Thursday, June 4, 2009

App now for Nokia S60 smartphones

As a user experience designer I like to take every opportunity to better understand the issues that get in the way of people making the most of their mobile phones. The development of Google Mobile App for Nokia S60 smartphones, which launched today, has provided an opportunity to address three aspects of an issue we hear about on a regular basis: immediacy.

1. Immediacy of access

We know from our users that navigating through menus introduces an unwanted delay. Our quick key mechanism launches the application directly from the home screen, making search, Google Maps, Gmail, and other Google mobile services available immediately.

The quick key reminder (left) and the app showing your current location (right)

2. Immediacy of location
Google Mobile App for Nokia Series 60 smartphones comes with location awareness built in. If you use the My Location feature, you'll get local search results that relate to where you are. You can opt in or out of this at any time, via the Settings menu.

Search suggestions that combine with your location to give local search results

3. Immediacy of query formulation
We have adopted a dual approach to help make query formulation quick and efficient. First, your search history is readily available so that it's easy to repeat queries. Second, we offer query suggestions based on what has been entered so far to get you to your results as quickly as possible.

Search history (left) and search suggestions (right)

Additionally, we like to work with feedback about earlier versions of our products, such as the quick key launch feature. We found that some users didn't need a home screen reminder, while others liked having it there. So in Google Mobile App, we added an item in Settings to let people choose what best suits them.

Google Mobile App can be downloaded from on your phone's browser. Give it a try and please keep all the feedback coming - your input is invaluable to making sure we get products and features right.