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The Google Method is a podcast exploring the design stories behind Google products and the people who make them.

Feb 27, 2018

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.