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Google’s Next Big Conference: Design

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Google’s next big conference is about design.

Most of the time when we read about Google I/O we think about geek lectures, code libraries and software engineering. This year however may well be very different. Google is said to be refocusing I/O to discuss a topic beyond software engineering: design, and they would like more designers to show up for that conversation. Google has not released any news about the actual sessions at this year’s I/O, which takes place on June 25th and 26th.

“My hope is that developers get inspired to find ways to bring great design to their product,” explains Jon Wiley, Lead Designer for Google Search. “Or they go and talk to some designers, and bring designers on board, to help them.”

It may be strange to hear Google talk about this. We usually heard this talk coming from Apple, not Google. But Google has been implementing design into its strategy more and more. The interface of many products has been changed to a uniform approach.

“Google is very well known for its strong computer science, algorithms, and all the things we do in terms of solving really big hard-to-scale problems,” Wiley says. “I don’t think quite as much attention has been paid to the other side of Google. We’re really focus on making simple and useful experiences–but also beautiful experiences.”

Google has always placed tremendous priority on simplicity and usefulness and is exactly that. Google is now taking the next step in creating simple, useful and beautiful products. But design certainly a new aspect for the company, but customers come to expect more nowadays.

“Humans have been using their hands for tools, like tables and hammers, for millions of years, and we have high expectations for the craft of the those things,” Wiley says. “I think those expectations are starting to follow us into software on the device.”

Several of Google’s lead designers have already posted Google Design Minutes:

It will be a very interesting Google I/O this year.




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