Google Does Sales, Fugly.

Although the commercial Web is over ten years young, it’s amazing to me and nearly every programmer with whom I speak that setting up e-commerce on a website is a pain in the ass. Designers and developers spend inordinate amounts of time working with some clients who want to set up an online shopping cart. It can be extremely complicated, demoralizing, death-defying and even overwhelming, depending on the quality of the shopping cart and the programmer or group of programmers who are doing the e-commerce integration.
PayPal has attempted to do good but it never has. It’s either way too easy to set up, which makes it both ugly and dumb-looking because it’s not easily customizable, or it’s way too hard to set up, which makes it a hassle and a half. Needless to say PayPal is not now the solution that I would recommend to many people.
Yesterday, in comes Google, with a hearty huff and puff. Their new online shopping cart called Google Checkout looks a bit too much like a PayPal immitation at first glance (and not enough, upon a second glance). It does seem to connect with their online advertising base and it seems to have many different flavors that should make it a shopping cart contender, in my eyes. Here’s where it fails: the logo. Why, why does Google’s logo need to sit near every transaction button? The buttons are uglier than sin and look as if they were designed by eighth-graders in shop class. I know that much has been written about Google’s weird-bad logos and branding but this new e-commerce application can only suffer from Google’s bad, old design decisions.
Poscript: I was in esteemed company this week regarding Google and the world of fugly.