When Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Design Lead Douglas Bowman quit in somewhat of a huff two weeks ago, he hinted that he had something else lined up. Turns out, according to a report by Spencer Ante, that Bowman is heading to Twitter, where he will serve as the company’s creative director. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone previously held the title.
At Twitter, Bowman will be in charge of finding a balance between the site’s stated desire to keep things simple while also ensuring that the site’s user interface remains relevant — and useful — as the service grows in popularity. (As any avid Twitterer knows, too many tweets can quickly become overwhelming.) Twitter CEO Evan Williams has talked about finding new ways to organize the information gathered from Tweets, including possibly introducing a system to rank Twitterers according to the usefulness of their Tweets. A Twitter spokesman did not return an e-mail seeking comment. But Stone tells Ante, “The Twitter Web page looks pretty simple. But from our perspective the design needs a lot of work.”
Bowman’s departure from Google grabbed plenty of headlines because he accused his former employer of being too dependent on data in making design decisions. He wrote, “When a company is filled with engineers, it turns to engineering to solve problems. Reduce each decision to a simple logic problem. Remove all subjectivity and just look at the data … And that data eventually becomes a crutch for every decision, paralyzing the company and preventing it from making any daring design decisions.”
He acknowledged that Google’s size meant it had to be cautious. Will Twitter fall into the same boat as it grows?