March 18, 2000
9:18 AM   Subscribe

Everyone's favorite search engine Google has opened their GoogleStore. They've got shirts, mugs, and bags, some with the "I'm feeling lucky" slogan, but the strangest thing for sale? That'd have to be the Exercise Ball, which I suspect secretly carries Happy Fun Ball-style disclaimers. When not in use, Google Exercise Ball should be returned to its special container and kept under refrigeration. Do not taunt Google Exercise Ball. [thanks RasterWeb]
posted by mathowie (4 comments total)
When OH when is Google going to hire a designer? That freakin' google logo image
for the decal is 30Kb! My cat could create a smaller-sized version of that logo. I mean, come on!

...after some poking around...
They've actually added "graphic designer" to their long list of jobs @ Google (under marketing).
But they want the designer to do all of the print and collateral work as well. And their
HCI role is more like BA-cum-User Tester role.

Is it just me, or does this strike anyone else as weird for a 'net start-up-esque type place?
posted by julen at 4:09 PM on March 18, 2000

I couldn't find the 30K graphic you mentioned. I didn't look hard though. I think the graphic and the layout kick-ass. For 11K (the actual size), I'd say it looks great.

And why shouldn't the graphic designer work on print media? I don't even get your whine about the HCI role.

I like the interface. I like the functionality. All the job descriptions make sense to me. You sir, are fucking high.
posted by y6y6y6 at 5:19 PM on March 18, 2000

Sorry for the incoherency...

I'm referring to the decal logo on the store page. However, now that I've gone back, I see it
was designed by a marketing group, so I retract my snipe over that, and will instead mutter
incoherently under my breath about lousy web design groups.

I like the spareness of the UI, don't get me wrong. Google still is my primary search engine
because it doesn't pretend to be something else and gets me the links I want to get usually,
and because I think their not succombing to portalitis is a great thing.

And granted, I don't know about their hierarchical organization. I've been following their job
ads since they started and they've never advertised for someone who understands designing
for the web (although it is probably implied in their graphic designer ad that's there now). Perhaps they had someone when they started and I am indeed fucking high.

BUT, the screen layout could be designed much more usefully (without adding elements or detracting elements). Greater attention could be paid to people using Macs (especially on the about page). I would love it if Google could be completely kick-ass, as opposed to being mostly kick-ass.

(Yes, I do get more frustrated when I see really good stuff that could easily be great but just aren't than when I see really cruddy stuff. Weird, I know.)

Plus, I have found that better User Experience design comes out of situations where the people designing the interface have a strong role in user advocacy in some way. By shuffling the design under marketting and the User testing stuff under the HCI stuff, it just seems a little distant.

In my recent spate of interviewing at companies, the places in the most trouble from a UI point of view were places that his setup - too many walls.

So, um, yes, I did leap to lots of conclusions. Take it as you will.

posted by julen at 6:38 PM on March 18, 2000

Oh, crud. I wish there was a review your post before sending it feature ...

It's been my experience when that when Marketing is looking for a graphic designer to do all of those things they don't want a specialist, they want someone who can churn out graphics. (Hence the job title "Graphic Designer" - duh, J. duh.) These people - while wonderfully skilled - tend not to be focused on the user.

Okay. I'll stop rambling. It's way off the original topic anyway.
posted by julen at 6:41 PM on March 18, 2000

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