Google’s annual developer conference – Google I/O – is the Mecca of the tech world, with developers and tech enthusiasts flocking to the event in ever increasing numbers. Google I/O’s tagline has always been “Design, Develop, Distribute”, however Google has always focused more towards the “Develop” and “Distribute” during the conference. Google’s Jon Wiley says that: People are familiar with Google’s expertise when it comes to computer science, and our ability particularly within search to create the most relevant answer and deliver it to them as quickly as possible. What doesn’t get talked about quite as often is…the nuance of crafting those experiences.
This attitude will see some change at this years’ I/O where Google has organized sessions and workshops on design which is focused on designers and developers who are also interested in bettering the design of their apps and products. To ensure that the focus on design principles is not lost at this years’ I/O, Google has released a series termed “Design Minutes” in the form of video interviews featuring their product designers. The first set of three Design Minutes videos focus on three of Google’s top products namely Google Glass, Google Maps and their behemoth – Google Search. The first video in the series – Glass: Make it simple – provides a close, almost personal, look at the process which made Google Glass the product it is today. Glass designer Isabelle Olson describes how Google has managed to fit all the myriad components of Glass and all the circuitry in an over-ear-design, while simultaneously reducing the size from 150 grams for the first prototype to 43 grams of the current model.
The second Design Minutes video – Maps: Putting the user front and center – takes us through the Maps interface and explains how Google Maps designers and researchers combined their skills and identified the issues which plague a general user in navigating around maps. The interesting aspect that the designer Jonah Jones and researcher Sian Townsend talk about is how Google was inspired by the simplistic design principles of people’s habit of drawing line maps on napkins enabled a redesign of Google Maps interface to enable ease of use. Google Search’s simplistic yet effective design is in discussion with Jon Wiley in the third Design Minutes video, where Wiley discusses Google Search’s major redesign from a few years ago, where the query experience was improved simply by increasing the size of the text input box. The Design Minutes videos are an interesting watch and you can hit them up below. This focus on design during the I/O will help developers in getting intimate with Google’s design philosophy and implementing the same in their apps and products. Watch the Design Minutes below and let us know what you think of them. Our comments section awaits.