Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Google Lays Out Its Mobile User Experience Strategy

Google's view of the mobile experience ...

"Just market the word 'Google' with any event these days and you can pretty much bet it will sell out. Last night I was at a presentation by Google on mobile user experience. If any other company gave this talk, maybe 40 or so people would show up. But because the speaker was from Google and the event was in the company's New York City nerve center, over 250 people packed out the Google auditorium. For those of us lucky enough to get a ticket, we received an upfront look at how Google designs its mobile applications.

The event, "Google Presents User Experience & Mobile Apps," was co-hosted by the New York City chapter of the Usability Professionals Association.

Google user experience designer Leland Rechis started his talk by re-iterating Google's mission: Organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Rechis added that mobility is fast-becoming the key to making information "universally accessible," but he warned that without a solid user experience, there is no way mobile applications can be useful.

Rechis said that when Google plans to launch a mobile application, it looks at the potential app through six layers:

1. Understanding users, anywhere, anytime

2. Fits in your pocket

3. More personal than the PC

4. Consistency across modes

5. Localization is intensified

6. Integrated devices, modes, products

Rechis then broke out the company's mobile development and optimization strategy by each level.

Understanding users, anywhere, anytime

Rechis said that Google breaks down mobile users into three behavior groups:

A. "Repetitive now"
B. "Bored now"
C. "Urgent now"

The "repetitive now" user is someone checking for the same piece of information over and over again, like checking the same stock quotes or weather. Google uses cookies to help cater to mobile users who check and recheck the same data points."    (Continued via InformationWeek)    [Usability Resources]

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