Form follows feeling: How Google is making digital experiences personal

Personalisation

Offering truly custom experiences that go beyond the basics – like uploading your own wallpaper – has stumped brands and marketers for some time due to the inefficiencies that arise when trying to create bespoke experiences for many.
For years, the focus for brands has been on personalising consumer experiences, but according to Google’s Material and Android design teams, implementation has been very much rooted in the delivery of products or services, rather than in restoring agency and choice to customers. “How we use our devices is very different to how someone else uses theirs,” says Michelle Gong, visual designer on Android. “All of our options are personal to us and that should be reflected in our usage.”
With insight from Michelle Gong, Alexandra Hays and Karen Ng
This latest release addresses that challenge, creating experiences that are holistic, beautiful and scalable, while allowing individuals to adopt features suited to what they’re doing on their devices. “We want to provide features that say something plural about people and don’t just offer a static look at human behaviour; that shifts throughout the day like our condition and correlates with our desire to adjust,” says Alexandra Hays, content design lead on Material Design. “We want to design for spectrums of change rather than binaries. And that’s never been easy.”
“Designing for the masses was a logical approach, it’s efficient and operates on economies of scale,” says Karen. “However as design in tech continues to mature, we’re learning that designing one solution for everyone isn’t necessarily great design.”