My Violin guru once said, “It is not how much you learn, it is how good you are at what you learn.” In addition to the aspect of motivation, what I found in this statement is that it is universally valid. Consider applying this to design; it doesn’t make much sense to have loads of features that do not necessarily add value – users only look for what they want.
“More the merrier,” quipped an old colleague when I was narrating this to him. A little banter ensued, but he finally agreed when I took the example of Google’s homepage to support my stance. Here are the two reasons that, I think, make Google a great design.
It takes pride in its USP
Google’s USP is search, and they play to their strength via their home page. With a pure and unassuming layout highlighting just the search field, the page honestly announces that search is what they are good at, and how confident they are about it. That subtle display of confidence, which doesn’t sound anywhere close to arrogance, augurs well with the users and works perfectly for Google.
I am sure their product managers would have struggled a lot not to succumb to the enticing pressure of adding a bunch of widgets of Google’s other apps. But, they haven’t given in to such pressures. I am sure they figured out that in the given context, anything more than just a text field would have dampened the value of their USP.
It resonates with the User expectations
Users come to a search engine to search. I know that I am just proclaiming a universal fact. But the irony is, facts sometimes get disrespected and are ignored owing to external pressures. However, that is not the case with Google. For, they have respected the fact that searching is the only thing that is on the top of the mind of a user when he visits their home screen. And, they have met that expectation earnestly with an apt layout.
It is only when the user proceeds to the results page, he begins to see more than what he has asked for – search filters, suggestions, ads, and a lot more. I prefer to call it a “perfectly judged restraint while presenting information.” A must for any designer.
Any successful product is a resultant of a perfect marriage of USP and User expectations. Google is one such quintessential perfect marriage.