Chapter 2. Google's Rollovers and Design Touches


Designers can create normalcy out of chaos; they can clearly communicate ideas through the organizing and manipulating of words and pictures.

 --Jeffery Veen

In August 1999, a small company known as Pyra Labs released a new product called Blogger to the Web. Not only would it go on to earn that team fame and fortune, it would also kick-start the blogging revolution.

Blogger lets people such as you, your friends, and really anyone publish a Web site, or more specifically, a blog. It makes this process simple, fast, and really very friendly indeed. It's also free, which is a bit of a bonus on the Web, where no one wants to pay for anything.

In February 2003, a company called Google (you might have heard of it) whipped out its checkbook and acquired Pyra Labs, bringing Blogger into the Google fold. Along with the contracts and funding came something rather nice as far as the Blogger Team was concerned: the appearance of a BlogThis! button on the Google Toolbar. The overwhelming number of people using the Google Toolbar each day has enabled to experience a huge surge in traffic. Sign-ups should have gone through the roof. But they didn't. What was going on?

A few phone calls later and user-experience experts Adaptive Path were on the case. With them came designer and CSS maestro Douglas Bowman of Stopdesign. Together they would examine the behavior of visitors to and realize that something fundamental ...

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