What Google Gets Wrong With Their Web Designs And UI

Google is one of the biggest companies in the technology industry and is one of the major players online thanks to their vast array of incredibly useful products and services from the search engine, to Gmail, to YouTube, to analytics and their other tools for webmasters and developers to Google Drive.
But while Google might be one of the biggest kids on the block, they're certainly not untouchable, and nor do they do everything right. In fact quite a lot of what they put out is downright shabby and really doesn't stand up to close scrutiny.
To demonstrate this point, let's take a look at some of the surprising places where Google has dropped the ball or just made the wrong call.
The White


Using lots of white space in a web design is a good idea as it makes the site feel more 'spacious' while allowing for easier scaling on smaller screens and easily readable text.
But while lots of white is a good thing, it might be fair to say that Google has gone a little too far with their use of white - and particularly with their text links. Head over to Google.com and you will be greeted with a famously stark site which will quickly be covered in ancient looking text links (in nasty blue and dark green) when you type something in. Imagine if Google had used icons for their navigation links along the top how much nicer it might look, or the myriad of different ways they could show their search results. It really is pretty ugly and when you think about it, it hasn't changed all that much since they first launched. Go and take a look at Bing for an example of how nice a search engine can look.
It's not just Google that's made of white and text either - YouTube is pretty much the same with videos taking up an inexplicably small amount of the screen (and not even centring if you shrink the window) and with the interface for wallet being frankly horrible. As a developer I sorely miss the days of Google Checkout as a developer (it doesn't even tell you the time of the sale or the name of the buyer unless you click on the transaction - all information that used to be readily available at a quick glance).
Navigation
Google's navigation when you think about it is far from intuitive a lot of the time, and the features they provide for their users are also often lacking. For instance, YouTube users still can't have more than one account and does anyone really know how to get to Google Plus? The URL is hardly catchy. And how do you use it once you're there? And why does 'shopping' come before 'videos' in the tabs on Google? Who shops more than they use YouTube?
Then there's the fact that Chrome doesn't work with touchscreens when it's scaled up for high resolutions - a point which is causing them to start losing market share. Meanwhile Google can't be synced with Outlook anymore… or with iPhone - or at least without a fair amount of know how.
And when you think about it hard, even Android has a feeling of being unfinished in some places. The downloads tray is reportedly getting an update in the next version for instance, which is good seeing as it's currently just a black screen.
So in short, it's time that Google stopped putting out new products and started polishing the ones they've got. And if you're guilty of any of these crimes then you should start sharpening your act too!

Nancy Baker, the author of this article, is a freelance blogger who is currently writing for Antelope Web, leaders in designing and marketing of web pages. She is an avid base ball fan and loves spending her evenings watching her favorite sitcoms. You can also follow her on Twitter @Nancy Baker.

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