About the now-notorious claim that she once tested 41 shades of blue? All true. Turns out Google was using two different colors of blue, one on the homepage, one on the Gmail page. To find out which was more effective so they could standardize it across the system, they tested an imperceptible range of blues between the two. The winning color, according to dozens of charts and graphs, was not too green, not too red. "It's interesting to see how you can change the way that people respond to the Web in ways that are not intuitive," she said.
This kind of over-analytical testing was exactly why designer Doug Bowman made a very public break from Google earlier this year. "I had a recent debate over whether a border should be 3, 4, or 5 pixels wide and was asked to prove my case," he wrote in a post after his departure. Maybe he couldn't, but someone won a recent battle to widen the search box by a few pixels, the most major change for the homepage in quite some time.