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Design Dissonance in Google Ventures’ Website – My Opinions

I often visit GV‘s (erstwhile Google Ventures) website. On a recent visit, I encountered a noticed some design dissonance. It was surprising as they say the website is “This site is hand-crafted by GV.”

Here is what I mean by design dissonance:

Setting The Tone

Design Dissonance Google Ventures 1

The tone of design, layout, navigation and content sorting is set in the home page of their library. Look good! On a site that has tons of content, they have decided that trending on Medium is the order in which they will show the content. Great.

GV is known for its contribution to Design and so that is the first collection I hit!

Design Dissonance Begins

Design Dissonance Google Ventures 5

Suddenly I am in your typical ‘Blog’ template. Didn’t expect that. Not much of a surprise, though. Why not use the power of blogging platform. Some things that jump out:

  • The awesome picture of a mountain range and nice green slash, and
  • Missing Home from the top menu

Anyway, I back and for the next section, Product Management.

And It Continues

Design Dissonance Google Ventures 6

Suddenly, the mountain is gone, but the Home has appeared!

However, the Home takes me to the Blog home rather than the GV’s home. Moving on to another section, Sprints.

Continues But Does Not Jar

When I reach the Design Sprint, I am taken to a whole new layout:

Design Dissonance Google Ventures 1

Given the content is a whole new thinking, the new layout does not jar. In fact, it is a good way to set the tone that Design Sprint is a world of its own.

But Then

As soon as we move to Research Sprint:

Design Dissonance Google Ventures 1

We are taken to a Blog post. The content deserves more than a Blog post link and given how Design Sprint was done, this feels like a letdown.

What’s Wrong?

So, here is the list of things that are not right and leading to the dissonance:

  1. Library home page has content sorted in some order. That order is not followed in rest of sections
  2. Rest of sections point to a blog unexpectedly
  3. As they point to various different layouts of blog, they layout between various sections changes unexpectedly
  4. Once you reach blog area, no navigation takes you to the website
  5. Given it is highlighted as a hand-crafted website, these things should have taken care of. Hand-crafted implies attention to details to make sure they are consistent and not dissonant due to underlying differences

Suggested Fixes

  1. Crux of issues are due to how the blog is mixed with the main website
  2. Navigation in blog need to be consistent and allow for moving to GV’s home
  3. When linking to blog, link to similar layouts/templates
  4. Avoid Library link on linking to an intermediate page and rather go directly to
Feature image: Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Dinker Charak

Dinker has over a decade of experience in building products across diverse domains such as Industrial Automation, Home Automation, Operating Systems, High Energy Particle Physics, Embedded Systems, Online Video Advertising, Messaging, K-12 education and Private Banking. He also founded Gungroo Software. He books '#ProMa: Product Management Tools, Methods & Some Off-the-wall Ideas' and 'The Neutrinos Are Coming and Other Stories' are available globally. He also manages, an Indian Sci-fi portal.

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