Marissa Mayer Is Right 80 Percent of the Time

Continuing her unstoppable PR rampage, Google executive Marissa Mayer took to NBC's Press:Here, a Silicon Valley interview show. The cupcake princess of search defended her by-the-numbers approach to Google's design.

The rigid philosophy of testing every little aspect of a Web page's appearance — Mayer's team once tested 41 different shades of blue to determine which generated the optimal number of clicks — has driven away top design talent tired of the endless testing. But perhaps the problem is that Mayer's restive designers just aren't as smart as she is! Here's her explanation:

Every design starts with an instinct: It should look like this, or it should look like that. You can actually test it with data. The humbling thing about that is sometimes the data proves you wrong. So for every change I propose, you know, three out of four, four out of five the data will support the change.

It doesn't matter if Google's ugly — the data is on Mayer's side, see?

Wait a second: Mayer famously dismissed a Googler's application for a job transfer because they'd gotten a single C. "Good students are good at all things," she said at a meeting witnessed by a reporter. But Mayer has just admitted that she gets a C, a B-minus at best, at Web design. She recently touted a design featuring unpopular insurance giant AIG. By her own rules, shouldn't she be fired in favor of someone less tone-deaf on design?

Here's a segment from her appearance: