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Pixel by Google

Laying the groundwork for Google’s first major hardware bet

The ask

Mobile phones have revolutionized the human experience, but mobile experience innovation has become futile, prioritizing flash at the sake of basic utility. Despite the dominance of Samsung’s Galaxy phones and Apple’s iterative innovations from one iPhone to the next, batteries only last until the early afternoon, photos can’t be taken because storage capacity is exceeded, and people send illegible text messages from simple voice-to-text errors. The mobile experience is deeply flawed, and Google wants to fix it. How would a wholly Google mobile experience—from hardware, to apps, to the virtual assistant—look, act, and feel?

pixel picture - Sylvain Labs

Truth

A mix of in-depth in-person interviews, rapid-fire Hangout chats, a national 1,130 person quantitative study, and several more targeted quant surveys helped us get smart about people’s mobile phone frustrations/needs and their perception and expectations of a Google phone and digital assistant.

What we found: In addition to a library of top secret findings, Google is known and appreciated 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.

Possibilities

We crafted a suite of strategic recommendations rooted in embedding simplicity into every hardware and software element, delivering consistency by solving basic hardware/software issues, and building trust through a functionally efficient digital assistant. Eschewing a traditional deck deliverable, we developed a secure web experience to serve as the final presentation of the insights. Complete with key statistics, quotes, images and video, the website immerses visitors in the research, breathing life into the people, their behaviors, and needs.

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