Quote of the Day: Departing Design Lead Attacks Google’s Data Fetish

“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. And 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.”

-Douglas Bowman, visual design lead at Google, blogging his reasons for leaving the company. Bowman said he joined in hopes of guiding Google toward a new design approach, but the company wouldn’t go there. “I won’t miss a design philosophy that lives or dies strictly by the sword of data,” he said.

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