From Fast Company: Long dominant in online search, advertising and maps, Google has shifted gears from utility to beauty and is now more fearsome than ever. "In all of these efforts, Google's aesthetic aim is clear: To disappear. The most beautiful Google experience is the one you never notice."
From Fast Company: If you’ve searched anything on Google lately, you might have noticed something different. The company's newly designed search results page has ditched the ugly yellow box around AdSense results (the paid advertisements that accompany searches), increased font sizes slightly, and, most notably, removed the prominent underlines that we’ve associated with hyperlinks since the rise of the web. (Underlined hyperlinks are so integral to historic web design, in fact, that web browsers underline links by default, meaning that designers have to add superfluous code to remove them.)
From Behance: Google’s brand is shaped in many ways; one of which is through maintaining the visual coherence of our visual assets. In January 2012, expanding on the new iconography style started by Creative Lab, Behance began creating this solid, yet flexible, set of guidelines that have been helping Google’s designers and vendors to produce high quality work that helps strengthen Google’s identity.
What you see here is a visual summary of the guidelines, divided into two Behance projects:
From Big Think: How do we optimize our brains in the Age of Connectivity? Do we need to use up valuable space remembering information that we can easily access on a handheld device? Have we already learned to optimize our brains without knowing it? We have indeed, according to a study published in the Journal of Science by a team led by Betsy Sparrow at Columbia.
Sparrow's study demonstrated that people who thought they would have access to Google didn't end up remembering information as well as people who thought they would not have information at their fingertips. So is Google truly making us stupid? Not exactly. The people who anticipated having access to Google remember how to find it. In other words, they used their memory more as a retrieval mechanism than as a big storage dump.
From Fast Company: Michael Schrage's new book about innovation is structured around a question he calls The Ask: "Who Do You Want Your Customers to Become?"
From Anson Alex: Simple – other people, most likely, are already putting your name into Google. Includes infographic.
From FastCompany: Google's former VP of search products and user experience (and now CEO of Yahoo) shares the rules that gives the search company its innovative edge.
From Lauren Indvik at Mashabole: Pinterest, a two-year-old social bookmarking site that lets users collect and share things they like on the web, is driving increasingly significant amounts of traffic to retailers’ websites. The service enables users to create online bulletin boards, or “pinboards,” for popular categories such as home decor, food and wedding inspiration. Members can use Pinterest’s “Pin It” bookmarklet tool and iPhone app to save things they see online and offline, and explore and repin the images their friends collect via their personal newsfeeds. The website is especially popular among women, who account for 58% of Pinterest’s traffic, according to Experian Hitwise.