Is Google’s design process broken?

Is Google’s design process broken?

Really interesting article on the Google un-design process by the guy who writes on design for Fast Company:

The chief mandate of design thinking is empathy -- and I'm pretty sure Google's engineers didn't have too much empathy for all those over the age of 28 who don't find it all that useful to have their eyes assaulted by information they weren't looking for in the first place. Which brings me to my last point. Testing can only tell you so much -- and it often only reveals that people only like things that are similar to what they've had before. But brilliant design solutions convert people over time, because they're both subtle and ground breaking.

This is really tricky. I love Google’s design and mostly agree with the testing process. That said, I also love Apple and agree with Steve (who in paraphrasing Henry Ford) states that had he asked his customers what they really wanted they would have said a smaller portable CD player.

Design today benefits from our understanding of how people think about the world (6 hats etc.) and codesign and collaborative ideation are a vital part of successful product design. While that’s true, we tend to forget that ideation techniques provide the raw materials for a design solution but not the solution itself.

In the context of interactive design or information architecture, the discovery and research phase exposes levers that an information model can pull on but it doesn’t give us the model. The choices about structure, connections and relationships needs to come from the creative thinker.

OK, I’m rambling now ‘cause I didn’t sleep much last night. Jim Coudal does a great talk on the creative moment based on a game born in the toilets of his studio in Chicago. (see booking bands)