Bad Taste: The Key To Success?

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Everywhere I look, a concept seems to be repeating itself: The biggest brands have a horrible sense of design, and the better-looking brands are far behind in views and/or customers. Every day, an alarmingly high number of people choose YouTube over Vimeo, Windows over MacOS10, and Explorer over, well, any other browser.

And let’s not leave out the prime example of huge success in the face of horrible design: Google. Google might be this century’s most important brand and yet they have pillaged every aspect of taste and visual beauty—from the logo, to the website, software, and the ads.

Who do we blame for this? Say you’re the new head of design at Google, would you dare change a concept that basically got you to a monopoly position? Probably not, right? So we can’t blame the company … Can we blame consumers for using the best search service even though it’s ugly? Not me—I use Google every day.

I guess the thing that bothers me is that someone, fewer than ten years ago, got the chance to design one of the most used brands in the world and the result is worse than anything I’ve ever seen. But despite its visual handicap, there’s no denying that Google is a fantastic company. And if you know a little bit about programming you can design your own Google using their API. If not, infinisedesign has a beautiful version that I use as my home page. You can even download the source code and re-design from their template.