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Monday, April 28, 2008

The Googley Principles – The Google Guide to Good Web Design

Posted by @ 1:39 am

Google’s User Experience Group (UX), which is responsible for interface and visual design for Google’s various web properties and projects, were asked to define the principles behind a Googley User experience.

Google shared the UX’s Googley Principles on their Official Blog, in what might seem like a warm and fuzzy corporate PR exercise – however pay attention – there are some important lessons for all website owners.

The Googley Design Principles Are:

1. Focus on people – their lives, their work, their dreams.
Put simply – focus your designs on the audience, and their intrinsic needs and wants. More often than not, users don’t need to see flashing neon banners – they simply need you to show them how you’ll address their requirements, mitigate their fears and satisfy their needs.

2. Every millisecond counts.
The online world is “time precious” and users are impatient. Give them what they need quickly in a way that’s fast and easy to digest!

3. Simplicity is powerful.
KISS (Keep it Simple Silly) – the oldest rule of marketing, design and life (for most of us). Complexity creates confusion, distracts from the goal and alienates users.

4. Engage beginners and attract experts.
Don’t fall into the trap of designing for the lowest common denominator. Great design makes it easy for novices to get involved but also keeps it interesting for the more proficient user/visitor.

5. Dare to innovate.
Constantly challenge yourself to try something new and to stand out from the pack – always keeping in mind that the innovation should be user-centric.

6. Design for the world.
The World Wide Web knows no boundaries – so try to design for all potential audiences. That includes people, as well as technology (e.g. broadband vs dial up) and accessibility (i.e. mobile devices).

7. Plan for today’s and tomorrow’s business.
Business is about being sustainable. So always design with your long term goals in mind. Don’t focus on quick win strategies that hurt potential long term viability.

8. Delight the eye without distracting the mind.
Design is supposed to compliment and enhance the content – not overpower it. The key is creative subtlety. If your design distracts – then it detracts from your goals.

9. Be worthy of people’s trust.
Trust is vital for business success, and design plays an integral part in alleviating user concerns and building visitor confidence – be that through professional appearance, clear navigation, accessibility to relevant information or use of assurance builders such as testimonials and affiliations.

10. Add a human touch.
People like dealing with people. Design with this is mind. Talk to the user, make their journey intuitive, and show some personality in your design and approach.

While much of this sounds rather common sense, trawl the web for only 10 mins and you’ll find plenty of websites and applications that break one, if not all, of these principles.

Don’t get too caught up in the process of making your design all about the “bells and whistles” – at the end of the day it’s all about the user! Refer to this list before embarking on your next design project.

Rene LeMerle Rene is the marketing manager of - a global search engine marketing company. He also leads the marketing for - a web 2.0 style community for online and digital marketers. Rene has been in the industry since 1997 with much of that time spent helping businesses embrace the best of the internet and digital world.

View Rene LeMerle's profile

Discussion (1 - comment)

Adding the human touch can be as simple as adding a quote from the company owner or customer testimonial boxes. A picture of the owner or the comapny staff certainly helps, too.

By kitchen designer seth - April 29, 2008

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