A Google Background Image Anecdote

Google's Background Images

Google just introduced customizable background images on their site.

Here’s what happened:

“I need to search for someth…. wait, huh? What is Google celebrating today, the guy who invented transparency? A background image, oh weird, it’s like a mountain view. Oh I get it… Mountain View! I wonder who that woman on the dock is? Not a huge fan of big, busy images… too distracting. What other pictures are there? Yuck. Yuck. Nice for a photo album, but too busy for this page. Meh, the colored background is ok, red… no, gray, yeah, gray. Actually, maybe I want—Wait, I was supposed to be searching, how do I turn this off? Wait, why does clicking remove background image just return the original picture of the woman on the dock, I just want nothing to be there. Argh!”

Here’s what should have happened:

“I need to search for something. Ah… results!”

A feature that distracts from a tool’s primary goal is a bad feature in my book.