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The ask

If Google made a mobile phone, what would people expect from it? What would it look and feel like? What are users’ unmet needs and how would a Google phone solve them? What would people expect a Google “assistant” to do for them?

The reality

Mobile phones are amazing devices that have revolutionized the human experience, while simultaneously letting users down day in, day out. Batteries only last until the early afternoon. Photos can’t be taken because storage capacity is exceeded. People send illegible text messages due to digital assistant voice-to-text errors.The mobile phone experience is deeply flawed, and Google wants to fix it.

The work

A mix of in-depth, in-person interviews and rapid-fire Hangout chats helped us get smart about users’ mobile phone frustrations/needs and people’s perception and expectations of a Google phone. It quickly became apparent that current mobile phone options delivered new bells and whistles at the sake of the basics. Google is known for doing the basics well—search, chat, email, etc.—and people expect Google to deliver a mobile experience that focuses on the fundamentals first—storage, battery, digital assistants, etc.—while also delivering little moments of whimsy and delight along the way.

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