User Research

Interview Process

To get some broad, preliminary guiding data we sent out a survey on patterns of customization and user interface. We were primarily interested in user motivations for customization and responses to hypothetical scenarios.

Insights from survey

  • When asked about to rate level of comfort with technology regarding privacy on a scale of 1-10, Average of about 7, meaning those surveyed were fairly comfortable with technology and did not have major privacy concerns.
  • Most people who changed the settings were interested in receiving fewer notifications or none at all.
  • When asked to give an auditory command to solve a specific problem, we got a varied set of responses from users.
  • The majority of the respondents were more interested in visual prompts than audio prompts.

    Takeaways from the survey

    Many people are still most comfortable with a VUI, and we should keep that in mind in our design solutions. Obvious answer, but human interaction voice inputs are incredibly diverse and design solutions are a complicated system.

    Our research identified two key users

    These two personas use the Google Now for iOS app to push them further in their careers and stay on top of their goals. They're looking to network, stay ahead of trends and continue to strive to be efficient within their day-to-day routine.

    We walked through a typical day for each persona. We broke down what times they would be on their phone, and when they would use the app. The content would adjust to the time of day and update the user with their ongoing schedule. We looked into each of their goals and determined how each task would make them feel and where Google Now could help them reach their goals. We worked backwards from the goals, asking where in our persona’s day would they engage with those goals? What could that mean for prototyping design improvements?

    Persona one

    Amy Schepter
    36 years old
    Seattle, Washington
    Archetype: Power Player
    Event Director: Barkley Associates

    Amy is a driven leader who works hard to make sure that her and her team stay at the top of their industry. She understands that in order to stay successful she needs to continually master new skills and stay at the forefront of emerging trends and technologies. She is the go to problem solver both at work and in her social circles. She is always looking for tools that keep her multifaceted schedule in order and provide her curated content.

    Persona One's Goals

    • Stay on top for that sense of control
    • They want a work/life balance because family is important
    • Always learning so that they can stay ahead of the curve
    • Take risks so that they can accomplish bigger things
    • Be offline so that they can generate original ideas


    This person is a career focused, multitasker who is motivated to keep up with multiple responsibilities and changing industry standards.

    With persona Amy's goals and emotions, we saw an opportunity to alter the customization. They don’t have time for redundant content and the user can gain inspiration a media rich feed that keeps them engaged.

    Persona two

    Sam Overton
    29 years old
    Seattle, Washington
    Archetype: Builder
    Programmer: In-between contracts

    Sam is a young programmer in the Seattle tech-industry. Within the past year he has finished school with a certificate in back-end development working specifically with Python. Following his program, he went right into his first contract position at Amazon. He is currently in between contracts and is networking while looking for his next opportunity. In his free time he likes to check out new restaurants with his lady friend and take their three dogs on walks.

    Persona Two's Goals

    • Want more focus and support so they can feel successful and confident
    • Feel more "adult" like so that others can depend on them
    • Want a sense of accomplishment in their life so that they can be perceived as successful
    • Leisure time earned so that they can avoid guilt
    • Make life easier, with earning a higher income


    This person is actively looking to get started within their career but they are still working on making the right connections and getting more experience.

    A key insight based on Sam's need to have more focus is that they are really looking for the “right” info, not just more info, and that they would likely benefit from from customization.

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