Great post here from Daniel Miessler. Overall, I can agree with some of his points, and I think his departure from Google Services is both understandable and reasonable. That being said, I’m not sure that I’m ready to take that leap. For me, it comes down to the fact that I honestly enjoy using many of Google’s applications and find that they enhance my work.
As a consumer, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that they’re an advertising company first and foremost.
This is true; Google have always and will always be an advertising company. As a consumer though, I have always found this quite clear and obvious. It’s a trade off that I am frequently willing to make for what I see as being highly positive benefits. The ease, for example, of running my jonwestenberg.com email address through Google services is unparalleled. If I am advertised to a little more, that’s not ideal, but it’s still worth it.
Their administrative interfaces are arbitrarily located, named, and designed. There’s no common design, no common location for management, and no consistency in experience.
This is absolutely true. Daniel is right on the money. If you have any doubts about this point, try to give out Google Now permissions to Google apps for work devices. It is a hugely long and complicated process involving multiple interfaces with no intuitive terminology, structure or design.
I don’t like their incentivization model. Similar to point #1, they are best served by knowing more and more about me, and spreading that information to their real customers: advertisers. I dislike being a means to an ends.
This is another legitimate concern, and it does keep me up at night a little more than basic advertising. It’s a fact that Apple doesn’t profit by gathering your data; if anything, they lose out. But Google does. And the more data they have, the more you’ll be compromised. The question here is, again, how much of your personal information are you willing to use as currency to pay for services?
They have no eye for design. Virtually everything they make is counterintuitive or haphazard in its UI and UX. For one or seven things it’s not that much of a problem, but over time, on dozens of their services, it’s grated on me for too long.
I have to say, I don’t agree with Daniel here at all. I found Material Design to be a great refresh of almost all the apps Google produce, and certainly across their iPhone apps I think the U/I is quite intuitive. Particularly apps such as Google Docs and Inbox, both of which I use heavily on iOS. I’d be interested to see which apps Daniel feels demonstrate counter-intuition.
After years and years, there remains virtually ZERO way to get any support from Google. You send emails. You call numbers. They don’t really care, it seems.
This one is on the money. Ever tried to take control of a Google Plus page? Had to do it a few years back when I was working in freelance marketing. It’s like an admin-task-oriented Hearts of Darkness.