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Marissa Mayer On Search Usability

Gord Hotchkiss of Search Engine Land talked to Google’s Marissa Mayer about search results design issues. I didn’t really get this part:

Gord: One of the members of our staff has a background in physics and design and he was the one that noticed that if you take the Golden Ratio it lined up very well with how the Google results page is designed. The proportions of the page lined up pretty closely with how that Ratio is proportioned.

Marissa: I’m a huge fan of the Golden Ratio. We talk about it a lot in our design reviews, both implicitly and explicitly, even when it comes down to icons. We prefer that icons not be square, we prefer that they be more of the 1.7:1.

In my tests, whether or not a Google results page aligns with the golden ratio is totally dependent on your browser size. For example, in Internet Explorer 7 at 1024×768 pixels, comparing organic results to ads, it’s not a golden ratio – because the ads are of a fixed width but fluidly right-aligned. Some other parts of the page were also not a golden ratio, though I guess some parts may be.

google blogoscoped

Google, Marissa Mayer, Search Usability

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