Thursday, June 10, 2010
You can look back at specific moments in a brand’s history and know when it went wrong. Some might say for Google, that came when they started supporting a few governments’ censorship efforts. Me, imma go more simple: It’s today’s background change to a nice, cuddly background. Or any of your choosing! (That quote was from by Marissa Mayer, VP Search Products & User Experience at Google.)
Is it really the end of the world? Is this New Coke vs. Coke Classic? No, and no. They *have* offered you the ability to design your own custom skin for some time. But the one thing I could always count on was a stripped-down, minimalist and functional approach to their page design.
While they’d increasingly rolled out new functions and nav elements over the past year, those were mostly focused on enhancing the non-visual aspect of the Google experience. It was usually “Oh, cool, they added this little thing.” *cue new nav* When it didn’t work so well (like Buzz), people went all privacy issue batshit.
Their miscues though for the *most* part have been negligible when it comes to their core product. (Again, how the company acts is a different story.) But compared to Facebook’s weekly attempts to get their core product right, Google is nowhere near as bad. I’m not sure what focus groups they asked, but going to a look that mimics the one of your distant competitor is just stupid, on all levels.
If I want cute puppies, I’ll go to Bing.†
UPDATE: Google is back to white. They say it was never a permanent change, just a way to toggle off different themes they were trying, they just forgot to include an explanation. Uh huh.
†Now, if they wanted to add a feature that was actually useful, then they should’ve added the multiple image results that Bing offers. For whatever reason, Google only displays 18 at a time.
Posted 11:25 AM