Lately, at work, within our department we’ve been discussing company culture. A while back, we read Delivering Happiness, the book by Tony Hsieh about the history of the company and culture of Zappos. A few months ago, a Googler accidentally posted an internal memo on Google+ that showed the world a lot about Google culture, especially with the fact that it was allowed to be left public and did not receive any negative repercussions (as far as we know). We’ve also been mulling over the Netflix culture presentation over the last few weeks. I love what I do and where I work, especially the team I work with and the department I work in. I’m always encouraged with a discussion about how we can improve workplace culture, so I was very interested to dive into a study of workplace culture and how the corporate presentation of culture and actual practice line up.
Via an Androinica article, I just found out that Instagram is finally available for the Android OS. So now, finally, all of us Android users can find out what you iPhone users have been raving about for years. I guess because of the history of Instagram-like apps in the Google Play store, the actual Instagram app doesn’t show up in the first two app results when you do a search for Instagram. I gave up browsing through the 494 app results and went back to the original article, which conveniently had a link to download Instagram for Android from the Google Play store.
Having not used Instagram before, I found the installation and setup simple and following iPhone users I know who have Instagram accounts to be an easy process. Having used a couple of Instagram-like apps for Android, my favorites being Camera ZOOM FX and Pixlr-o-matic, I have a suspicion (based on what I’ve read so far) that the camera and filter features aren’t necessarily better than other camera apps, but the Instagram community is what makes the app so successful.
After attending yesterday’s “A Brief History of the Complete Redesign of Google,” which gave an in-depth look at the process of the Google User Interface (UI) design and redesign over the year, at the South by Southwest Interactive 2012 Conference, I’ve been thinking a lot about how the redesign process at Google translates over to those of us who also have day jobs taking care of major website brands. A lot of the things that we complain about in our corporate work were discussed in the Google panel discussion, with examples of how they were overcome in this process.
The following things stood out to me as necessary for a complete Brand redesign to be successfully completed. Hopefully, none of the terms that the panel of Googlers used were proprietary or trademarked.
- Executive Buy-In
- Take the Design Temperature
- Unique Concept Presentation
- Do the Initial Design in a Vacuum
Sunday, March 11 at South by Southwest Interactive Conference, Austin, TX
Google Panel Consisting of Evelyn Kim (Visual Designer for Maps), Jon Wiley (Lead Designer for Google Search), Michael Leggett (Design Lead, Google Apps & Gmail), Nicholas Jitkoff (User Experience Designer for Chrome), Chris Wiggins (Google Creative Lab)
The Evolution of Google Design
“So did Google just hire a bunch of designers recently, or were they all being kept in a cage all this time?” @tylerball
The process of this redesign is told in two stories. There is the story that you know about that happened in 2011, but most people don’t know the story of the redesign in 2007. 6 designers set out to express the Google brand that was consistent across all properties. It was called Kanna (Icelandic for “to explore, to examine”). Trying to find the balance between form and function, but mainly design and engineering. Looked at over 100 brand attributes that were narrowed down to 4 clusters.