Reports from BusinessInsider.com today report that Google have made some new logos for Google Maps, Google Documents, and Google News, but has the design side of Google clouded the judgment of their once innovative and creatively forward thinking product team?
It was back in 1999, a year after Google.com was formed, Google’s simple and innovative look on design was praised by “The Guardian“ as “wonderful example of minimalist design”, move forward to 2003, SearchEngineWatch.com columnist Danny Sullivan posted about the winners of the 2002 Search Engine Watch Awards, with Google winning first prize for best design, then a gap, a silence and lack of praise from journalists and critics alike which obviously must have bewildered the design team at Google into believing they had not done something right.
In the years following the award, Google really pushed hard in creating new logos for every type of occasion possible, including Valentines Day (which didn’t work out so well), Paddington Bear’s Birthday, and the Doodle4Google initiative, first started in 2000 by Google Webmaster Dennis Hwang.
But since then, it has become particularly apparent that Google are currently lacking the once creative flair to really create new and interesting boundaries, which could only be exceeded by their own efforts, but now seems to be neglected, in the past year the only things that Google have made which are of any significance are Google Friend Connect, and the new (rarely used) web browser, Google Chrome, otherwise they have just been pondering and not reacting to criticism being thrown at them by others about the SearchWiki functionality on Google.com search, and the recent developments in the Twitter/Google Acquisition rumours (which I discussed further in a blog post during February), and has since been talked about further by people such as Mark Evans and Twitter.com Co-Founder Biz Stone.
It’s not to say that Google have lost their competitive edge in the search engine market, recent figures from Comscore report that Google had a 64.2% share of all searches in April 2009, it just appears that Google have been too complacent in recent months, letting their foot off the pedal, dabbling in useless discussions with companies such as the New York Times (which thankfully isn’t going ahead now), shouldn’t Google be looking back to how things used to be, and take particular note to how the loss of creative talent such as Paul Buchheit, creator of GMAIL has affected them overall. What is the one product we can all point to as being the game changer from Google that has taken the internet by storm?
It seems to me that Google’s use of selective wording within blog posts, such as the explination to the recent outage which caused over 14% of the internet traffic to Google.com’s services to go down causes people to speculate and predict wildly overreaching outcomes, such as the recent ChannelWeb.com report that “Google Woes May Be Trump Card For Kumo“, Google also have found that they have lost control over the conversation, the outage caused thousands to flock over to the popular microblogging service, Twitter.com, and report on their thoughts at the tag #googlefail (and many people still pass comment on this tag about Google’s issues).
Now, if Google can really step up, and look past the “we aren’t really doing much, but we won’t let you think that” method of communicating to Google users, then the innovation may flow once again, alternatively Google can stay in the rut, and keep working on shiny new logo designs which contribute little to no value to the overall user experience.
Agree, disagree? Let me know in the comment section below this post.