I have a hate/hate a bit more relationship with Google Doodles. Google products work so well because they put functionality and UI before aesthetics. When other search engines were adding flashiness to their pages Google stood strong and kept it simple. Initial beta public beta testers of the site laughed at the simple design with the logo and search bar. They didn’t know what to do with it.
When Google Doodles started I was like OK well see how this goes. A doodle for Earth Day or MLK was alright but recently there have been more and more doodles. It gets a bit unnecessary when there is a doodle for Harriet Tubman’s 191st birthday. This didn’t happen yet but it could at the pace they are going.
Yesterday was Labor Day in the USA. One of our major holidays where people actually get off work. To commemorate it the Google search page had a mini American flag under the search bar. No doodle, no big deal. Big ole Google wore a little USA pin on its white blouse. No biggie. But today there was a doodle marking Freddy Mercury’s birthday. What’s even worse is that Google put this image up on their home pages outside the USA and they waited for Labor Day to be over to put up in the US. Really… couldn’t wait could you? And its up on 9/6/11 not 9/5/11 which marks Mercury’s actual birthday.
Patriotic Labor Day gets no doodle.
All I ask of you Google is to bring Google Doodle back to the essentials. Use it to share knowledge with the world and commemorate important dates. Experiment with it and don’t over use it. A google doodle IS distracting one from using the search feature*. Make it a treat, not something that happens every other day. Web surfers like goodies…..and cats.
*The pac man doodle was genius. It allowed users to play a game right on the home screen. People over analyzed it and figured it cost the economy $120 million because people played it instead of working. That’s what its all about! Thinking back on it we should have sued Google for that one and blamed them for a rise in unemployment or something.