Ten things I learnt from Google at +20

Semi-Permanent and Google came up with the awesome concept of +20. And I got to be part of it!

In the week preceding Semi-Permanent in Sydney, Google mentors and eight leading creatives from around the world were put in a room together with 20 emerging creative talents to colloborate on a real life project happening at Google.

The idea behind +20 is to cross polinate motion graphics, animation, illustration, graphic design, UX & UI design and photography, each person with a unique perspective and skills.

To get to 4 concepts that ‘change the way we live’ we followed a process according to these design considerations: Idea Generation, Brand Factors, Human Factors, Research and Engineering Factors. For the Idea Generation, we used creative methods like 6-8-5 Sketching and Brainwriting. Human Factors consider things like privacy, personalisation & customisation, user’s learning curves and global audiences. Google believes that if you focus on the user, ‘all else will follow’.

Research Questions to build universally compelling products were about platforms and devices and how to prioritize. Not all users have smartphones. We got a research brief delivered on the spot, based on questions we had around our user, looking at health ranking and toilet habits (yes our concept involved poop). The Engineering part involved conversations about how to prioritize features, including engineering long-poles and UX launch blockers. ‘Fast is better than slow’ so set a viable minimum and make sure the product is scalable.

Google has a list of things they run their business by, which can also be seen in a wider perspective. So to hopefully inspire you, these are 10 things I learned from Google:

–          Focus on the user, and all else will follow

–          It’s best to do one things really, really well

–          Fast is better than slow

–          Democracy on the web works

–          You don’t need to be at y our desk to need an answer (hello mobile world)

–          You can make money without doing evil

–          There’s always more information out there (research is crucial to create meaningfull experiences)

–          The need for information crosses all borders

–          You can be serious without a suit *

–          Great just isn’t good enough (constant dissatisfaction helps to drive something forward)

*To prove that point: nodody at +20 wore a suit, and they were seriously brilliant!

To get a glimpse of the +20 workshop, have a look at the video:

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