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Why Designer Doug Bowman Quit Google  (View post)

drtimofey [PersonRank 10]

Sunday, March 22, 2009
13 years ago5,396 views

While he was a good designer, I wonder if he was pushing too much.

Bobby Norris [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

I don't think it sounds like too much pushing when you want a design to go ahead without details being argued like 1px, 2px, or 3px border.

I can relate to this guy in my own design position and really don't think as a designer I'm here to spend weeks deliberating over super subtle color tone differences or border sizes. There's just more to life, and I applaud this fella for going his own way.

Zim [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I think he did the right thing. You can't have a discussion because of a silly thing like the thickness of a border...

Reid [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

I love most of Google's design decisions, but it's hard to blame a designer for wanting to do more.

John [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

Sounds like a smart move for Mr. Bowman – he sounds frustrated! Ironically, it seems one of the things that separated google from other search engines way back when was the fact that it was *just* a page with a search bar on it. Not exactly a huge design job.

What concerns me about this quote is that Google is seen as daring and comfortable with risk-taking. So this glimpse behind the scenes at having to defend the decision to roll with a 1, 2 or 3 pixel borders... well, it makes me wonder if google isn't quite as comfortable with risk as their image may suggest.

The idea of using "the numbers" to inform design decisions sounds like a nightmare!

albaniax [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

That is what Google makes, very, very simple design.

He better go to Yahoo and work there :) I bet they take him, if they see his prevoius work.

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Yahoo sure do need a design team...

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

The thing is, sometimes "messy" pages are the most successful. Think of eBay and Amazon pages. By all means have a good designer, but there's no reason why the engineers shouldn't measure the outcome of any design change.

Michael Martinez [PersonRank 5]

13 years ago #

I have sat in oh-so-many GroupThink decision-making meetings and I hate them. I agree with his position. Let the designer do his job and get the h*** out of the way.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Ex-Google user experience designer Kevin Fox gets involved with an open letter:

Fernando Canas [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

So after reading Mr Bowman's reasons for quitting (too much emphasis on the numbers vs Design freedom) – I keep coming back to the fact he must have been vastly misinformed about the company culture when he was hired.
I'm sure he was blinded somewhat by the allure of the ivory tower in Mtn View and all the accoutrements – and more recently he probably realized his equity was lacking – even after the option price reset.
I respect someone for moving on and finding a better fit – but to bad mouth your bosses online without allowing comments is not cool dude.

Hope the twits treat you better? (looking fwd to that huge _design_ impat there :^) considering its a mobile platform better brush up on your math efficient designs.

PS – my fav of the week:

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