Technology may already be at its peak but there is certainly more rooms for improvements and innovation. Google, being ahead of most companies in the industry today, aims to provide not just accurate information whenever it’s needed but also provide a well-balanced life. The idea may be impossible because as technology progresses, there is the danger of people depending more on it and forgetting about the more natural stuff or things that really matter.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, Sundar Pichai shared his thoughts about technology and the core products of Google. It was a long conservation but we’ll take snippets and share his ideas that we deem relevant and important.
Pichai believes that mobiles phones need to evolve now. They are more interruptive than they should be. Admit it or not, phones are an important part of a modern person’s life, spending hours focused on those small screens, swiping up or down, touch typing, and communicating with just about anyone. Smartphones are powerful and a lot of people can’t seem to put them down even at dinner tables. Pichai knows their use and importance won’t die down anytime soon but will only (needs to) evolve.
Google’s products and services have always been user-centric. When asked what that means, the SVP explained that the goal should be to solve problems for users and make lives happier and more convenient. The objective always should be to make things better.
The interviewer noted that developers seem to be working on apps that reduce the temptation to use or check a phone for a while. That’s why there are schedulers, notifications, or ambient modes now because some people really need some downtime—peace and quiet. It’s easy to say one only needs discipline and self-control but in this day and age, that’s not quite possible and even special apps are needed to “turn off” or quiet notifications.
That’s pretty ironic but people can be obssessive when it comes to their mobile lives—they check their email all the time, check their social media accounts, or over rely on their gadgets for information and productivity. That’s a good problem but what people need is to be interrupted only at the right time and there are apps now that can prioritize notifications or contacts as set by the user.
Google has already introduced priority notifications with the arrival of Android 5.0 Lollipop and that feature has allowed people to manage notification settings and interruption system more efficiently . They can be confusing but they work for some people.
Sundar Pichai said that “every good product needs to have restraint”. An app must be all about the user and not about the application or what it can do. He and Larry Page were once noted to have said that technology need to fade into the background more. When asked what that meant, he said, “The point is not to present the technology to the user. The point is to build a user experience.”
The executives at Google simply want things to be less complicated so they are trying to minimize features as much as possible. Technology can be complex most of the time but in reality, people only need simple solutions and the right information whenever they need them.
Here’s a statement to perfectly summarize what the SVP really wants to say in this interview:
“To me it’s about serving users the right way, and as part of that sometimes you need to disappear and get out of the way.”
Phones and other gadgets need to be less intrusive. To do that, some features need to be removed. And as agreed by the the interviewer and Sundar Pichai—sometimes the experience is no experience.
VIA: The New York Times