Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Is Don Norman right about Google?

Lots of information and links discussing google's lightweight design...

"Don Norman is sick and tired of hearing people praise Google’s clean, elegant look. He argues Yahoo! and MSN are complex-looking places because their systems are easier to use.
Is Google simple? No. Google is deceptive. It hides all the complexity by simply showing one search box on the main page. The main difference, is that if you want to do anything else, the other search engines let you do it from their home pages, whereas Google makes you search through other, much more complex pages. Why aren’t many of these just linked together? Why isn’t Google a unified application? Why are there so many odd, apparently free-standing services?

It’s weird to see a company chastised for hiding complexity. Isn’t that usually a good thing? Doesn’t complexity lead to confusion and poor decision making? I’ve gotta think a lot of people love Google’s “deception” of simplicity (thus the popular notion of the site as clean and elegant).

Still, Norman does have some valid points. Google is disjointed. Some services do feel buried. There is a lack of obvious organizational structure. So why is that?"   continued ...   (Via Signal vs. Noise)

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