Google drives designers crazy!

The design-o-sphere is abuzz today with the recent blog post by Douglas Bowman about his decision to leave Google. Douglas was more or less the first real creative director at Google and brought about much of the look and standards that The Almighty Goog has become so well known for. Here’s a short snippet of his blog post that I think sums up his point clearly…

“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 miniscule design decisions. There are more exciting design problems in this world to tackle.”

He sums it up with this..

“I won’t miss a design philosophy that lives or dies strictly by the sword of data.”

Obviously most of the people linking to and talking about this are taking his side and agreeing with his reasonings. But I’m not the kind of person to respond to a blog post with “Amen, Doug! u Rock!”

I’m not sure I do completely agree with him. Yes, that sounds annoying. Maddening actually. But websites are not art.

Well, most websites are not art. Some are. And the other 99.9% aren’t. As an artist, I’ve noticed a funny trend amongst other artists. Some like to hide behind the shield of their black turtlenecks and macbooks and refuse to change or take other input from other people because they are creating ‘art’. My feelings are, leave your art to your personal website or separate projects.

If you are a designer for a company, you are not an artist.

Essentially, you are a designer of a salesman. Every time you create a page you are making a conscious choice about how you want that salesman to look. Will that salesman sell better to your customer base with a suit on or sweatpants? In that situation you are consciously making a decision about whether you want your site to be formal or casual. Once that is decided, you can start nitpicking. Does your salesman sell better with a blue tie on or a red tie? Based on the solid statistics you get from that, you can make an informed decision that, frankly, does “live or die by the sword of data”. And I ask you, if you were a business owner, is there a better sword to live or die by?

If Douglas is in fact leaving because he’s tired of the nitty gritty details, I can understand that. But isn’t that philosophy of testing and trial and error something that should be going on everywhere? He is right though that 41 shades of blue is a little ridiculous, but if one shade converts your traffic even .001% better, isn’t it worth it?

Art is great, but is the business world the best place for it to live? In my opinion the 2 should not (and to an extent can not) ever co exist. Does anyone disagree?


Google G1. My impressions after a week.

Well, I got the G1 last week and I’ve had time to play with it and learn its various nooks and crannies. A lot of reviews out there focus on initial impressions, so I thought I’d change that up and focus on a couple things that I like and don’t like at this point.

(It’s important to note that this week the app store opens up to all, so alot of these things may be fixed in the near future.)

-It’s a mini laptop in my pocket! C’mon! I find myself surfing the internet and checking email everywhere now…which could become a problem.

-App store. Like I said, it’s still in it’s infancy, but it already has a lot of cool stuff which have been covered intensively elsewhere. Scanning products, alerting me of “predators” in the area…all cool stuff. And yesterday a twitter app came out along with a lot of games. It’s only going to better from here

-Qwerty keyboard. I always wanted one, and I finally have one.

-Form factor. Some people knock it, but I like it. It doesn’t have that ‘cut-in-half-bar-of-soap’ design that the iphone has, but I think they went a cool route with it. It’s definitely more impressive in person than in pictures.

-Battery life. It wears out fast. Real fast. Average use of the course of one day and the thing is almost dead.

-Now the app store is open to all, some are junk. Like crash the phone junk.

-Oh yeah, the phone crashes occasionally. There was an update today. Hopefully that should fix some of the issues.

-Dealing with jealous Blackberry and iPhone users. Yeah, they’re quick to point out the flaws, but we all know it comes from a deep seated jealousy over the phone they wish they had got.

-Flimsy feel. While I like the form factor, it does feel a bit cheap. Feels like if I was quick to whip the screen open I could possibly rip it right off. Time will tell how it withstands the rigors of daily pocket travel.

-TMobile’s 3G service. Still in its infancy and available no where around amish country. It’s a shame, but luckily it still connects to just about any wireless network and saves the passwords/reconnects easily. And really, when are you not around wireless?

So that is my initial impression of the phone. I do like it very much, and with Google I only expect it to get better and better until I can’t live without it. They’re already taking over the world, might as well embrace it.


Internet/Website Designer Job

Years ago when I was looking for a design/artist job, I typed ‘artist’ into a job search engine and the only result was for a ‘sandwich artist’ at subway. So…assuming you don’t feel like asking people what kind of cheese they want on their hoagie, we may have a job for you!

ProspectMX is a Lancaster internet marketing company. Does this describe you…

You like to design webpages? You like to code them in html and CSS? You’re familiar with WordPress? You have a passion for Flash and actionscript? Then apply already!

What you should send…

Resumes are good and all, and we definitely want to see them, but please send as many work examples as you can. Sites, flash, video, drawings, macaroni pictures. The more the merrier.

Click here to apply…

…and if you’re this guy or gal….you’re hired!


Kill your TV with a Cathode Ray.

I’m sick of TV. Really. Anyone that knows anything about anything knows that no one watches TV anymore. No one buys TVs anymore. Nothing good is ever made for TV anymore.


Yesterday I was watching the TV and a show called “Jeopardy” came on. In case you haven’t heard of it, I will give you the premise.

A man gives you an answer (that’s right — an answer!), and you have to respond to him with the question to his answer. That’s a hard concept to get ones head around, so…


“Besides humans, this is the land mammal with the longest lifespan.”

And then you would answer (question) with…

“What is an elephant?”

But here’s the problem with that scenario. If I went to a party and really seriously wanted to know what an elephant was and Bob (he’s at most of my parties) answered my question with, “Besides humans, this is the land mammal with the longest lifespan,” I would still have no idea what an elephant was. That answer is RIDICULOUS.

TV is out of touch.

Back to that scenario. Let’s get Bob’s STUPID answer out of the way and allow me some time to examine my own personal conduct at the aforementioned party. Why am I going around asking people what an elephant is? Am I that guy? And furthermore, the only answer Bob should have given me is “Where are your keys?” Bob sucks.

So what are you going to do about it?

What is stop watching Jeopardy and make my own internet tv show? See what I did there? So we’ve come to the real meat of the post now. I say TV is dead because I am pleased to announce that I am working on a internet TV show about an online real estate marketing company. The show will be called…


and is about the company’s growth from where it is today to a 20 million dollar company. Fresh…relevant…concise…hip with the kids…exciting…free…concise. We hope to have something for everyone in it. This show is all about transparency, e.g. seeing the owners as real people and not the corporate bigwigs you assume they are.

So I implore all of you to destroy your TV, cancel your cable, and stop asking stupid questions about elephants.

Join us Jan 2009.