At the risk of sounding like a fangirl, I have to say that Google amazes me. Even if you take away all the wearable computing devices, balloon-powered Internet and the slew of other services that Google offers, its search engine alone is a wondrous thing. It’s a trove of all kinds of information about anything under the sun, and it makes learning new things easy. I particularly like the latest search interface, which immediately shows you information relevant to your search, such as images, latest news and brief biographies, in organized cards.
These days, web browsers allow you to google things right from their search bar, bypassing the homepage. Sure, that saves a step but it makes you miss out on cool things, like maybe a revamped Google logo.
Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin created the first doodle in 1998, when they placed a stick figure behind their logo’s second “o” to inform users that they were attending Nevada’s Burning Man festival. In 2000, then intern Dennis Hwang was tasked to create a doodle for Bastille Day, and its popularity led to the formation of a group of doodlers and engineers.
In its blog, RingCentral identifies three important elements of a consistent brand image: a company’s look, sound and service. With their Doodle project, Google leverages these three elements to showcase the innovation and playfulness that they’re known for. Here are three reasons why you should check out Google Doodles:
LOOK: They’re like unexpected treats.
There’s nothing like seeing something ordinary in a new way to get you amazed. The Google logo is basic and straightforward, made up of six letters in a Sans Serif font. Who knew it could be redone in over a thousand different ways? That’s exactly what Google’s doodlers do. They think of special events in a year, maybe a holiday or an important personality’s birthday, and they use to create a logo that’s both interesting and relevant.
It’s a great surprise to start your research with, kind of like reaching for your regular drip coffee at the office pantry and being handed a Frappuccino.
SOUND: They’re interactive and entertaining.
Google Doodles range from simple and easily understandable to the more complex ones in which you almost can’t decipher the letters from the images. Take for example the doodle celebrating Antoni Gaudi’s 161st birthday last June 25, shown above. You know it’s supposed to spell out Google, but you have to squint and tilt your head a bit to figure out the actual letters.
And then there are the doodles that are intricately crafted as animations and games, complete with sounds and all. Recent examples include this year’s US Independence Day doodle, which shows a cartoon dog family taking a trip across the States that concludes with fireworks. How about the doodle game that celebrates the anniversary of the Roswell UFO sighting? You’re tasked to help the lone alien get back home by finding and putting together the parts of his spaceship. Doodles like these give you a nice, interactive break from work without having to leave the confines of the Google Search website.
SERVICE: They’re informative.
Everyone loves those two-in-one things, and Google Doodles are examples of those. Not only are they engaging, they’re also educational. If you hover your mouse over the logo, a yellow box will pop up to tell you what the special occasion is. Then, just click the logo and you’ll immediately be directed to a results page so that you can read more about the event if you wish. After all, don’t people say that you should learn something new everyday? Here’s a fun way to do just that!
If you’d like to see the Google Doodles you’ve missed, head on to its official page to see a complete listing by year. And if these cool logos don’t show up on your Google homepage, try switching to country-specific addresses like google.au or google.ca. Just remember that there won’t be a doodle for every day of the year.