Let me start by saying WTF? Seriously? Now I’m a little bit upset with Google for two reasons. One of these is personal and the other business. Let’s start with personal because I’m kind of pissed off right now.
How often do you load up Google? Throughout your entire day of bickering about who was that dude in that one movie, or what is the weather like because I’m too lazy or drunk to stick my head out the door for two seconds like the savage pre-internet folk, how many times is it? I’m gonna low ball it and say around 20. Google is my home page. Why the hell would it be anything else? But now, when I load said homepage I get blasted in the face with gaudy and ridiculous images of multi-colored balls floating in some lake. You know why I don’t have Bing as my home page? Because those images are more irritating than every Lady Gaga song combined. I like the plain, basic, white background and you have no way to turn it off. Mary Foley over at ZDNet.com commented on this saying you could change it to a picture of a white background. That still leaves us loading up a picture we didn’t have before. Google is usually good with realizing where they screwed the proverbial pooch so I’m going to hold off on a possibly premature switch to some other search engine out of principle and the fact that if they load up an image they have the courtesy to do SOMETHING with it, like small bits of interesting facts about the picture itself.
It’s where Microsoft gets the fact that the UI environment should not be a static thing. With the speed of information we’re all in a race to consume as much of this info as possible. I’m not saying everyone’s quality of information is the same, because there is a vast horde clamoring to make themselves dumber through youtube binges. At any rate, the UI design that Microsoft is toying with through the new mobile operating system or even their search engine is making people nervous. At the very least, it’s being recognized that it’s a damn good idea to maximize usability as much as possible.
Moving on to business reasons for Google sucking a fat one on this move. A company’s image is its most important and far reaching marketing tool. Google has been a shining bastion of design aesthetic through simplicity. So much so that I know a few people who have specifically modeled their site after this idea. Tinkering with that is dangerous from a general marketing standpoint. Talk about diluting your product and ruining your differentiation in the marketplace. I’m not saying that I don’t like Google search. Far from it. Like I said, there is no reason conceivable you would really want to use anything else. I just feel like this is a bad decision and this whole copying Microsoft business is beneath them. I’m mostly disappointed you could say. I just thought Google was a little more innovative than this. I guess Simmons has gotten my expectations of Google so high that I’ve become somewhat unreasonable with the expectation that Google actually kicks ass and blazes trails of innovation all over the place like some sort of super-scientist-Chuck Norris type character.