Saturday, June 28, 2008

Why not adopt the Google User Experience Team's design principles for off-the-desktop digital interactions?

If you haven't noticed yet, interactive urban (and suburban) screens of all shapes and sizes are found outside the home and workplace, in places we've come to expect, and in unexpected places. Our cell phones have morphed into web browsers, with larger, higher resolution screens.

The web and the real world have become intertwined.

But often, it is not pretty.*

It is as if all of the blocked pop-ups, banner ads, and fast-forwarded commercials escaped, and found new homes on the screens we find staring at us in airports, malls, arenas, and big-box store aisles!

Is it possible for user experience principles to enhance our digital lives beyond our laptops and desktops?

A recent post on the Putting People First blog outlines some great advice from the Google User Experience Team that holds true for off-the-desktop applications, including multi-touch displays, digital signage, kiosks, mobile devices, and anything under the umbrella of DOO- digital out-of-home:

"The Google User Experience team aims to create designs that are useful, fast, simple, engaging, innovative, universal, profitable, beautiful, trustworthy, and personable. Achieving a harmonious balance of these ten principles is a constant challenge. A product that gets the balance right is “Googley” – and will satisfy and delight people all over the world."

The ten principles that contribute to a “Google User Experience” are:

1. Focus on people – their lives, their work, their dreams
2. Every millisecond counts
3. Simplicity is powerful
4. Engage beginners and attract experts
5. Dare to innovate
6. Design for the world
7. Plan for today’s and tomorrow’s business
8. Delight the eye without distracting the mind
9. Be worthy of people’s trust
10. Add a human touch

*Previous posts highlighting usability problems - and other things not pretty - related to off-the-desktop user experience:

Off-the-desktop musings about future interactions: User experience, user-driven design, Universal Usability, Airports, and the "Internet of Things"

Usability/Interaction Hall of Shame

Not-so-useful Information Displays in a University Building

Technology-Supported Shopping and Entertainment: User Experience at Ballantyne Village - "A" for Concept, "D" for Touch-screen Usability

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