rango - 11:34 pm on Jul 15, 2012 (gmt 0)
People searching in Google are 99.99% of the time not looking for "art". They're just looking for a user-friendly design. Calling that art is in my opinion just ludicrous.
Since user-friendly design is often largely about following standard practices, I feel this actually is something that Google has a good shot at detecting. Particularly if they use humans to first work out the design patterns that people consider to be good.
Just the same way a user makes up her mind within a second of viewing the page whether it's for them or not, an algorithm could come pretty close to making similar decisions.
Sure, it can't be the only factor when deciding to rank a site or not, but at certain thresholds I think it can probably be quite a useful one for them, particularly when the judgement is backed up by other user-activity data they will have gathered.