Ugly By Design, Part 2

As a follow-up to my previous article about ugly web design, I have found some interesting reading to pass on to you.

Adrian Shaughnessy writes in Design Observer on Google and the Tyranny of Good Design:

And yet, I think there’s something magnificent about Google’s lack of design. There’s something defiant, almost obtuse about its reluctance to indulge in the sort of oleaginous branding and design that is now the corporate norm. We’ve reached a point, in the homogenized West, where good graphic design is everywhere. The battle has been won: every business knows it needs good design – you don’t have to tell them anymore. It’s enshrined in the business schools, established in the corporate HQs. Even small businesses understand that good design is good for business. It’s a universal truth, like “customer service” and “value for money,” and all the other boardroom nostrums that drive modern commerce.

In The Non-Design of Google’s Software, John Gruber summarizes:

My only guess is that their executives lack taste. (The sample is small, but evidence to date points to a strong correlation between software monopolies and poor taste in UI design.) If you have no taste – or no faith in your taste – how can you judge whether a design that strives for elegence actually achieves it? In Microsoft’s case, what happens is they fail much more often than not. Google’s visual design strategy, on the other hand, seems to be not to try at all.

Raymond Brigleb

Creative Director, dreamer, partner, father, musician, photographer. Has been known to ride the rails. Pulls one heck of a shot.