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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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
by haakin on Fri 25th Jan 2013 17:59 UTC
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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.

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