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Google taps original Mac designer for UI, reworks search

updated 07:15 pm EDT, Tue June 28, 2011

Google uses Apple vet Hertzfeld, optimizes design

The much more visual interface of Google+ is owed to the company hiring on one of Apple's earliest software designers, an inside look at the social service's creation has revealed. Andy Hertzfeld, best known for designing core parts of the original Mac interface and a Google staffer since 2005, is the leader of design for the entire team. His influence is likely seen most in the drag-and-drop interface of Circles and other elements that shed Google's usual text-heavy layout.

The company has been trying to get away from its previous image as a whole. Android 2.3 was its first clue and began focusing on polish and visual speed that hasn't been present before. Android 3 and beyond also have a consistent, identifiable "holographic" interface that is owed largely to hiring a key webOS architect who provides a cohesive vision.

Independently of the social component, Google has also introduced a significant change to its own core search page. The new version clearly puts Google's menu bar in black and is more minimal. Pages are now more likely to run on modern standards like HTML5 and WebGL, and the interface should now be more consistent on tablets, TVs, and other non-computer displays.

Google's promised mobile website redesign has likewise gone live for Android, iPhone, and iPod users. The main page now has a "drawer" that includes quick access both to the most commonly used sites and expands to provide full access to individual search types and web apps.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Bobfozz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008


    It's amazing that Google...

    can "act" so PC like--they should know better. I've read the "Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs" and what is absolutely hilarious is that the author says the "PC World" tries to emulate Jobs, but so soon they fall back into a complicated mish-mash, full of over the top, convoluted design and explanation. Does that help minimize code? It sure doesn't improve the experience.

    If you've EVER had a problem with ANYTHING Google the explanations go on and on and on, and sometimes circularize... and their jargon assumes everyone else knows what THEY are writing about. I am glad Andy is there to help them, they needed it.

  1. tfmeehan

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2009



    Andy has apparently been there since 2005, so either he's lost a step or he's being held back.

  1. facebook_Fernán

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2011


    google copied their design from our blog!!! (HUMOU


  1. 7slocal

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2011


    Google Circles is not a rumor.

    I heard about Google Circles awhile ago, and was starting to think it was a rumor. But they named it Google+, interesting name.

    I have not seen Google+ yet. But from what I have read and saw it sounds pretty good. I like that they are combining all of their stuff into one.

    One thing of note is that Google obviously read the Business proposals I sent them 2+ years ago.
    This quote "...So we’re going to continue to make Google dramatically better and reward you for spending the few minutes it takes to say this is my family, these are my real friends. And we think the process of creating circles is a breakthrough. People don’t like cumbersome processes..." from Vic Gundotra from AllthingD. pretty much proves it.

    Rewarding you. They are going to reward you for using their site. (In the proposal I sent to the Executives at Google).

    Circles. This one was obvious give people a choice who to post too. But it was also in the proposal I sent them.

    Cumbersome processes. Easy to navigate was in my proposal to Google. But that is obvious as well. But Google still has not figured this out. Hopefully they will.

    Hopefully soon, Google will have some serious competition. I will not say who I am sending proposals too, but with luck they will respond.

    lance damon bliss

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001



    Yes, I'm sure they stole your ideas. You should sue them.

    And what makes you think all those other 'competitors' aren't going to steal it too?

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