Over 2 years ago Google underwent a major brand make over, resulting in the launch of some new products, such a Google Play and Google Now. They realised they were missing a fundamental part of the experience of using a great product, and that was the beauty of the product.
Before this time, the brand was all about simplicity and ease of use (Google Search is a prime example of this).
Unlike Apple, Google didn’t have one overall design strategy with which to follow, therefore the process became more of a collaboration between departments to achieve the right look for each product.
In 2011 when Larry Page became CEO, he assigned all designers to overhaul the entire look of Google. This started with Gmail, Search, Maps and Google Plus, and was to be completed in a matter of months.
With the rebrand, designers were locked into a bunker-style studio and set to work. They played with typography, white space, colours and imagery to create a new modern, clean feel. Google Now is a great example of this striking overhaul. It presents information clearly and with style.
Without a structured design and digital distribution strategy, it posed problems for the tech giant. One that Google admits itself: Jon Wiley, Lead Designer for Google Search said ‘that to get every element consistent running throughout all products is impossible’.
Google has always been driven by data and how easy and quick it is to find. However, this approach has led to the consistency of design being compromised in some instances. The usage of the same product can vary across different devices. Although there is most likely a very good reason behind this decision, it does not help users accessing these products on varying devices.
Even though its major rebrand began in 2011, by its own admission, Google is still on a design journey, which is not yet complete.
Being in the tech industry, we understand the pressure imposed on companies to keep ahead of the game as technology continually adapts and advances. A company’s brand and design strategy should have a clear direction, yet it should be flexible to accommodate the changes that the tech industry poses.
As a leading digital agency, we believe in developing websites and products that must be beautiful, both in form and function.