlating old timey dutch though as he spoke it.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: What a title...
by kovacm on Sat 26th Jan 2013 00:11 UTC in reply to "RE: What a title..."
kovacm Member since:
2010-12-16

that line is stolen by Steve Jobs from the dutch king of british empire basicly. Where he claimed that for britain to be prosperous the Dutch need not to lose. And lo and behold, they got along mostly fine.

For reference i ment this bloke: "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_III_of_England" I am bad at tranlating old timey dutch though as he spoke it.

Larry certenly know this! ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: What a title...
by MOS6510 on Sat 26th Jan 2013 09:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What a title..."
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I'm Dutch and I didn't, nor can I find that quote in the Wikipedia article or anywhere else.

Oh well.

Reply Score: 2

Eric Schmidt Days...
by robojamie on Fri 25th Jan 2013 00:54 UTC
robojamie
Member since:
2005-08-26

I miss the Eric Schmidt days when Google's innovation was mainly on the web and based around standards and alliances. When Page took the reigns they started killing anything geeky or weird. Android would never come out of today's Google.

In the products that they have lost interest in like Books and Reader the redesign is so minuscule that it is basically just a color scheme change. Maybe the new color scheme looks better, but the old blue on white color scheme represented the simplicity of hypertext.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Eric Schmidt Days...
by JAlexoid on Fri 25th Jan 2013 05:46 UTC in reply to "Eric Schmidt Days..."
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

You do realise that Android was bought with the blessing of Page and Brin?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Eric Schmidt Days...
by MOS6510 on Fri 25th Jan 2013 11:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Eric Schmidt Days..."
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

I never thought of them as religious types.

Reply Score: 3

rklrkl
Member since:
2005-07-06

Has anyone looked at Google Currents recently i.e. since its 12th Dec 2012 update (now updated on 16th Jan 2013 with no fixes to the design)? It's bleeding awful and it would take many paragraphs to explain all the buggy and wrong design decisions they've made in Google Currents.

What I do on any new Android device/install is "upgrade" Google Currents to the 1.5.1 apk with the old interface which was so much better to use that it's unreal.

Reply Score: 2

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
by haakin on Fri 25th Jan 2013 17:59 UTC
haakin
Member since:
2008-12-18

As Mark Shuttleworth said more than 4 years ago, "Pretty is a feature". Or, John Keats said poetically 200 years ago, "A thing of beauty is a joy forever". We need to work, play, interact with pretty things to make our lives a little bit less miserable.

But, the problem is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In my case, I like minimalism but IMHO Google is going too far in that direction. I'm having a lot of troubles finding things like buttons or interactive areas in their designs. Things that should be easily identificable, if your objective is making a truly usable interface, are not so easy to find. Great design is pretty and has to be easy to use.

I have an iPhone 3GS (iOS 6) and an Android tablet (ICS). Maybe iOS looks a little bit old now, but it's great to find buttons in apps or to identify the interactive areas in Preferences, for example. But, Android is so minimalist that sometimes I have troubles to find where to tap. Eventually I find it, but I need a couple of extra seconds that ruin the android experience.

Reply Score: 2

I think its broader
by Nelson on Fri 25th Jan 2013 18:54 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

A lot of the big tech companies have done some soul searching when it comes to visual design and identity.

Look at Yahoo's new Mail experience. Look at Microsoft doing a complete rebranding and visual overhaul of almost all of their core products.

Look at BlackBerry 10 eschewing the terrible BB7 for a more unified look.

Companies are realizing that they are often an impediment to the user experience when they don't get out of the way. Minimalism is key here. Users want their content, if there's too much chrome, its indicative of a bad design.

I'm glad Android finally stopped trying to be iOS and started finding their own identity. Android apps (the newer ones) now look uniquely Android AND coincidentally it doesn't look terrible.

Reply Score: 3

I don't see it
by leos on Sun 27th Jan 2013 02:26 UTC
leos
Member since:
2005-09-21

Android is doing ok, but going very deeply into minimalist design, and as someone else pointed out, it makes it quite hard to distinguish between labels and content, versus actionable buttons or links.

The rest of the google universe is pretty miserable. Even after who knows how many months of the new gmail design, the monotone and uninspiring icons still make me think where I might want to click. Blogger has about the worst and least functional mobile interface in the world, and google plus, well, it doesn't really matter since no one uses it.

Google maps is excellent, but really doesn't involve any design to speak of. Everything else is middling at best.

Reply Score: 4

RE: I don't see it
by StuffMaster on Sun 27th Jan 2013 19:21 UTC in reply to "I don't see it"
StuffMaster Member since:
2006-12-26

I quite agree. I wish they'd go back to native buttons on the search page and find flat buttons to be unnecessarily confusing.

I also despise using the "hand" icon over buttons that has spread throughout UI's everywhere.

Reply Score: 1