Design considers everything
Over the years, the search page has embraced its role in our everyday lives, extending the idea of a blank canvas, or daily resource, with Doodles that mark the passage of time and celebrate the innovation and artistry of everyday experience—from the legacy of Mexican actress and advocate Dolores del Río, to the anniversary of Pi Day on March 14th. The evolution of search signals our constant attention to the whole picture, in designing for multiple dimensions, rich interactions, and flexible systems. “As designers, it’s our duty to speak truth to power, to break down the silos of company organization and divisions between our products,” explains VP of Material Design, Matias Duarte. “The only authority we’re accountable to are the people on the other side of the screen.”
At its core, our design process is about discovering the best way to dissolve borders between people, places, ideas—even our own products. “The problems we’re solving—at the scale at which we’re solving for—can’t be done with a single vision,” explains Bobby Nath, Director of User Experience for Search, Maps, and Assistant. “It takes many people across a diverse range of knowledge.” To make a product like Google Maps more seamless and natural for the user, for example, it must marry the depth and complexity of travel (including everything from topography and time of day, to business hours and traffic delays) with a clear, straightforward UI—making it not only easy to get where you need to go, but also ensuring that you have a relatable, human experience along the way. This emphasis on the experience calls to mind what we mean when we say “focus on the user and all else will follow.” With Google Earth, that idea extends to the extraterrestrial and virtual realms, giving users the ability to transform their device into a vehicle for exploration. These rich experiences don’t require lavish materials. Google Cardboard—a simple, affordable cardboard VR viewer—allows anyone with a smartphone to experience mobile virtual reality. With its open-source design, Google Cardboard softens the barriers between creators and users and prides itself on being humble—another important Google tenet—without belying its ability to do extraordinary things.