AIGA Make | Think: Command X Round 02
AIGA Make | Think: Elizabeth Coleman

AIGA Make | Think: Marissa Mayer of Google

Google focuses on the user and the value of simplicity. She had been the keeper of the homepage. First home page was due to the fact that the main designer did not do HTML. January 2000 did a user study with Stanford students. The first users were waiting for the page to load before doing the rest of the search. Usability insight: Put copyright notice on the bottom of the page. There have been many iterations on the home page. Two weeks ago made the search box bigger and made the type bigger. Searchers started searching 1% more. Found fewer spelling mistakes.

Google lets the data decide. Do split testing with two groups and give them two experiences for usability.

Battle of the Blues: Discovered that the blue on search was different for blue on Gmail. Did test with 41 shades of blue between the Gmail and search blue. Graphs that came back the more green the more abandonment and time to search. The more blue get less abandonment and less time to search.

Latency in design matters. Users have preferences that they cannot articulate. Some changes made reader faster and increased use by 20%.

Google Checkout: Put image on checkout and latency went down 2% and search went down. Drew the image as bitmap style so did not gain latency.

Google news takes 8 seconds to load. Used HTML tables thus it appears to be faster. Broke up into little tables of chunks can see about the fold in 1 second and the rest comes in the other 7 seconds.

Google is in 140 languages. How do they do that? They message on the site that if you don't see your language, then create it. Use crowd sourcing of fans to sign up and volunteer to translate to produce versions in own languages.

Be unexpected: the changing of the logo is unexpected. Little bit of unexpectedness.

Innovation is design is about experimentation.

This was a great and very professional presentation.

Post conference contemplation: I owe design observer an article about the use of data to make design decisions. I think googles ability to do significant user testing at a scale of 41 shades of blue is amazing and provides designers with great knowledge as to the true intentions of their designs. I disagree with the idea that billion dollar business decisions should be made based purely on gut instinct especially if you can get user data to test its impact, not just its aesthetics.

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