Google’s design guru reveals the super simple way the company keeps its designers happy

Man Bored at Desk
This looks like the exact opposite of what Google would recommend Flickr / Steve Koukoulas

Google is known for its amazing, often extravagent employee perks.

So, we were surprised when a Google exec recently revealed the surprisingly simple ways that the company keeps its designers happy.

Matias Duarte, Google’s vice president of design for Android, recently participated in an “ask me anything” session, and revealed what his team needs to keep cranking out their best work.

It’s simple:

“Nice furniture. Natural light,” he wrote. “An abundance of whiteboards and post it notes. I am not even joking.”

Last time we touched base with Duarte, he told us about how in prepping for the release of Google’s latest operating system Android Lollipop, one engineer disappeared for an entire week to cut out and paste together dozens of different little icons and widgets with coloured paper.

“It was really important that we were making something that actually had integrity, and was really credible and plausible, so we wanted to really understand how realistic lighting worked,” he said.

We can definitely see why natural light would come in handy…

Material design

Duarte also shared some insight into his own preferences, when someone asked what he liked to snack on and listen to while working:

Salami and cheese. If I’m alone at home, I would basically subsist off that stuff.

When I was younger I would basically pick one track of some crazy fast Rotterdam style techno and just put it on repeat for hours.

Nowadays actually I like to not have any music at all when I’m working. I don’t know, I find it distracting now.

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