Google Rules


I was at the AjaxWorld conference yesterday and there were some interesting comments by a couple of developers from Google:

1) You may have heard that Google engineers have “20% time”-they have one day a week to work on independent projects.  Turns out that most of their great new projects come from their 20% time: maps, Google widgets.

2) Their philosophy is to design for the ideal user experience and then work backwards to accommodate the technology.  The best example of this is Google Maps, where they began by designing what a perfect geographic search would be and then worrying about the technology.

3) Technology’s changing so fast that even the geeks at Google can’t stay on top of it all.  Instead, they pick the right technology for the problem; hence you get Google Finance with Flash as the underlying technology, Google Maps with Ajax, etc.

Here’s some other interesting info that Marissa Meyer, their VP Products & User Experience outlines in a podcast for Design Life Now:

1) If Google’s designing a feature that is useful by less than 20% of the population then they don’t put it on a major page-instead they put it on an Advanced Search or Preferences page.

2) If less than 5% of users are interested in the feature then they simply don’t do it

Finally, here’s a quote as to why Google has such a simple interface (not likely why you thought):

And I get the question a lot, “how did Google choose to pursue this minimalist path?” Was it because you have such respect for simplicity? When I went and asked Sergei this question, because I wanted to be able to answer it, Sergei looked at me as if I were a little crazy and said, “we didn’t have a webmaster and I don’t do html.”

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

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