Google’s core business is still search. By neglecting UI and design for these products, Google corals user behavior into a “search-first” mentality. The more disorganized you become, the more reliant you become on search, and Google benefits.
I’ve often heard people say they no longer use bookmarks any more and just rely on search. I wonder if that truly is the most practical solution for them or if it is the result of a self-serving dark pattern from Google.
Brands tend to reduce their footprint and minimize messaging after substantial growth. That’s not a maxim, or anything. Just an observation. Google, AirBnb, Slack and IBM — are a few that come to mind. But there are hundreds of examples out there. Tech companies have it easy, because their product is imbued with their digital identity.
Food brands on the other hand require great packaging to propel their brand identity. A harmony has to exist between the packaging, the restaurant, and the brand. Check out Burger King’s big rebrand. It’s flat, simple and oozes nostalgia of the 80’s. Now McDonald’s has a new packaging initiative? Clearly they’re competing, right? Of course, they are competing in the literal sense, for our dollars, our mouths and our attention — but why the sudden renewed interest?
We’re exiting the the pandemic, for one. Albeit slowly, and on the heels of the highest mortality rates in the world no less, here at home in the USA. But secondly, the world is changing, and the fast food industry is taking notice and investing like crazy in new food technology. Plant protein is in huge demand.
Plant-based protein versions of the Big Mac and BLT are on the horizon. They’re closer to market than you think, and the fast food industry is about to explode in new varieties of alternative meat offerings. This is a huge deal. But while it’s compelling to vegetarians, and vegans — a large swath of American omnivores are not so easily convinced. To change their minds, you have to change their hearts. Burger King and McDonald’s are shedding the brand equity of the past 20+ years: fast, quick, and greasy — and trading it in for something new, something hopeful, perhaps impossible: fast and good.
That’s a fucking hell of a tall order, I know.
Rand Paul, did it with IBM in 1968. Despite being an immensely complex data organization, hand-built the machines that led us into the information age, and makes continuous breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, the company continues to grow and evolve his simple brand system.
The fast food industry knows there’s an explosive growth potential just waiting to burst with the advent of plant proteins, and they’re laying the groundwork for the next 20-30 years of growth.
Simply put, minimalism is the language that brands foam at the mouth for. It’s the ultimate designation for a successful product in any industry. I mean, just looks at Apple. The pinnacle of minimalism. The pinnacle of success. The champion of Americana. Capitalizing on that language, the fast food industry are willing plant-proteins into the mainstream. Will it work though?
No matter the region or language, we wanted the packaging design to communicate joyful moments while being immediate and universal.
Hamish Campbell, vp, ecd, Pearlfisher
Universal adoption of a packaging system will be key to success across all of their menu items. But, the packaging is only a small part revealed of a broader effort coming to the global face of the McDonald’s company. I predict we’ll see more and more of this minimal system Pearlfisher constructed very soon. I think we will definitely see plant-proteins and new offerings from McDonald’s coming to the forefront, with classic products like the Big Mac and Filet-o-Fish take a backseat to quickly evolving American fast food tastes.
Duolingo’s Premium subscription offering, which launched in 2017, has contributed to a meteoric increase in annual bookings. It continues to invest more and more R&D into AI and machine learning to power its tutoring software and growth. Duolingo raised some serious money from Alphabet bringing the total valuation of the charming Pittsburgh startup, to roughly $9 billion:
Popular language learning app Duolingo has raised $30 million in a series F round of funding from Alphabet’s investment arm CapitalG. […]
Duolingo claims 30 million users are actively learning languages on its platform, and it has emerged as one of the most downloaded educational apps globally. Since its last funding round more than two years ago, it has more than doubled its employees from 95 to 200 and has opened additional offices in Seattle, New York, and Beijing. It also now claims annual bookings of $100 million after it launched its premium plan in 2017, a significant increase from the $33 million it drew in last year.
The hinge is also a bit stiff so you won’t be able to just whip it open with a flick of a wrist — closing it with one hand also involves some more finger contortions to start the closing action. It’s just more practical to close it with your other hand.
Even with these caveats, the whole opening and closing mechanism is supremely satisfying to do, with crisp snaps in both directions. Snapping the phone shut to hang up on a call is a particular delight; there really is no better way to end a call than the classic flip phone snap, and it’s excellent to see that Motorola has kept it alive here. The hardware feels great, too, with solid-feeling stainless steel and glass on the outside and a wonderfully textured back that’s nice and grippy, which is essential for not dropping it while flipping it open and shut. (It is a fingerprint magnet, though.)
A freaking… hinge! Did you hear that?!
Pretty wild right? What year is this? Check out The Verge’s review video below. At the 1:20 mark, Chaim makes a fantastic point. All the other foldables seem to have run into the same problem. They all have terrible hinge designs, among other unmemorable product design issues. For other unknown reasons, most of the other devices fold hamburger style instead of hotdog. Perplexing really. Remember the Samsung Galaxy Fold? It was atrocious, and If you recall, it failed spectacularly.
Sure, the new RAZR isn’t exactly the most beautiful smart device either. It does after all run on Android and will likely employ Google RCS. Nonetheless, it does raise some eyebrows. It brings Motorola back into the fray, and it brings the flip back to smart phones in such a memorable way. One major upside for this design? No more glass screens, which means no more cracked screens for those that fumble (myself included). I think that’s a bright future we can all hope for.
Overall, I’m not sure if I would love it owning a RAZR (I never owned the original RAZR in the first place, but I did own a Sidekick 3 once upon a time), but it has certainly piqued my interest. I think it’s entirely possible that this foldable mobile-device paradigm just might make a comeback. What do ya’ll think?
“Over the last two years, we’ve shown Google irrefutable evidence again and again that they are displaying lyrics copied from Genius,” said Ben Gross, Genius’s chief strategy officer, in an email message. The company said it used a watermarking system in its lyrics that embedded patterns in the formatting of apostrophes. Genius said it found more than 100 examples of songs on Google that came from its site.
Starting around 2016, Genius made a subtle change to some of the songs on its website, alternating the lyrics’ apostrophes between straight and curly single-quote marks in exactly the same sequence for every song. When the two types of apostrophes were converted to the dots and dashes used in Morse code, they spelled out the words “Red Handed.”
This is a pretty egregious report if you ask me. Also, it’s a really badass way of catching Google redhanded. Love that.
Google just loves to get down-and-dirty, and equally so, loves to play coy in these kinds of scenarios. Google was lifting content verbatim (through a third-party or not). Gave the stolen content search prominence. To top it off, — genius.com lyrics, links to the artist, and god-forbid, links to the actual song were seemingly buried.
Everyone knows people don’t like to scroll in search results. It’s tiresome and takes time. Precious time. Getting relevant search results to users as fast as possible is the name of the game for Google — but at what cost? Why is Google regurgitating crawled content as their own?
It also means Google is directing a smaller share of those queries to other sites. In March, 62% of mobile searches on Google didn’t result in a user clicking through to another website, according to the web-analytics firm Jumpshot Inc.
Apparently, it’s in their absolute best interest to not send you to a search result anymore. My thought process is, if you search for X at google.com for 20 seconds, then later begin a search for Y, you no longer have to “go back” to begin the search process over again. You can just re-open your last window and start searching again. Which, I get it — but I’m searching for something. Please give it to me. I don’t want Google’s remixed results (or any AMP content for that matter), I want a damn link.
The longer Google can keep you on-site, the higher probability you may be served an ad, or click through a privacy-violating vortex. Genius might not have a solid case against Google, especially considering the lyrics in dispute are owned by artists and/or record labels. But that’s not the point here — the point is we now have a record of Google actively lying about sourcing crawled content, claiming it as their own, and actively promoting in search results over websites.
If this pattern holds, the web will become a grim, cold place. A place of unconnected nodes, where good ideas, and links go to die because Google doesn’t give a shit what we want. Don’t get me wrong. Google makes some insanely great products. Search and display ads are their bread-and-butter, so why on Earth is Ben Gomes mucking up search like this? Something tells me, this isn’t coincidence. Ever since Giannandrea departed, stories like this have become more and more frequent. Something is going on at The Googleplex.
On average, Reddit users spend 15 minutes and 10 seconds on it every day, a figure substantially higher than its competitors. Google users spend 7 minutes 16 seconds, You’veTube 8 minutes 31 seconds, Facebook 10 minutes 50 seconds and Amazon 7 minutes 37 seconds on the sites each day.
I love Reddit. It’s been through some tough times, and still is wrangling with problematic subreddits, but that’s the cost of a great product and an even better community. It takes real work to cultivate and grow a healthy internet community. I really think Facebook held that title up until 2011 with their first set of re-design efforts. But somewhere along the way Facebook lost their soul and lost their focus.
Here’s to Snoo. You earned it. 🏆 Now get out there and upvote!
Yeah, this is going to be awesome. May the web enjoy healthy browsing again.
While I may be in “AMP is bullshit” camp, I can still respect the solution it is trying to solve. I totally agree with others that it is the web developer’s responsibility to load pages fast. As John Gruber points out, it is in the interest of publishers to use AMP as Google features AMP-ready cards in search queries.
Which… is dumb. But oh well. However, when a user shares a webpage from the Safari sharesheet it will save me the headache of thinking about AMP.