Tag Archives: interaction

Google Wow, an experience that amazes for real.

6 Feb

What if there were more artists working alongside engineers at Google? I think many products will be different, and better.

Why Google?

  1. Google is the most amazing company out there, building forward looking products like Google Now, and investing in crazy projects we all love to talk about (mostly coming from Google X), that will change our lives, and we hope for the better.
  2. Google strengths is, and has always been in its software engineers. I am myself more an engineer than an artist, for sure, but isn’t the combination of art and engineering the most explosive one? Leonardo da Vinci was born 69.2 km from my hometown (according to Google Maps), and I have always been obsessed by his all-encompassing genius.
A Google doodle

Engineering+Art in a Google doodle.

Today, I was watching again the Google 2013 I/O keynote when a phrase resonated in my mind: “We want you to build the most amazing, delightful experiences for your users…”. I closed the video, and closed the office, those word buzzing in my head: “I am all in for this, dear Google”.

As I was exiting the office I pull out my phone and magic happened again: Google Now is giving me, for the 4th time this week, my commute time, as if I was driving home. Problem is I do not drive home, I do not even have a car and, frankly, I find extremely annoying to know in advance if I will home be 15 minutes earlier or 15 minutes later than usual. What if, instead, I was late home, but for a good reason?

Google Now shows more cards: temperature and forecast. Boring. I am outside, I can feel the heat, and I look at the sky. Looking at the sky delights me, the Google card… not at all.

Finally, the last card, is telling me of the latest package arriving from Amazon: Google is parsing my emails, something powerful and scary: the end result is that I receive a notification, a text message, an email for my package… and Now, also got a nice card. Annoying. Seriously.

Nonetheless I do believe Now is the future of search, a beginning for a new interface, a great product already and it is constantly being improved.

But, what if there were more artists working alongside engineers at Google? Art is beauty, surprise, emotions, and also uselessness:  let’s take a different approach to Google Now: instead of trying to predict my next search, my usual need given the context, it could try to predict what will amaze and delight me! A very appropriate name for it would be Google Wow.

a Google card

A cool, surprising card, since I just arrived in Jamaica!

How would the cards look like?

I really like music, and discovering new artists, so a music card would, from time to time, push some new music at me, an album to discover, but not when I necessarily expect it.

And I really like good food. Google might know or not my tastes (and it probably does) in any case it could throw my way a card with some cool food in the area that I never tried (Google knows that too).

We can get a lot more creative I am sure:

  • Instead of my commute time showing me a nice destination to a far away country, with pictures, travel cost and and an excuse to go there.
  • Instead of the weather in my location the weather in a location where one of my friends is now travelling, and a reason to send him/her a message.
  • Instead of the Amazon package info, a friend who just opened Google Now nearby so we can go get a beer together and be both late home.
Feeling Lucky?

Feeling Lucky?

From “feeling lucky” to “getting lucky“!

Can serendipity be designed into an experience? What if there was some randomness, a push to get outside our usual path and habits, actually giving us the habit of being more open, try more things, meet more people and ultimately get lucky for real?

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