I don’t think comments like these are worrying. It is good that Google’s own staff is self-critical and effectively treated Nakashima’s reporting as a bug report. Nor do I believe that the cynical view that Google deliberately made these preferences hard to figure out for its advantage. The correct take is far more mundane: contrary to popular belief, Google just isn’t very good at design.
Bingo! I’m bemused at how much Google’s Material Design has been lauded and imitated. Personally, I find it meh at best, both on Android and in Google’s apps.
Mind you, when it comes to confusion, Facebook — unsurprisingly — leaves Google trailing.