Google’s Design Philosophy and UX Culture


HECTOR OUILHET: Hi, everybody. My name is Hector Ouilhet. I’m the head of design for
Search, Assistant, and News family of products. DEANA ANGLIN: So
I’m Deana Anglin. And I’m a senior user experience
researcher here at Google. DEE SPEED: I’m Dee Speed. I am a UX director
here at YouTube. KEVIN LOZANDIER: My
name is Kevin Lozandier. I’m a user experience engineer. MAGGIE STANPHILL:
I’m Maggie Stanphill. I’m a UX director at Google. FATIMAH RICHMOND: My
name is Fatimah Richmond. I’m a user experience
researcher. RAMYA MALLYA: My
name is Ramya Mallya. I’m an interaction
designer at Google. HECTOR OUILHET: Three words– wow. KEVIN LOZANDIER: In three words. DEE SPEED: The UX culture
at Google is purposeful. It’s inclusive and full
of innovation actually. RAMYA MALLYA: Nurturing,
open, and collaborative. HECTOR OUILHET: Expanding,
evolving, and awesome. MAGGIE STANPHILL: Voice of user. KEVIN LOZANDIER:
Put users first. FATIMAH RICHMOND: I’d say
it was a healthy challenge. DEANA ANGLIN: I would say
it’s ambitious, innovative, and collaborative. It’s ambitious because
UX culture reflects Google culture,
where it’s constantly challenging us to think 10x. KEVIN LOZANDIER: Good
isn’t good enough and being able to
provide alternate takes on how to solve a
problem with no egos involved. HECTOR OUILHET:
Google is very famous for its iterative
culture and nature. We have this relentless
optimism to drive and to inspire the right responses
or the right solutions so they can resonate
with our users. FATIMAH RICHMOND: So my
favorite thing about Google UX is the sense of community. It’s something that I
haven’t really experienced at any other company. DEE SPEED: I have other
people that I can lean on, whether it’s for
management help, whether it’s for discussing
the latest trends. MAGGIE STANPHILL:
It’s very much where I’ve found my tribe at Google. I found so many close friends
and colleagues this way. DEANA ANGLIN: I came in thinking
that I didn’t have anything to contribute to the
community personally. What could I add? And I found the community
to be very encouraging and say, no, there is
something you can add. DEE SPEED: We start with the
premise, focus on the user and all else follows. It’s about them, not about us. RAMYA MALLYA: Putting
research first. We design for
products for people who are all over the world. So going out there in the
field to observe and learn from users in their context
is one of the big ways we put users first. DEANA ANGLIN: We try
to ensure that we’re designing not just for
here, but that we’re really designing for all. HECTOR OUILHET: So it
starts with empathy. So with that
culture of moonshots or trying to achieve the
impossible, what design allow us to do is to helping
that processes have these empathy for the user. KEVIN LOZANDIER: I think empathy
comes into play with everything we work on at Google. For example for the
next billion users, we keep that in
mind with everything with the design
[INAUDIBLE] we make. I think that making the world’s
information more accessible, that is something that all
users, as much as possible, need to be able to
have available to them. FATIMAH RICHMOND: We really
try hard to find opportunities of magical moments across
the different products. So I work in G Suite, and
so we’re a suite of apps. And I think we put a lot of
care into finding opportunities for our apps to integrate
with each other, so that from the
user perspective, it doesn’t feel like a large
company with different product areas. It actually feels like
a suite of products. DEANA ANGLIN: So my favorite
thing about the culture of UX at Google is that I’ve
been able to interact with people from
different walks of life, so people who come from
different backgrounds. So I came from a computer
science background and I do research. And there are other people
who come from social science background or there
were a lawyer before. And they’re all
doing the same thing. To me, that’s
fascinating because it shows that UX is a
field that’s really like a melting pot of
academic background. KEVIN LOZANDIER: Well,
I’m a [INAUDIBLE] engineer and I always had a
passion for design. And to me, I learn engineering
to be able to appreciate design better by being able to more
realize the intents I had of the concepts and
the visuals of things, and being able to directly
impact how users use products. Doing it for scale is
taking into consideration the concept at the
prototyping phase, as well as the actual implementation
phase, how to exactly approach the problem for
the amount of users that need to be accounted for. There’s many solution
to a problem. So when working
at Google’s scale, we have to take that
into consideration with not taking just
the simplest route, but perhaps an
alternate take in order to accommodate as much use
as possible for our products. HECTOR OUILHET: The way
we design inclusively is an important thing
we do at Google. It’s important because
the products that we do are at scale. And I think I’m going to
sound like a broken record, but it’s all about empathy. Empathy of understanding that
user need, that I said earlier, they don’t change. That user need and how other
people are going about it. For example, we know that
people in China or India and the way they consume
information is different most of the work that we
did from the beginning are just based on one
language but guess what. Many people that want to
speak more than one language and actually just alternate
it really quickly. So we have a deep
role into helping translate and contextualize
such content so that people that want access can understand
it’s important that we design and we’re inclusive of a
global audience because we do aspire to help as many
people as we can empathy has to be at the
heart of everything you do because it proves
that you understand the person or the people that
you’re talking to their needs you can relate to their needs, which means you can address
them more thoroughly and in a more complete
way as a leader Google my design philosophy is very
much informed by my values many of those centered
around inclusion and we believe
deeply in inclusion it is one of the broader
principles of Google I think the some of
the wonderful work that the NBA team
is doing working with users in different markets
in emerging markets like India, Indonesia to just learn
and see how people interact with technology in
those areas I think the important thing
about when we design for different cultures
is to again empathize with different cultures
understand where they’re coming from and use the design
language that we have Google material in an appropriate way. So whether that means
tweaking the color palette to match someone’s
cultural sensitivities or even just using
specific language that we use in our products to
make sure that we’re speaking the same language
as the person who is using the product, not in just the
same the literal language sense but also using the same phrases
using the same sense of humor is different than between
different cultures. So just being sensitive to
all of those different nuances and designing with them
keeping those things in mind designing for accessibility is
part of our fundamental process there are so many resources
available internally at Google from experts who
have done research in this field for so many
years and so many tools as well on how to design
all for keeping in mind various different
accessibility needs that people might have
we have some really awesome accessibility stars
they create these principles. So that throughout
your entire process. You can look at these principles
and gauge how accessible your products are they also
connect you with Googlers who may be a part of the disability
community who can help test your products so I really see
the future of design heading in a space where or design team
reflects the people who are designing for as a black
user experience practitioner at Google I start took the
initiative to start a community called black UX network and I
believe like there is a need to address representation and
UX at every angle so it helped to merge all the things I
like technology doing research and talking to people and
working on hard challenges I think it’s going to be loss of actual
input mechanisms that we’ve
traditionally had things like the keyboard
and the mouse we’re moving further ahead
with things like voice being able to recognize
different voices. So the input methods
are definitely going to change I think the
next big thing in design will actually be consumer
design trends making its way an enterprise design
products it reminds me of a talk by Katherine
courage Amy Loki and some of the other
US design leaders at you where we talked about what
are some trendy consumer experiences that are making
it into enterprise design software I think over
the next few years we’ll see a lot of those
data visualizations and delightful experiences
making it into enterprise design products the
future of wax and design is really around empathy we
had data we could measure data. But what we’re really
finding is that some of the more qualitative
measures are in some regard a better indicator for
user satisfaction designing experiences that actually
help us detach ourselves away from technologies
the joy of missing out thinking about creative ways
to let people know that you’re taking a break from
technology right now designers and you ex practitioners
across the world being more and more responsible
and feeling that responsibility for designing interaction
with technology as more and more
technology enters our homes and we use it in very
many different ways today we start seeing
designers thinking about not just their one on one
interaction with that product, but also the
broader implications of how they’re what that might
mean for that human’s life the discipline per
se of designing is expanding we’re going in
these people are shifting from a more declarative
or more predictable way of creating to something
is more learning and adapting wait m.l. and I the way, is
changing that these courts are from all of the dialogue
is fascinating the way I see it is how
my daughter learns and the way she learned
how to ride a bike was not by riding the bike
she with learning this concept balancing. And then she learned
this notion of pedaling we’d had different
object things think from the kitchen for
my wife and then she was able to put those things
together when we gave her we put pedals to her bike. She never used the
training wheels she was able to learn and adapt
constantly for the situation in order to produce the outcome
that she wanted that learning on that thing is how we are
shifting in the way we create products and then what people
where consumer products. And we have an amazing
set of inspiration, which is humans people
technology is for the people right and we’re
there to build that. So that’s where the
sign is heading.

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