Monday, December 18, 2006

Design is Not Original

Standards and conventions make webpages look the same ...

"Here’s a timeline of a recent buzz between Yahoo! and Google. First, Jeremy Zawodny of Yahoo! discovers that Google has taken Yahoo!’s IE7 upgrade page and cloned it almost identically - down to having the same image with a Yahoo! toolbar blurred out. Then, it got covered in TechCrunch, , Digg, etc. Robert Scoble offers some unsolicited advice on how to handle the situation and in doing so, spurs Matt Cutts of Google to respond by first saying it’s unacceptable and adding that Yahoo! has mimicked the sponsored search designs that Google has implemented multiple times.

Matt’s response is a little lacking in class because it’s distinctly an, “ok, I’m sorry, but you still smell funny and I want to get the last word in,” kind of apology. Especially when his point isn’t even valid.

... Standardization is a Good Thing. We use drop down menus, double click, standardized keyboard shortcuts, scroll bars, sign out links on the top right, etc. all in an effort to make it easier for the users to get what they need to do done.

Now I’d argue that the IE7 upgrade pages should be following a convention set by Microsoft. A template, as has been suggested in the discussions, would make sense. But such a template doesn’t exist. I’d actually think it wouldn’t be such a big deal for Google to take the same layout as Yahoo! had they actually created their own image. The line is definitely grey though.

Perhaps this is an argument in favor of design patents. The iPod wheel has become somewhat standard as an interface for mp3 players (though I personally don’t think it’s the best interface for it, it just feels nice) but you won’t see many direct copies of it due to patent restrictions."    (Continued via OK/Cancel)    [Usability Resources]

Copying Website Designs - Usability, User Interface Design

Copying Website Designs


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