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
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
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
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:
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.
As soon as we move to Research Sprint:
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.
So, here is the list of things that are not right and leading to the dissonance:
- Library home page has content sorted in some order. That order is not followed in rest of sections
- Rest of sections point to a blog unexpectedly
- As they point to various different layouts of blog, they layout between various sections changes unexpectedly
- Once you reach blog area, no navigation takes you to the website
- 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
- Crux of issues are due to how the blog is mixed with the main website
- Navigation in blog need to be consistent and allow for moving to GV’s home
- When linking to blog, link to similar layouts/templates
- Avoid Library link on GV.com linking to an intermediate page and rather go directly to library.gv.com