From CNET News.com: Douglas Bowman, Google's visual design leader, is leaving the company after finding the company's reliance on detailed Web page performance data too confining.
Bowman clearly had mixed feelings about departing, but he wasn't shy with his opinion about what he didn't like. From Bowman's blog post Friday on the matter:
When a company is filled with engineers, it turns to engineering to solve problems. Reduce each decision to a simple logic problem. Remove all subjectivity and just look at the data...that data eventually becomes a crutch for every decision, paralyzing the company and preventing it from making any daring design decisions...
Yes, it's true that a team at Google couldn't decide between two blues, so they're testing 41 shades between each blue to see which one performs better. I had a recent debate over whether a border should be 3, 4, or 5 pixels wide, and was asked to prove my case. I can't operate in an environment like that. I've grown tired of debating such minuscule design decisions...
I'll miss working with the incredibly smart and talented people I got to know there. But I won't miss a design philosophy that lives or dies strictly by the sword of data.
Bowman also gripes that Google's designers came from a background of computer science and human-computer interaction rather than classical design, and that none of them rank high in the pecking order.
Google's vice president of search and user experience, Marissa Mayer, is pretty high-ranking and cares a lot about design. But it's not hard to see how her philosophy might rankle. Here's one thing she said about design in a 2008 speech: "On the Web in general, (creating sites) is much more a design than an art...You can find small differences and mathematically learn which is right."
View: Article @ Source Site