Guidance showing us a way forward
It’s been a big year for sharing best practices, from designing conversational interfaces that empower to updated Material Design recommendations on accessibility features and first-ever sound design guidance. Sure, open-source knowledge is part of Google’s DNA, but color us impressed by the amount of guidance our designers put out into the world.
Take Toward Gender Equity Online, a report from the Next Billion Users team. It crunched surveys from 3,618 respondents into a set of UX features that aim to prevent online harassment of women and non-binary people. There’s also the in-depth People + AI Guidebook, filled with insights from over 130 individuals across many different Google teams. The digital handbook walks you through designing bias-free AI products, and helps you decide when to use AI, and how to gracefully explain context errors. On the occasion of the guidebook’s release, we hosted a roundtable with three Google designers to talk about translating AI’s potential into meaningful interactions for users; we’re biased, but we found the conversation fascinating.
What if, after all this talk about focusing on the individual, we’re due for an expanded definition of human-centered design? We pondered that question at SPAN, our annual design conference, with the Google AI Strategy & Research team (which is also part of Google AI). They held a workshop on new methods for problem-solving that looked beyond the individual perspective, considering everything from human-animal relationships to the ecology of forest fires. The entire day was devoted to structures—building them, re-thinking them—and this session in particular had us excited for the shape of things to come.
That’s a wrap! Keep an eye out for more of our end-of-year dispatches on Twitter and Instagram, and we’ll see you in 2020 ✌.