A few notes from LukeW’s Conversations@Google 2017

(Published 4/25/17, link here)

An average person 80 phone usage sessions per day and the average interaction time is 38 seconds (down to 7 seconds for smartwatches!)

  • This is why speed is so important to mobile experiences
  • Hence the growing uses of “skeleton screens” that load instantly
  • Google Photos actually loads contently progressively from the bottom (not top) of the screen, assuming the users are actually looking down at where they will go next, not looking at where they have been

There is a growing usage of NUI (natural user interfaces) in a variety of forms to simplify interaction

  • Alexa/Siri/Google Home
  • Amazon single-product Dash buttons
  • Amazon Go shopping experience
  • Signing into a phone/app with a fingerprint scan
  • Apple earbuds automatically pair with devices; automatically turn on when inserted into your ear; automatically pause when you take them out
  • Snapchat glasses only require a simple tap to start recording. HOWEVER, retrieving those videos is very complicated! To share a video requires almost 10 taps

Use NUI to inspire more simple GUI (graphical user interface). For example:

  • If someone asks for your address in an iMessage, Apple pops up possible choices (home, work) from your contacts list–just tap a suggestion and you’re done
  • Tap-to-translate UI pops up in tweets written in languages other than the user’s default
  • Many chatbots are doing a version of this: asking questions and giving several possible answer links along with a field to type in
  • Use 3D touch/long touch and fluid motions to initiate an activity chain and lower taps
    • In Messages, you long touch the microphone while recording and then swipe up to send it
    • In Maps, you long touch and get drag across the options to select one

Think of how you would port your mobile experience to a watch—and use that to inspire more simple UI/experiences!

More good examples of streamlining from phone apps:

  • A health app originally asked users to save or discard their workout; the update auto saved it–users have to discard under saved workouts, but the vast majority of folks won’t bother to and were saved that step
  • It also originally showed a list view of exercises upon initial load; after that, it moved your last activity to the top and added in the relevant info from that workout
  • A timer app initially made users pull to set a timer, which was difficult to physically do, and then press start; next version offered  top options and a custom button
  • On iMessage, you had to tap to get a Reply link, which you had to tap to get repopulated choices; now a message from someone is immediately followed w some replies, the microphone icon and a text field—all w no tapping needed
  • Apple watch example: watch taps your wrist to tell you something’s new; as you raise your arm, it shows what’s new on the screen (meteor shower in this case); tap more info and it shows you where in the sky to look; tap again and it shows your location on a map with an arrow of which way to look. It uses all the sensors to take away friction
    Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 8.25.22 PM
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