Googlers talk designing Glass, Search, and Maps in new videos

Ahead of its Google I/O developer conference this summer, Google today posted three new videos to its Google Developers YouTube page giving us a taste of how the conference will be more focused on design this year. The company announced today that “design will be an important focus at this year’s conference” and it wants to get the conversation started with the new videos. 

At Google I/O this year, we will have sessions and workshops focused on design, geared for designers and developers who are interested in design. We’re looking forward to exchanging ideas with you both at the conference and online afterwards. Remember, registration is open until Friday and details on Google I/O Extended events are coming soon. 

In the first video, Google designer Isabelle Olson talks how she and team took the original Glass prototypes and turned them into the product you know today. Two other videos (below) have Googlers walk through recent redesigns of Maps and Search while talking design philosophy.  Read more

Google reportedly considering boosting search rankings of websites with encryption

google headquarters

Google is considering giving higher search rankings to websites that use security encryption, according to The Wall Street Journal. If true, this could force more websites to adopt a secure setup, possibly making it harder for cyber criminals to spy on web users. This new idea was recently mentioned at a conference by Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team. Still under consideration, if Google decides to move forward with this process, a change reportedly won’t happen for quite a while. 

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Google enters deal with startup Room 77 to improve hotel search features

Google-Hotel-Finder

The Wall Street Journal reports that Google has struck a deal with startup Room 77 to boost its current hotel search efforts. The company, which makes hotel-booking software, will be joining Google’s hotel-search team that is currently working various efforts related to Google’s Hotel Finder product. In addition, Google is said to have also struck deals to “add more hotel-related content to its search results, including photos and room rate and availability information.” Read more

College Humor’s “If Google Was a Guy” [Video]

College Humor is back by popular demand with a yet another look at the far too realistic personification of the search engine in the sequal to its “If Google Was a Guy” video. Certain questions prompt a camera appearance by the ominous NSA. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s Bing makes a guest appearance as a pristine but vacant office employee. The parallels drawn are undeniable. Watch it below: Read more

Google rolling out cleaner, redesigned Search results page on desktops

Google-Search-results

You may have noticed that in recent weeks Google has been testing a new streamlined search results page that introduces some notable design tweaks. Google has been testing the new and improved design for select users but now Google’s lead designer for search Jon Wiley has made things official by announcing the changes are rolling out to all desktop users. The improvements reflect much of the same changes the company introduced to its mobile search experience last year.

While the general look and feel of the results page hasn’t changed much, Google said the tweaks it has made will result in enhanced readability and “an overall cleaner look.” Here’s what you’ll notice: Read more

Google encrypting Chinese web searches, plans to do so globally to thwart NSA

Photo: Li Xin for AFP/Getty Images

Photo: Li Xin for AFP/Getty Images

The Washington Post reports that Google has begun automatically encrypting web searches carried out in China to defeat government monitoring and censorship, and plans to continue rolling out the program globally to prevent monitoring by the NSA.

China’s Great Firewall, as its censorship system is known, has long intercepted searches for information it deemed politically sensitive. Google’s growing use of encryption there means that government monitors are unable to detect when users search for sensitive terms, such as “Dalai Lama” or “Tiananmen Square,” because the encryption makes them appear as indecipherable strings of numbers and letters …  Read more