Small is bountiful | Blogads

Small is bountiful

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, December 17th, 2003

Less information often means more, a point brilliantly illustrated yesterday by designer Jason Kottke, as he parodies the metadata overload around many blog posts.

Google, the metadata mogul, has done a great job of furling distracting details. Says Google interface guru Marissa Mayer

I think Google should be like a Swiss Army knife: clean, simple, the tool you want to take everywhere. When you need a certain tool, you can pull these lovely doodads out of it and get what you want. So on Google, rather than showing you upfront that we can do all these things, we give you tips to encourage you to do things these ways. We get you to put your query in the search field, rather than have all these links up front. That’s worked well for us. Like when you see a knife with all 681 functions opened up, you’re terrified. That’s how other sites are – you’re scared to use them. Google has that same level of complexity, but we have a simple and functional interface on it, like the Swiss Army knife closed.

Unfortunately, a lot of sites are like geeky see-through watches — they are so proud of all the stuff under the hood they insist on inflicting it on the innocent passer-by… who just really wants to know the time, after all.

Hmm… what else should we strip out of this blog… or all of Blogads? (Yes, our order form will be reworked in coming weeks.)

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