A Great Deck: Metric Driven Design

Doug Bowman on Design at Google:

Without a person at (or near) the helm who thoroughly understands the  principles and elements of Design, a company (Google) eventually runs out of reasons for design decisions. With every new design decision, critics cry foul. Without conviction, doubt creeps in. Instincts fail. "Is this the right move?" When a company is filled with engineers, it turns to engineering to solve problems. Reduce each decision to a simple logic problem. Remove  all subjectivity and just look at the data. Data in your favor? Ok, launch it.  Data shows negative effects? Back to the drawing board.

That data  eventually becomes a crutch for every decision, paralyzing the company  and preventing it from making any daring design decisions.

Yes, it's true that a team at Google couldn't decide between two blues, so they're testing 41 shades between each blue to see which one performs better. I had a recent debate over whether a border should be 3, 4 or 5 pixels wide, and was asked to prove my case. I can't operate in an environment like that. I've grown tired of debating such minuscule design decisions. There are more exciting design problems in this world to tackle.

Part of a great deck. Everyone should download it.

My editorializing — the change in CEO doesn’t really address these comments, because it seem to be inherent in the culture.

41 shades of blue is the wrong thing to test.

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