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Google makes change look simple

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Google has one of the most successful products on the Internet. Why would its leaders want to alter it?

Because even Google has to evolve. That’s the reason for the site’s recent redesign, its eighth.

Here’s how Google does it:

Start with a wild-ideas phase. Designers and engineers first cleared their minds by mocking up hundreds of variations on Google’s simple look, before getting down to business.

Discover and collaborate, don’t duplicate. Teams hashed out details during daily stand-up meetings from 4:07 to 5 p.m.

Test your prototype in-house. Google calls it “dogfooding.” All 20,000 of the company’s employees can test the new product and send feedback. At its peak, the Google team received a piece of feedback every 10 seconds.

Harness the power of metrics. Engineers used eye tracking on test users, while Google statisticians conducted months-long experiments with hundreds of thousands of live users.

—Adapted from "How Google Got Its New Look," Helen Walters, Bloomberg Businessweek.

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