Even before Google started as a company, the Google doodles were incorporated by founders Larry and Sergey. The first doodle was just a stick figure of a man on the second “O” of the company’s logo. The concept came about when originators wanted to let their users know that they were “out of the office.” Since their launch, the Google doodles have made their designs an important part of the company, and now a dedicated group of illustrators are in charge of creating these fun creative designs.
A few years after the inception of the search engine, Google used the doodles to celebrate important dates, events, and holidays around the world. Now on special occasions some of the doodlers will allow users to click on the image to play a game, and some of them even test the users’ skills. For example, on the 40th anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube, the doodle design challenged people around the world to try to solve the digital puzzle on the homepage of Google, but just as the real Rubik’s cube, this one had many users occupied for several hours.
Google has also incorporated a fun competition with their doodles, inspiring kids K-12 in a fun and educating contest. This year, the Doodle 4 competition, asked children from around the U.S and the District of Columbia to submit an illustration of the invention that they would use to make the world a better place. The lucky and inspiring winner chosen from five finalists across the 50 states was Audrey Zhang, and 11-year old girl from New York. Her drawing illustrated a water purification system. She said that this structure would take polluted waters from around the world and transform them into clean waters for people and animals. Zhang was awarded a $30,000 scholarship to use for a college of her choice, and her artwork was published on Google’s homepage on Monday. Her school also benefited from this winning, as it received a $50,000 grant to use for improvements in technology. In addition, Google donated $20,000 to a nonprofit organization charity: water to bring clean water to the developing nation of Bangladesh.
To show its acceptance for gender equality, Google and the doodle designers’ team have been working together to bring a more balanced representation of women and minority groups to the homepage of the search engine. According to CNN, a women’s advocacy group called SPARK Movement released a report stating that between years of 2010 and 2013, doodles representing individuals, were 62 percent white men while only 12 percent were white women, and 4 percent were women of color. The issue was addressed by Google(x) Vice President, Megan Smith. Now since the beginning of June, women have accounted for nearly 50 percent of doodle designs.
To continue with fresh and new doodle designs, Google allows users to make suggestions and contributions towards the many search engine creations. People can submit their illustrations via email to the Google engineers with proposals and new requests for the next exciting doodle.
By Marcia Villavicencio