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Method Podcast from Google Design

Method Podcast from Google Design

The Method podcast profiles designers at Google, giving listeners an inside look at their journeys and design choices.


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Maggie Stanphill, Digital Wellbeing

Maggie Stanphill, Director of UX at Google talks about her efforts in Digital Wellbeing.

How this became a focus in the tech industry, and what is Google doing to contribute?

I hope you enjoy the episode.

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Google UX Interns

Garrett Tolbert, Andrea Davila, and Alex Lim talk to us about life as a Google UX intern.

In this episode, we talk with a trio of UX interns with three very different paths to Google: What led them to their internships? How their experience has changed them. What?s next in their UX journeys?


Handy links for this episode:

Learn about internships at Google


Meet our guests:

Garrett Tolbert ? UX Engineering intern at Google

Andrea Davila ? UX Writing intern at Google

Alex Lim ? UX Research intern at Google

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Emily Blank, Canvas Project & Material Design

What does the term ?creative collaboration? mean to you? What do you need to consider when the things you create are seen in the seams of people?s day? How do the images we see everyday impact our living experience?

Join us as we explore these Questions with Emily Blank, Art Director on Google?s Material Design team.


Handy links for this episode:

The Canvas Project by Google Cloud


Meet our guest:

Emily Blank works to create impactful imagery on Google?s Material Design team. She?s previously worked at Apple, Bloomberg, and Billboard.

Photo in episode art is by Jess Bonham

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Philip Battin & Curtis Flanagan, Seed Studio

From prototyping futures to designing artifacts solely for discussion, tune in to explore the idiosyncratic?but important?field of speculative design. In this episode, host Travis Neilson sits down with Philip Battin and Curtis Flanagan from Seed Studio, a Google design team working on future-forward creative concepts for human-centered technology. In this intriguing conversation, the trio unpack what it means to rehearse the future to inform the present.

Handy links for this episode:
Explore ?A Space for Being? from Salone del Mobile in Milan 2019
Read Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby
Watch HER on Google Play

Meet our guests:
Philip Battin currently leads strategic design and innovation for Seed Studio. Previously he worked as a design strategist on Google Glass at Google X.

Curtis Flanagan is an art director at Seed Studio. Before joining Google, he was a senior designer at Red Antler and Ideas On Purpose.

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The Google UX Hiring Process

What makes a portfolio stand out? Why is the design exercise necessary? What exactly is a ?noogler? and how do you become one? In this episode, host Travis Neilson talks with Google Design Manager Mike Buzzard about the seven phases of the Google UX hiring process. Along the way, hear audio clips of designers describing their own stories of applying to work at Google. From overcoming the fear of submitting an application, to demystifying the full-day of on-site interviews, listen in for a comprehensive breakdown of all the hiring quirks you need to know.

Handy links for this episode:
Submit an application
Stay up to date with the latest from Google Design

Meet our guest:
Mike Buzzard is a design manager at Google, currently collaboratively shaping the UX Community and Culture initiative. In his personal capacity, Buzzard also acts as a design advisor to A Capital, Fuel Capital, and Stitch Labs.  

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Roxanne Pinto, Google Flights

In this episode, host Travis Neilson interviews Roxanne Pinto, a content strategist at Google, about the role of UX writing in helping people use?and understand?machine learning-driven products. Listen in as Pinto shares insightful anecdotes about unpacking errors and how mental models shape product interactions and user trust.

Handy links for this episode:
Get an overview of Google IO
Explore Google Flights
Explore Google Ads

Meet our guest:
Roxanne Pinto is a content strategist at Google, currently writing UX content for Google Flights and the Google Trips app. Previously she worked as a copywriter at SolutionSet and Hitachi Data Systems.

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Matthew Levine, Gallery (Passion Projects)

From scaling an idea into a viable product to building a design tool that optimizes collaboration with developers, tune in to part three of our series on passion projects. In this episode, host Travis Neilson interviews Matthew Levine, a UX lead and engineer at Google, to discuss the origins of Gallery and the tension between finding a passion-worthy problem and developing the necessary skills to solve it.

Handy links for this episode:
Get an overview of Gallery
Download Gallery for Android
Download Gallery for iOS

Meet our guest:
Matthew Levine is a UX engineer at Google, currently overseeing the Gallery product. Prior to joining Google, he was the principal of Infocraft and led web development at Technorati.

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Adrienne Klum & Spencer Syfrig, Practicing Playful Creation (Passion Projects)

In part two of our series on passion projects, host Travis Neilson interviews two Google UX designers to discuss their creativity-boosting workshop. From inventing new uses for unconventional objects to focusing on the process instead of the solution, tune in as Adrienne Klum and Spencer Syfrig unpack how listening, collaborating, and playing leads to wildly creative problem solving.

Meet our guests:
Adrienne Klum is a UX design manager at Google, currently working on Google Drive. Previously she worked as a senior product designer at CA Technologies.

Spencer Syfrig is a product designer on the Google Drive team. Before joining Google, he led product design at GoFundMe.

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Adam Argyle, VisBug (Passion Projects)

From envisioning creative tools to helping new UXers navigate the developing world, tune in to part one of our three-part series on passion projects. In this episode, host Travis Neilson interviews Adam Argyle, a UX engineer at Google, about his journey creating the design tool VisBug, the connection between passion and empathy, and fervently advocating for an idea?even when you encounter challenges along the way.

Handy links for this episode:
Play in the VisBug sandbox
Download the VisBug extension
Request a VisBug feature

Meet our guest:
Adam Argyle is a Chrome CSS developer advocate at Google. Previously he worked as a front end architect at Deloitte Digital.  


Do you have a burning question for a designer at Google? Or a story you?d love to hear? Give us feedback in this short survey to help make the show even better.  

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Isabelle Olsson, Google Hardware

In this special crossover episode, Google Method shares an interview from Design Notes?a show about creative work and what it teaches us. Taped at Google Design?s 2018 SPAN Helsinki conference, host Aaron Lammer interviews Isabelle Olsson about her journey to becoming an industrial designer and the intricacies of crafting the design language for Google Hardware. From learning the basics of design from her grandfather (a self-taught industrial designer) to her fascination with materiality and color, tune in as Olsson discusses why it?s critical for designers to be inspired by the context in which products live.

Meet our guest:
Isabelle Olsson leads industrial design for Home, Wearables, and Color, Material, Finish (CMF) across all Google Hardware. Before joining Google, she was an industrial designer at Fuseproject and OSM.


Do you have a burning question for a designer at Google? Or a story you?d love to hear? Give us feedback in this short survey to help make the show even better.  

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Google UX Confessions

From inventing fictitious calendar entries to incorporating personal photos in design mocks, listen in to Google designers? deepest design confessions. In this episode, host Travis Neilson and a panel of Google UX designers discuss and reflect on their peers? anonymous confessions and offer insight on important topics, quirky habits, and design struggles that don?t often get airtime.

Meet our panel:
Simon Pan is a senior interaction designer at Google working on Google News. Before joining Google, he was a senior designer at Medium, Uber, and Amazon music.

Brynn Evans is a UX lead at YouTube, currently overseeing the YouTube Living Room platform. Evans is also the co-founder and organizer of Hexagon, a monthly meetup for women in UX.

Hector Ouilhet leads design for Google Search and Assistant products. Previously he worked on multiple products at Google, MIT Media Lab, and HP.


Do you have a burning question for a designer at Google? Or a story you?d love to hear? Give us feedback in this short survey to help make the show even better.   

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Peter Jin Hong & Scott Wasson, Google Job Search

In this episode, host Travis Neilson interviews two UX designers at Google?Peter Jin Hong and Scott Wasson?discussing the impact of Google Search and how the newly launched Job Search feature is changing the job-seeking landscape. They cover everything from the effect of transactional memory on job hunters to the importance of qualitative research when making UX decisions. Listen in as they talk behavioral science, soft skills, and identity to illustrate how empathy affects the experience of a product like Job Search.

A few highlights:

On fostering empathy
?We can truly help humanity if we know what makes us tick, what makes us scared, what makes us inspired, what makes us push ourselves. [Looking for a job] is one of the scariest things in your life?it?s about having agency, and dignity, the ability to stand tall, and feed your family.? ? Peter Jin Hong

On being reliable
?We want users to be able to trust the jobs that we?re showing them, especially now that we?re getting into recommendations. It affects people?s psyche.? ? Scott Wasson

On data-driven design
?Good qualitative research is helping our great quantitative research. It?s also referred to as thick data, because qualitative research allows depth in really understanding what people are going through.? ? Peter Jin Hong

Do you have a burning question for a designer at Google? Or a story you?d love to hear? Give us feedback in this short survey to help make the show even better.  

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Margaret Lee, UX Community & Culture at Google

In this episode, host Travis Neilson interviews Margaret Lee, a UX director at Google, about her journey to leadership and explorations of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Lee shares personal vignettes?including the career stories of her immigrant parents, and stewarding the opinionated nature of her young daughter?to discuss her own path to becoming a ?reluctant leader.? Listen in to hear how Lee found a healthy balance between meeting performance expectations at work and being her authentic self.

On culture fit in the workplace
?We talk so much about culture and the importance of culture, but if we have a fixed perspective on what that culture means, then we're just perpetuating the same problem of lack of diversity. When we talk about culture fit, a lot of times what we're talking about is the culture that we're comfortable with? and that doesn't lead to diversity of thought, that just leads to reinforcing what already exists.?

On listening to learn
?We usually just listen to fix the situation because we're hired to fix things. But when we're doing that, all we're doing is collecting information to hone in on a solution, but you can't do that if you don't understand the situation. And that's where the listening to learn comes in.?

On making more team connections
?I don't think anybody is just one dimension. We have our dominant tendencies and then we have areas that we should be stretching into. And if everyone is willing to stretch thirty percent beyond their natural abilities, we'll make a lot more connections with each other.?

Do you have a burning question for a designer at Google? Or a story you?d love to hear? Give us feedback in this short survey to help make the show even better.  

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August de los Reyes of Google Search, Assistant, and News

In this episode, host Travis Neilson interviews August de los Reyes, a UX director at Google, about considering a product?s cultural equity?its noneconomic and nonfunctional benefits?and how that influences a user?s state of being. De los Reyes also touches on everything from game and car design to the Eames? Powers of Ten to illustrate how zooming in and out of designed systems can help bridge the gap between the designer?s intent, the functionality of a product, and the user?s emotional response. A few highlights:

On the challenge of elegant design
?Elegance is complexity described in a simple way... I don't think simplicity is an end in itself. There can be things that are simple but not engaging or valuable. On the flip side, there are things that are just too complex to be meaningful. Where design can add value is through elegance?taking complex systems or complex ideas and presenting them in a very simple way.?

On the power of cultural equity
?What helps drive a consumer towards one car rather than another? I?d argue that it?s neither its functional or economic value, but rather its cultural equity. And what generates that cultural equity is design.?

On what designers can learn from video games
?The interaction of game design is so well crafted, down to painstaking detail at the mechanical level. It's my hope that we can bridge that kind of care and thoughtfulness into other kinds of software.?

Handy info and links for this episode:

Google?s G-suite is a collection of cloud-based productivity software, products, and tools developed to enhance collaboration.
HBO?s Silicon Valley is an American comedy series about a computer programmer and his friends establishing a startup company in Silicon Valley.
Christopher Alexander?s Notes on the Synthesis of Form published in 1964 centers around the process of design and inventing new ways to ?display physical order.?
The best-selling video game series in history, Super Mario was created by Nintendo and designed by Shigeru Miyamoto. The iconic games follow Mario?s adventures in the fictional Mushroom Kingdom.
Learn more about the Mechanics-Dynamics-Aesthetics (MDA) framework, an analytic tool developed by game designers Robin Hunicke, Marc LeBlanc, and Robert Zubek. The two Powers of Ten films, written and directed by Charles and Ray Eames, depict the relative scale of the Universe based on a factor of ten.

August de los Reyes is a UX director in the search and assistant organization at Google, where he leads an effort called Ecosystem UX. Before joining Google he was head of design at Pinterest and Microsoft Xbox.

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Illustrators at Google

In this episode, host Travis Neilson interviews a trio of Google illustrators creating images to inform and delight millions of people around the world. Designer Mat Helme shares insights from his work creating the guidelines for Google?s product illustrations. Motion Designer Laura Dumitru talks about her creative process and the animations she designed for the new Pixel startup sequence. Doodler Hélène Leroux shares the story of her illustrations for Back To The Moon?a Google doodle about filmmaker Georges Méliès, and the first doodle to be nominated for an Emmy.

A few highlights:

On what makes a good product illustration
?Immediate comprehension.? ? Mat Helme

On the hierarchy of words and images
?It's a bit of a competition sometimes, between illustration and copy. We?ve learned that a lot of the time, if you have an animation, people just don't read the copy. It's something we always need to be careful with.? ? Laura Dumitru

On the magic of Google doodles

?The logo of a company is normally something untouchable. If you have the freedom to replace the logo with, oh, a dragon who's burning the letters, it's something that you've never seen before. It brings a lot of fun to the brand.? ? Hélène Leroux

Handy info and links for this episode:

?Principles Not Platitudes? is an essay written by Google UX Researcher Jess Holbrook, arguing in favor of measurable and meaningful design principles. Back To The Moon is the first Google doodle to be nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Original Interactive Program. Honoring French director Georges Méliès, the short film was directed by Hélène Leroux and Fx Goby. It was produced by Nexus Studios. Go behind-the-scenes of Back To The Moon in this video by the doodle team and Google Spotlight Stories.

Mat Helme is a Palo Alto-based visual designer and the lead designer of Google?s product illustration rulebook.

Laura Dumitru is a Google motion designer based in London. Her current work includes illustration and animation for the Pixel phone.

Hélène Leroux is an animator, designer, art director, and film director based in San Francisco. She is currently on Google?s doodle team.

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Jens Riegelsberger of Google

In this episode, Travis Neilson interviews Jens Riegelsberger, a UX Director at Google, about the company?s evolving design identity. Riegelsberger discusses his role in launching Google?s Product Excellence program?an initiative that sets the bar for quality and usability across all Google products?and what it means to build teams that favor multiple perspectives and diverse skillsets.

A few highlights:

On being a good leader
?Look at your job as chiefly to enable other people's insights and eureka moments. That doesn't mean abdicating responsibility. It takes actually quite a bit of work to do this well.?

On embracing healthy friction
?Frankly, we can't have a static, preordained culture because we work in a field where so much change is happening all the time. So knowing that we all have to negotiate culture and that it's a fluid thing prepares us well for the changes that are coming.?

On the value of ?dabbling?
?I have a PhD in computer science, but I also taught at art school. So there's this mix of different identities that I?ve had to cobble together. I?ve never deeply believed, ?Okay, this worldview is the only true worldview; my science or my community knows how it's done,? because I've always jumped around.?

Handy info and links for this episode:

Riegelsberger co-authored this whitepaper on a 2013 project aimed at increasing empathy for users. Over the last five years, the project has helped more than 1,500 Google engineers, designers, and product managers immerse themselves in observational research. Product Excellence is a Google initiative, started in 2014, that?s working to identify and solve systemic barriers to excellence?by focusing on the user. Download a PDF of the principles to guide your own work. Google co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, developed the company?s first Pagerank algorithm in 1996 at Stanford. Global UX research is a rapidly growing field. Here are 10 strategies used by Google?s international research team to build empathy and impact for the next billion users. Jens Riegelsberger is a UX director at Google, where he leads the design and user research operations and strategy teams behind products like Search and Maps. He was previously at UX consultancy LBi and worked with Amazon, Microsoft Research, and Apple, in addition to teaching at the University of the Arts in Berlin.
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Ryan Powell of Waymo

In this episode, Aidan Simpson interviews Ryan Powell, Waymo?s Head of UX Design, about the company?s Early Rider Program and the challenges of designing during a technology paradigm shift. Plus, Powell unpacks the thinking behind how his team decides what details to include in the car?s interfaces so they foster trust with users. A few highlights:

On the challenge of replacing human drivers
?I think there's some number out there that says more than half of all communication is nonverbal. When you don't have that human in the driver's seat, how do you recreate the [nonverbal] communication that takes place??

On building trust with the passenger
?I think there?s a fine line between providing the user with just the right amount of information versus overloading them or being intrusive. We think a lot about when we should try to draw your attention out of what you're doing in the car versus providing ambient information that's available in case you glance up and want to see something.?

On the value of quick prototyping
?What's nice about the way that Waymo works is that my team and the engineers  all sit very, very close together. We're able to try ideas and get something into the vehicle on a weekly basis. We're able to get out and just hop in the car right outside the door,  go for a test drive, and try something out.?

Handy info and links for this episode:

Waymo?s Early Rider Program: Launched in Phoenix in 2017 Waymo 360: An interactive 360 degree video showing a self-driving car?s POV Kitt: A self-driving car from the classic 1980s TV series Knight Rider

Ryan Powell is head of UX at Waymo, formerly Google?s self-driving car project. Before joining Google?s UX Leadership team  in 2014, Ryan worked for Samsung, Microsoft, and Motorola developing consumer product experiences.

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Conor O'Sullivan of Google Pixel

In this episode, Aidan Simpson interviews Google Sound Design Lead Conor O?Sullivan about the nuances of crafting product sounds and the choices that shape everything from notification pings to haptic feedback. The conversation also covers the elements that make up Google?s sonic branding, including resolving G chords and piano music. A few highlights:

On the value of sonic subtlety, 9:31
?I do think your goal as a sound designer is to provide feedback that doesn?t jump out too much. It sounds very counterintuitive?you?re designing sound that you don?t want to be heard?but in a lot of cases, it makes sense.?

On working with a multidisciplinary team, 15:57
?We have a team of writers?the UX content team?and they?re absolutely awesome at naming our ringtones. They really capture the feeling of the sound. Our default notification sound is called Popcorn. It?s such an awesome name for that sound. If you?re to imagine what popcorn sounded like musically, you?d pick something like that.?

On using sound to build a brand, 10:22
?I really think about creating sound as creating a soundscape. You want to be able to tell a story from end to end.?

Conor O?Sullivan is a sound designer and composer originally from Ireland, now based in San Francisco, CA. Conor is best known for his work in the emerging field of sound design for consumer products, including interface sounds for the Google Pixel phone.

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Rich Fulcher of Material Design

In this episode, Aidan Simpson interviews Material Design director Rich Fulcher about the evolution of design tools, the importance of flexibility in a design system, and what it means to design for users who are also designers and developers. Learn more about the journeys and creative decisions of designers at Google by subscribing to the Method podcast on Google Play, iTunes, RSS, or Spotify.

A few highlights:

On designing for designers and developers

"It's a little hard to get a feel for who your users are at the end of the day because you have layers of users. You have the other designers and developers who are going to utilize the system that you're producing. They're going to look at the guidance, they're going to look at the code that you're building, and they're going to use that to satisfy the needs of their users in turn. So that kind of hierarchy of users is always a tricky thing to kind of get one's mind around a little bit."

On the ever-evolving state of design

?We say this same saying many, many times on our team. We say, ?design is never done,?  and I think we feel that in our hearts all of the time.?

On the challenges of building a design system

"I think some designers approach design systems as, 'Oh, they're making all my decisions for me?they're taking my authorship away. We very much don't think that way. We're trying to provide what we think of as a, a well lighted path of good decisions you can make."

Rich Fulcher is the director of Material Design. He worked with a multi-disciplinary group of designers, researchers, writers, and engineers to build the updated Material Design, which launched earlier this month at Google I/O.

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Todd Hausman of Chrome OS

In this episode, Aidan Simpson interviews UX Researcher Todd Hausman about human side of research, taking career risks, and his work on Chrome OS?the operating system on devices like Chromebook and Acer?s new Tab 10 tablet. Learn more about the journeys and creative decisions of designers at Google by subscribing to the Method podcast on Google Play, iTunes, RSS, or Spotify.

A few highlights:

On the best part of being a researcher

?What I love about being a researcher is that you get this snapshot of someone's life for just a fraction of a moment. You get to see where their pain is, where their strife is, where their hopes are, and their aspirations.?

On overcoming career fear

?Do bold things because what's the worst thing that can happen? You get fired. ?[But] if you got this job, don't you think you can get another one? What often holds us back is the fear of discipline or the fear of retribution. But don?t be afraid.?

On giving honest feedback

?It?s one of the hardest parts of leadership. The people I admire the most are people who can give hard feedback in a way that doesn't feel hurtful or cutting. It feels true and it gives you something to grow on.?

Todd Hausman is a UX Researcher working on Google?s Chrome OS. Todd specializes in ideation in cross-disciplinary teams, participatory design, and ethnographic field studies?especially in emerging markets.

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Fiona Yeung & Alison Boncha of Hexagon UX

In this episode, Aidan Simpson interviews Interaction Designers Alison Boncha and Fiona Yeung about impostor syndrome, the importance of mentorship, and how they developed the bold, inclusive new brand for Hexagon?a supportive community of women and non-binary UXers. The trio also discuss great career advice, hard lessons, and why everyone should have a ?Yay Folder.?

A few highlights:

Alison on why you should leave your first job

?A friend in college told me, never stay your first job more than a year? or you're going to always be viewed as the junior person on the team.?

Fiona on the hardest lesson she?s still learning

?Even if you're the juiciest peach on earth, not everyone likes peaches. Remember that no matter how hard you try, there are still going be people you can't please. You have to like accept yourself for who you are.?

How Hexagon got its name

?We came up with three names that we thought had potential: Thrive UX, We UX, and Go Boldly. Turns out Go Boldly already exists. But We UX and Thrive UX felt too literal. I wanted something that was more symbolic, with a deeper metaphorical meaning. So I was brainstorming more and came across an article on beehives and why you?d want to structure your team culture like a bee hive. I was fascinated? beehives are also symbolic of great collaborative environments because you have organization and structure and leadership. And worker bees are all female. So we explored more bee imagery, and the shape of honeycombs is a Hexagon.?

Alison Boncha is an Interaction Designer on Google Express within the Shopping team. Allison works alongside engineers and product managers to take a product vision and deliver the best experience possible.

Fiona Yeung is a creator, artist, and Interaction Designer on Google?s Material Design team. She?s also the new head of Hexagon, leading an all-volunteer effort to foster supportive UX community.

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Josh Lovejoy from Google Clips

In this episode, Aidan Simpson interviews UX Designer Josh Lovejoy about the design of the Google Clips camera, building user trust in ?magical? products, and ways of using UX to help people feel more in the moment. Learn more about the journeys and creative decisions of designers at Google by subscribing to the Method podcast.

A few highlights:

On overcoming the myths of magic, neutral AI, 10:22

?We can use technology to connect better with the self that we aspire to be. If we can get over some of these myths? I think we are capable of unlocking a renaissance of personal expression and human connection.?

Why the Clips camera still has a photo-capture button, 6:35

?It was a fun internal debate for a long time. We hemmed and hawed and ultimately decided the initial version would not have a button. ...But then as we iterated over time, we found [a button helped build] trust?that bonding relationship between user and a new technology.?

On the beauty of imperfection, 8:26

?When we tried to get things perfect, it actually was really problematic. Even when we hit that goldilocks sweet spot? users still believed that we must have missed something. [Showing more images that users could delete] made a huge difference in confidence level because the user got to be there. They got to be the curator and have the final say.?

On taking an empowering approach, 5:20

?We wanted to build intentionally toward answering the question ?What is memorable and how can we use technology to help people feel more in the moment???

Handy info and links for this episode:

Google Brain: A team at Google working to advance artificial intelligence through research and systems engineering, part of the overall Google AI effort. Google Clips: A wireless smart camera that captures images of familiar people and pets.

Josh Lovejoy is a Seattle-based User Experience Designer in Google?s Experimental Design Group, where he works at the intersection of product design, ethics, and artificial intelligence. Josh also leads UX for People + AI Research (PAIR), a Google initiative to conduct fundamental research, invent new technology, and create frameworks for design in order to drive a humanistic approach to artificial intelligence.

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Margaret Urban from Google Assistant

In this episode, guest interviewer and Google designer Travis Neilson talks with Senior Interaction Designer Margaret Urban about the magic of language, the importance of considering cognitive load, and the future of voice user interface design.


On making computers sound human, 2:35

?How language is used in the social context is really important in creating something that sounds natural. Because we want the computers to talk like people. We don't want to force the people to talk like computers.?

On the magic of language, 3:15

?I've been fascinated by language all my life. I think it's magical. It's like telepathy?that simply by the vibration of a sound wave, I can put an idea in your head.?

On the science of speech, 7:50

?One of the roughest, cheapest ways we used to do sentiment analysis was by checking the amount of profanity that we were getting in the user data. We were literally running scripts to check the recognition logs for profanity?because when people are swearing, it tells us they're unhappy.?

On how the brain processes language, 14:30

?It turns out that cognitive load is physically real. If you've got an electricity-measuring cap on somebody?s head and you say something like, ?the birds that I saw in the swamp was white??the minute you get to the word ?was? the brain kind of spins up in a little extra cycle. It's not that the meaning of the sentence is totally lost, but your brain works harder in parsing and understanding that meaning.?

Handy info and links for this episode:

VUI: voice user interface. Sentiment analysis: The use of natural language processing to identify and study affective states and feeling. Arrival: A 2016 sci-fi drama about a linguist trying to communicate with aliens to understand why they?ve come to earth.

VUI I/O playlist: A handful of talks from Google I/O 2017 on conversation design and voice user interfaces.

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Ayan Daniels from Android Messages

In this episode, Aidan interviews Visual Designer Ayan Daniels about her work on Android Messages, her debate-sparking illustration for the Pixel phone, and what it?s like being a woman of color at Google.

Ayan Daniels is a San Francisco-based Visual Designer hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio. Currently working on the Android Messages team, Ayan has been at Google for more than two years and previously worked on both Android and Pixel.

Handy info and links for this episode:

RCS (Rich Communications Services): a universal communication protocol designed to replace SMS with its more feature-rich system. Android Messages: The default RCS messaging app on Android devices Duo: Google?s one-to-one video calling app. Allo: An expressive, AI-infused messaging app made by Google. The first Pixel Welcome screen designed by Ayan and animated by Remington McElhaney
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Sydney Hessel from Design Sprint Team

UX Researcher and Sprint Master Sydney Hessel talks about her unconventional research background, the ins and outs of the sprint methodology, and getting people out of their comfort zones to generate creative ideas.


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Rachel Been from Material

Material Design Creative Director Rachel Been on creating a design system at scale, emoji, and the creative power of curiosity.

A few highlights:

On the challenge of making a design system at scale, 1:23

?To create a system that potentially works for thousands of products to use. To define and spec a button that thousands of different product teams could functionally use. It?s a challenge to make that work.?

On becoming a designer, 7:18

?I have a really atypical background. I studied art history in college. I was a photojournalist. I was going to be a photographer. Thought I wanted to be a war photographer.?

On the surprising power of anxiety and curiosity, 14:11

?The anxiety of persistent imposter syndrome?as uncomfortable as that is on a daily basis?has led me to expand my capabilities and feel empowered in many ways. Not coming from a super traditional design background, curiosity was the only way that I could survive in this world and teach myself the skill set needed to do my job.?

Handy info and links for this episode:

Material Design: A design system, created by Google, for crafting digital experiences PgM: Program Manager, the person tracking the day-to-day progress of a project Unicode Consortium: A non-profit organization that coordinates the development of the Unicode standard, including emoji Roboto: The standard typeface on Android Eng: shorthand for ?engineering? Holo: The design system released with Android 3 and 4, which directly preceded the creation of Material Design IC: Individual Contributor, a non-management member of a team

Rachel Been is a San Francisco-based Creative Director currently working on Material Design. Initially hired to be Google Play?s first Art Director, Rachel now works across multiple product teams to implement and evolve the Material Design system.


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Roman Nurik from Firebase

In this episode, Design Advocate and host of the new Design Notes podcast Liam Spradlin speaks with Senior Interaction Designer Roman Nurik about Google?s Firebase mobile development platform, the unique challenges of designing for developers, and his approach to building design tools. Subscribe to the Method podcast on Google Play, iTunes, or RSS.

A few highlights:

On designing UX for developers, 18:00

?We really want to make sure that if you come into Firebase not having ever built a database, or not ever having done any sort of analytics, that you have a good experience.?

On the question of density in Firebase and Material, 21:30

?Density is one of those things that depends on what you're looking at, so we focus a bit more on the content? We make choices at almost an individual page level of what is the best way to present this information. Should it be dense? Should it be sparse??

On building digital tools for designers, 29:15

?I love building tools that empower the designer to tell a computer how to do something rather than doing it themselves. Time is a very precious resource for everybody. Literally anything that can save time for designers, I try to do.?

Handy info and links for this episode:

Firebase: Google's mobile platform for quickly developing high-quality apps. Android Asset Studio: A collection of tools to easily generate assets such as launcher icons for Android apps. Sketch: Digital design tool built for product designers. Figma: Collaborative interface design tool.
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Darren Delaye from Daydream

In this episode, Aidan speaks with User Experience Designer Darren Delaye about the unique challenges of designing for VR, the future of Daydream, and Darren?s work across many products over his 12 years at Google.

?A new challenge is not knowing exactly what versions of your platform, your hardware, and the future, to design for. The easiest projects are the ones where you know the goals and you know the parameters. But sometimes, working on the Daydream team and in VR, we don't even know what hardware and capabilities we should be thinking about.?

Darren Delaye is a San Francisco-based UX designer currently working on Daydream. Google?s third-ever design intern, Darren has been with the company for nearly 13 years and has designed across a wide range of products and services including Google Maps, Google Ventures, and Google Docs.

Handy info and links for this episode:

Google Expeditions: Educational virtual reality tours designed for classrooms and using Google Cardboard headsets. HCI: Human-computer interaction. Doug Bowman: Google?s first dedicated visual designer.
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Rita DeRaedt from Google Voice

In this episode, Aidan speaks with Interaction Designer Rita DeRaedt about rising to challenges, crafting a new onboarding sequence for Google Voice, taking risks, and much, much more.

A few highlights:

On getting coffee with Google co-founder Sergey Brin, 2:44
"The other design interns and I had this ongoing joke that we were going to get Larry and Sergey to have a one-on-one with us . . . and because I wanted to make it happen, I kind of volunteered myself."

On becoming a television presenter, 11:50
"If something's just intimidating enough, or just scary enough, I have a tendency to throw myself into the situation.?

On getting unstuck from sticky design problems,12:52
?Call it imposter syndrome, but sometimes you don't want to ask for feedback on something until it's perfect. It's about being a little humble and knowing that for the sake of being productive, happy, and not in a rut, [you do have to] loop in other designers on the product.?


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Jay Wong from Project Fi

Aidan interviews UX Design Lead Jay Wong about her experience working as a designer with a computer science degree, some of the design decisions and challenges her team tackles on Project Fi, and much, much more.

A few highlights:

On why designers should learn programming, 9:35
?Learning to code forces you to get better as a designer because it forces you to think of everything as a system.?

On education and knowing your design tools, 15:00
?The faster you are at the tool and the quicker you are at doing things that are boring, the more time you can spend on real design problems and actually innovating and solving the things that the computer can?t solve.?

On the future of UX design in a world of fast-changing tech, 20:46
?There's always going to be room for problem solving when humans interact with technology.?


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En liten tjänst av I'm With Friends. Finns även på engelska.
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