Just found an interesting link which lists all the Google logo designs internationally (Google doodles) that have been shown on the main Google site. Further down this post is the RSS feed showing the latest 10, and under that is a link to the site so you can look back in the archives…to 1998!
From a design point of view, this is a great showcase for creativity within limitations, and goes to show that even with a specific design requirement every time (which could easily be thought of as being immediately restrictive) if you still give people enough artistic licence the sky remains the limit. Some results work better than others, but the creative ideas and expressions are clearly diverse, dynamic and unique, yet keeping within the confines of the ‘brief’.
I love the simplicity of Google’s website – it functions perfectly, the design works, an example of how you don’t necessarily need ‘bells and whistles’ to keep people coming back if the content (or in this case, service) is good and useful enough. This helps to highlight the importance of good content and user experience in web design being critical to a successful site, and not just focussing on making it look nice to keep people returning. There are few websites that work well this way except maybe some very specific subjects or ideas.
Significantly, I’ve not heard many people complaining about the boring and simplistic site design of Google over all these years – it doesn’t seem to be a major issue. The design is not perfect (is there such a thing?) but to work, it only ever merely needs to present the information you request in a clear and simple way – which is what it does.
Nevertheless, they have introduced far more creativity than is necessary anyway via items like the Google doodles – in a way very subtle, and fantastically ‘playful’ – from a design point-of-view something that helps to remove the otherwise ‘clinical’ execution of the basic design and function of the site. Clever yet simple.
Of course, nowadays, you can customize the background of the Google page and do other things to personalize it, a natural progression of on-line and ‘interactive’ working / evolving design – this helps one to personalize and take a level of ‘ownership’ on something much bigger where you otherwise feel like just a statistic. A useful ‘tool’ made possible by real-time interactivity that has been adopted by lots of websites, Google included. But let’s not loose sight of the basics, when most other stuff is stripped away.
Note that Google expressedly says on it’s website: We have a variety of holiday logos and fan-created logos for your viewing pleasure. Please don’t use them elsewhere as each has a special history at Google and we’d like them to enjoy their well-deserved retirement. Which means, don’t use them anywhere!
(Photocredit for main post image and thumbnail image: Image: jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
What’s your favourite Google doodle? – let us know by commenting below! Thanks.