[Larry] Page seems to recognize that this project in some ways requires a different approach from the Google norm. One variation that users will notice comes in interface design â€” conspicuously, in Circles. With colorful animations, drag-and-drop magic and whimsical interface touches, Circles looks more like a classic Apple program than the typically bland Google app. Thatâ€™s no surprise since the key interface designer was legendary software artist Andy Herzfeld.
The former Macintosh wizard now works at Google â€” though he loves the company, he had previously felt constrained because its design standards didnâ€™t allow for individual creativity. But with [Google+], he had a go-ahead to flex his creative muscles. â€œIt wasnâ€™t a given that anyone would like what I was doing, but they did,â€ he says.
Traditionally, Larry Page has been a blood foe of â€œswooshyâ€ designs and animations geared to delight users. He feels that it such frills slow things down. But Page has signed off on the pleasing-pixel innovations in Circles, including a delightful animation when you delete a circle: It drops to the bottom of the screen, bounces and sinks to oblivion. That animation adds a few hundred milliseconds to the task; in the speed-obsessed Google world thatâ€™s like dropping â€œWar and Peaceâ€ on a reading list. â€œIâ€™ve heard in the past that Larry Page he didnâ€™t like animations but that didnâ€™t stop me from putting in a lot of animations in, and Larry told me he loves it.â€ says Hertzfeld. â€œMaybe Appleâ€™s resurgence had a little bit to do with it.â€