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Google’s Designers Reveal The Strategy Behind Their Products

Google’s Designers Reveal The Strategy Behind Their Products
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Video series charts principles that are important not only to technology, but design holistically.

Michael Ellenbogen
  • 5 may 2014

Simply put, design is important; it’s infused into most everything we see, touch and experience every day, yet because it’s so subjective we haven’t gotten design down to a science, which leaves a lot open to imagination and interpretation, including process and development.

Sure there are best practices, but to touch on what this looks like on a more granular level, from a Google level, the tech giant created a new video-based series called “Design Minutes,” which is meant to inspire conversations about the future of the field.

Over the past decade, Google has become more involved with integrating design with technology. The rationale being that small adjustments have large implications that can increase users’ activity ten-fold.

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The little things add up. Google Search designer, John Wiley discusses the importance of designing for simplicity and speed. Take the default sizes of the Google homepage’s search box, and imagining the way people “talk to Google.” Wiley explains how a simple design shift to increasing the homepage’s input search box size led to font becoming larger, followed by auto-complete becoming larger, followed by people using the tool more as a result of the synergistic seamlessness. Just a simple tweak can lead to more simple tweaks, and change the world of search exploration – the way people think about the dimensions they can explore, their confines becoming different in scale, and in doing so enabling people to think differently within that scope; when design become easier, simple and smarter this subsequently leads to paradigm shifts and ultimately increases users because of the experience.

It’s about people, their interactions and experiences with design, not just technology. Google Maps is a perfect example of progressively becoming more evolved technologically, while becoming increasingly easier to use, or ergonomic. Designers, Sian Townsend and Jonah Jones talk about simplicity and how trends in modern design should help make technology “get out of the way.” Further, that design building should take into context “every place and every person” and an understanding of what people like versus what they use, what they’ll approach, and what they’ll adapt to, and how both are important factors in design. These processes include good doses of research and exploration, as well as introducing new facets for users to play with to get the most out of the products they’re using.

Google Developers Blog

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