Google’s new design swagger

I can't help but notice over the last few days how great Google's suite of apps is looking these days. Though the top black bar threw me for a loop at first, I got used to it after a day and now that I've tried the new Gmail theme designs, as well as the new Google Plus, I'm kind of amazed at how well everything looks, works, and feels. It's kind of like that euphoric feeling the week after a new major OS update comes out for your favorite computer and everything just works better.

People thought it was Google hiring original Macintosh designer Andy Hertzfeld, but he set the record straight that his role was small and it was a whole team of great designers.

Here's my pet hypothesis: A bunch of designers at Google figured out a way to make their user testing reveal the benefits of better looking apps, sites, and pages. I don't know how they did it, either by honestly sharing better looking apps or subterfuge, either way I don't care because I love the end result and it's something I never thought in a million years would happen, but Google products suddenly look well-designed.

6 Comments

  • I agree, the new google look is moving in the right direction. Quite clever really, as they are now looking to make google pretty as well as efficient!

  • About damn time. And agreed that the designers must have finally gotten the analytics to work for them!

  • The sad part of so much effort going into “cosmetics” is that the underlying application, no matter how pretty, still lacks attention. Even two years after reporting, there are still numerous “show-stopping” bugs or omitted features that prevent Gmail and Calendar from being fully usable as “serious” applications, yet Google engineers are not fools, they know how to get things done. I, for one, would much rather see misfeatures corrected and fundamentally flawed designs reworked than a different color scheme or moving buttons around.

  • exceptinsects

    Hmm, I don’t know, all the sharp edges make me nervous.

  • Google plus huh? How do you know how it looks? The project isn’t even up yet…

  • it’s in beta testing mode right now. i was invited by a friend i’m sure this blogger was as well.

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