Ex-Google Designer Spills Secrets: Search Giant Can't Decide Between 41 Shades of Blue


After three years of service, ex-Google Visual Design Lead Douglas Bowman parted ways with the search giant last Friday, while also offering some parting thoughts about the company and his decision to move on. His reason for leaving? Not enough creative freedom.

In a blog post, Bowman laments the process of how Google implemented design decisions, saying the company relied too much on data and not enough on subjectivity. He says the reliance on hard numbers ultimately became a crutch that prevented Google from making any daring design decisions.

"Yes, it's true that team at Google couldn't decide between two blues, so they're testing 41 shades between each blue to see which one performs better," Bowman wrote on his blog . "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."

Despite his design philosophy criticism, Bowman says he understands where Google is coming from with billions of shareholder dollars at stake and millions of users around the world to try and please. He also says he has something else lined up, which he'll announce at a later date.

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