John Houck


The Top 5 Things That Bother Me About This Headline

How knowing exactly what people click on has ruined creativity.

Of the thousands of decisions that Jamie Divine made when working as an experience design director for Google, the one that got the most attention was about a certain shade of blue.

In developing a new search results page, Divine created a blue toolbar button. The team agreed that this particular hue was the best, until a project manager noted that a greener shade of blue in a nearby ad had performed much better—meaning that users were more likely to click it. The team was ordered to test 41 different blues to see which one users would choose, instead of relying strictly on Divine’s expertise.

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