Google is now seriously focusing on design. What took them so long?

Google is now seriously focusing on design. What took then so long? To think that this could be a recently gained insight would be a surprise to me, but it may have been forced upon them by competition firing in all cylinders everywhere you look: Microsoft, Apple of course, Facebook.

I’ve used this expression a few post ago: what took them so long?

It’s quite obvious that Google is now focused on delivering good design too. I think their design isn’t so bad, I like the simple and clean look it has. Apparently Reader will gain that fresh look next week or so, I use that app everyday so I’m curious to see how that comes along.

A few years back now, as I first heard that Google’s Eric Schmidt sat on Apple board, I imagined this: a perfect match between nice design and a strong platform. At the time I actually had sky high expectations about what could come out of such partnership. But then that myth, which was my own fantasy anyway, came down shattering when Android happened to the scene. Not long after that and expectedly so, Schmidt left Apple board. The recent widely commented post by a Google engineer shattered my second myth, that Google had a strong API platform from which they could stream functionality anywhere they liked.

So, Google didn’t have a stellar design, not a secret. They might not have a stellar platform API too, that one took me by surprise. On the design front, their web and mobile products are increasingly look cool. Though I’ve never owned an Android phone, they don’t look too bad either.

Can Google can nail design the way they made GMail and Search functionally great services? Would that be enough to claw back on Facebook’s grip on social media?

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