Challenges and learnings of building for the next billion users (Google I/O '18)
All. Right hi everyone thank you for coming my, name is Josh and I'm. A product, manager on the next billion users team at Google and we're. Really glad you're here we, want to basically, use this session to, tell, you a little bit about what we've been learning building, for the next billion in. Places like India, Indonesia, Brazil, and, other countries around the world before. We get started just maybe a show of hands who's, flown in from India for. I/o Oh awesome, okay, I know it's almost it's, very late right now for you all so let's try to keep you keep, you up what anybody from Indonesia, who's. Here, ok. A couple cool Brazil. Great. Ok and I'm sure there's a lot of other countries represented, too so thank you all for coming what. I wanted to do just quickly by way of intro before we interview some of the folks on stage is tell. You a little bit about how this, initiative, and this focus area, for Google got started, so, since the beginning Google, has always been interested, in building products, for everyone and what. We realized looking, around the, world obviously is literally, a billion new people come online for the first time that. Changes, how we think about some. Of the ways we develop products and really this session we want to share some of those lessons with you some, of the things we've got right some of the things we've got wrong too. So, one, thing it's changed is how we think about our existing, products so, if you think about YouTube, or search or Maps or Chrome or any of the others what, we found is a whole new crop of user behaviors, that are becoming really, common, in MBU for, example, today, in India, 28%. Of the searches, we see are voiced searches. Which. Is amazing and it's growing voices. Growing everywhere around the world brings. Up really interesting questions about how you interact with computing, devices. Localization. And others we've. Also seen in, Google Maps for example, our new two-wheeler, mode feature really. Popular, and spreading, to other markets, too so there's new modalities, we're having to solve for for transportation, directions, that's. A little bit about how we've started, thinking, about our existing, products but, obviously as. Smartphone, prices, drop around the world as connectivity, becomes more affordable, more, people come online and it opens up brand-new use, cases and problems, to solve and that's, really what our three panelists, up here have been doing the last few years so they're, going to talk to you a little bit about some, of the products we've launched, over the last six to eight months and a. Lot of what's kind of gone into them both from the, engineering, side as well as the design and research side, so. What I'll do is, just introduce them briefly and then we'll get into some of the questions and at the very end we've got two mics in the room if people, want to come up we'll save some time at the end you can ask a few questions so. First, just quick, intros down the road I want to introduce Pankaj, Pankaj, leads, engineering. For, Google tase chases. Are payments app in India that we launched back in September, and there's, a whole lot of stories he, can share about that in just a few minutes up, next we have to veg to veg leads, our files, go engineering. Team files go is an app we launched late last year that helps users free, up space on their phone find. Files really fast and also share files offline, when you're near by people so, it's a very interesting engineering that went into that product and then finally we have nithya mithya is on our research and design team and she's, worked on I think every product at this point in some form or fashion, she's, going to share a lot of lessons we've learned doing, research both. In the field but also we have a lot of local teams based. Around the world that, build a lot of these products for us so, our kind of group the next billion users group really, thinks about how do we staff people in these, markets so we can really watch these trends, as they're emerging we, also give, a lot of these small teams a lot of latitude to, go after big repeating, problems, so we're an experimental, group trying out a lot of new things and of, course the three of them we'll talk about some of the products we've launched so, without further ado let's start with Pankaj Pankaj maybe, just give us an overview of what tase is and. We'll start there yeah, sure so this is a mobile payments, app for India and the. Word tase itself, means fast and Hindi and some other regional languages it's. Built on top of a new into. Banking protocol, it's, a new real-time, protocol, that was introduced in India called. UPI that stands for Universal, payments into and. Almost. All Indian banks have implemented this it's 24. By 7 instant.
Bank To bank money Transfer Protocol and what, this does is it puts a brand-new, very. Fresh user experience, on a variety of payment use cases on, top of this protocol so, a, taste, user links, their bank account with. Their, Google account and, UPI. Gives them a, payment address, which is called a virtual payment address, per. The protocol, this payment address, is interoperable, so, any service, or product that is using UPI has, to support this destination, addressing, mechanism, and, the neat thing is that any. Payments. That are done from. This address or, into this address are, done from, the bank account or into. The bank account directly so, it's different than a digital wallet and you, don't have to load up a digital wallet first from your bank account and then transact, from, that wallet the. Other neat thing is that the council, which, maintains, and ronsis protocol, has, made these. Transactions. Free of cost there's. A big push by the government towards, digitization, of payments and so, effectively. What you have is, instant. 24x7. Free. Kind. Of like a wiring ability, look, literally, at your fingertips on your smart phone so why don't I show a demo of some of these features. Ok, well. We were having some Wi-Fi issues, earlier, as. They, usually do with. The demo so. I. Have. Two phones here if I could get, the. Wolfvision. Okay. So. This wolfvision, one is my, phone. And. I'm. Going to get, into this, it, uses, the, OS lock so. We will get here, I'll do the same on. Sorry. About the orientation. We. Will do this also, on the phone on the left here, I will. Launch the, Taser app again, use the OS lock to. Open it and now, we. Have these two phones, and what. You see right up, front is. Is. A. Circular button and let. Me explain this, we call these cache mode payments, so imagine, that a user has, this. Phone and they. Walking into a shop and there's, merchants. Behind the counter who has their own phone and so, basically two phones are nearby and. One. Of my phones is working on India international, roaming so I hope that it, works but basically. Okay. Let's. Put this into the receive, mode and, let's. Put into the pay mode and, see. If the phone discovers. The other phone. So, what's what, what, should happen if Wi-Fi was working was that. One. Phone would be discovered by the other phone. Let's. See. Aha. Boom. So. As, you can see the phone on the Left has discovered, the. Phone. On the right which, is my phone so, the user can. Tap to. Pay and. Let's. Say I'm buying some chai which costs a lot these days so. I. Can. Put in a message I, can. Proceed, to pay UPI. Mandates, that every transaction is protected, by a pin and. For. Purposes of, this, demo. It, will go through the banks, the. Destination. And the receiver bank and voila and we are trying something out when, you get this so, that's, how these. Nearby. Payments, work what. You can also see now just focusing, on the chromecast. The. Phone on the Left. You. See these chat heads and essentially, these are profile. Pictures. Of the. Payment peers so, I can tap on someone. Let's. Say this person and it. Will give me the entire history of the, payment transactions, that have happened between me and this, person so.
That's Really convenient, now if you go down further you see this section called businesses, and that. Has. Providers. Like my phone, provider, my internet, provider and, we recently integrated bill payments on top of upî as well so every month I get a notification that hey your mill is due and I tap it and it's done in an instant, likewise. There's. You, can check balance and other such things as well so that's kind of like a quick overview of the app nice. Punkish. Could you tell everyone a little bit more about the cash mode and how, you guys built that a little bit the back story there aha. Yeah, so. It started with some user insights and. The. Key use it inside comes. From the fact that. Paying. By cash is, still quite widespread in India and other nvo markets and you. Know if you think about it it's, pink. By Cash has its benefits, so it's like pseudo private, anonymous, and it's, just plain convenient, so when, we wanted to do a digital, mode. Of payment we. Wanted to have an experience which, is kind of like cash, in many, senses, and so. That's. Why we called cash mode and how. It works is actually. There are various ways to make these nearby or proximity payments, work and, like. In the US and various parts of the world, generally. NFC, has been the way to go but, you know phones in India most of them don't have NFC. So. Now you can use Wi-Fi you can use bluetooth for pairing essentially, you're trying to make two phones who, have never seen each other ever. Don't. Want to exchange, explicitly. Some addressing, information to be connected to each other so, what we do is we transmit. Information. For. Pairing. On audio, actually, using ultrasound. Let. Me go into a little bit more detail so what happens is that one, phone sends, a short, ID it. Broadcasts a, short ID identifying. Itself, saying hey this is me this is me and this. ID, is broadcast, using what's, called D Triple S or. Direct-sequence. Spread spectrum and, it's. A spread, spectrum technique, which, what it is doing is its multiplying. The data signal by, pseudo. Random noise reading signal, and so. What actually, happens is that on audio on an inaudible frequency nobody. Can hear it from a user experience point of view that's very important, what's. Being transmitted, is white noise because. Of this pseudo-random, noise spreading and it's very important for security because then a Snooper, can, get access to the signal but not make sense out of it however, the receiver can. Use the same and multiply. With this the, signal that it gets with the same pseudo-random. Noise code, and recover. The signal so, the receiver recovers, the ID validates. The ID and then does a server lookup to figure out ok, who does this ID belong, to and the. Server sends back more information, which, is relayed to the. Receiver, phone just like the, other phone got ok you're paying, 2 Pankaj and so, tap that's. The user confirmation, so, that's how it works I. Think. It's. Been great for, us as. You can imagine that there are lots of challenges in making this work in. Terms of tuning and configurations. There's. A receiver configuration. Broadcaster. Configuration, there's various audio settings, to. Kind of give, you some some. Statistics about this when, we launched and thay's launched in india and september last year we. Tested, about 200, devices, and hand-tuned them in our lab and.
Since. Then we have, evolved. This process, of tuning, and now it's a control, system like feedback loop in which we just adjust, automatically. The parameters in the field and observe. How that goes and to. Date we, have nearly. 6000, unique devices who. Have made a successful, cache, mode transaction, or which, manually, we only configured. 200, so you, know I think it was extremely important, to us that, we get the coverage that. We. Eventually ended, up getting and that's, why we chose audio, over. Say NFC. Interesting. Nice maybe, one last question for you briefly. Can you share, a little bit about what you've learned working, with a, new app a new protocol, and upî a lot of external, partners, yeah, and I think there's a war, story here maybe yeah, so this protocol is very new. And a lot of the banks and we have the largest banks and India's our partners and they were implementing, it new as well so, we literally broke the bank, when. We launched, with such a hike ups. But, you know when you're building any distributed, system whether it's your components, or external. Components, then, you've got to build some, health monitoring, and various. Other kind of high availability things. So. What. We do is a couple of things just to give a quick example, each. A user. Account creation time, when this address is being created if one bank is down then. We will go to the other bank. At. The payment, time however, you. Know you're transferring from one bank a to Bank B and what's. Important, is to not have the user in what's called a stuck State and for. That what we do is we build ml. Predictive, models to figure out whether the any, of the banks there's actually five parties in a transaction the. Way the protocol defines it and any of them if it is down or almost, down then we would rather bring, it up to the user and say hey please try again rather, than having the risk of the transaction, kind of entering in a little bit of a stuck State where nobody knows where the money has gone mmm. Nice, great. Thank you for sharing today. I want to shift, gears a little bit and talk about files go and, maybe. You can tell us just briefly what it is I think you'll want to show us about two. Files. Go file, and storage management app built. For MU markets for. Mobile first users. It, also supports, peer. Peer, to peer sharing using, nearby, technology, it. Doesn't use internet. So. The, way it, all started was, we started looking at what the users in n View markets needed. And we realized first of that mobile data in these markets or was very expensive. And. What, that meant was using. These markets. Were. Not able to consume content on their phones which was, primary. Or only device for them most of the times because of the expense, that's. Where the idea for nearby sharing was born, then. As we were researching more we realize that once users got, access to more content which they could get from their friends. A lot, of these phones had very little internal, storage so user started running out of storage when, they got content from their friends and we. Because, of that we started looking at storage management the. Other problem, that we saw was users. Were not able to find. The content on their phone easily because most of the existing, file managers, out there, show. Folder, hierarchy base view. Which. Is complicated. For new. Users who are coming to the mobile first time have never used a laptop or a desktop or a computer before, so. We decided to build something that would be easy for them to use will, allow them to keep their phones clean and allow. Them to get content from their. Friends. Cool. Yeah do you want to show it yeah let. Me show one. Thing while he's pulling up the demo I remember when this team came back from field, research they spent a lot of time on college campuses, across. India, and we. Found a stat which was shocking. One. Out of three smartphone. Users in India run out of storage, or see a low storage warning, every day so. If you think about that as something like 80 million, people are, constantly, up against, the boundary, of running out of storage so. Anyway we'll switch over to the wolf vision you can show them how it works is the phone showing, up yep, yep okay. So. This is a five school app first. Up right on top we show the storage. Available on the phone and what's the total storage, the. Cards that you see here are personalized. Suggestions for the users on what, they can clean up from, the phone to free up storage. Let's. Go and take a look at the. Large files card so these are all the large files on the phone, typically. These are videos. That users shoot or the content they get from their friends. Like movies and stuff so. With. A one-click delete. You, can just get it off this, user got back 280, MB of data. Let's, take a look at files so.
One Thing that we saw was, users. Had a tough time trying to find the content on their phone we came up with this scheme of categorizing. The content, based on how, it was acquired or how it was associated, in. Users mind for. Example. Images. So we, don't show a folder view you can see all images here and then the. The, other tabs show what, the users things where the images came from. Similarly. For videos again. It's it's categorized in groups that you just can identify with. Right. Down here you see two buttons for send and receive this is where users can initiate the the, nearby sharing, mode to, transfer. Content. To, or from their friends. Interesting. Thing just like punkish talked about days. Doing. The near nearby, connection, sounds. Simplistic enough, but there's a bunch of stuff involved, there because there's a wide variety of phones out there in the market we. Use, a, combination, of Bluetooth. Bluetooth, Low Energy a Wi-Fi direct Wi-Fi, hotspot. Type. Of technologies, and based. On the two phones we are able to connect, on Bluetooth and negotiate, their, their. Capabilities, and create. The fastest connection possible, for example if the two phones, both. Support Feige guards band then we can connect on fire guard network which would result in a file transfer rate of a G beam around, 40 seconds which is pretty impressive. Which. Wouldn't have happened if we gone down the path of just using Wi-Fi which is sort, of the default, path. The. Other thing that I wanted to talk about was, the. Low resolution media, and memes so. One thing that we noticed. In, our user research again was that, users in these markets, use chat, apps quite, a bit and they, receive a ton of content from their friends, most. Of which is good morning messages, memes jokes, which they don't want to really keep because, it fills up their phone, at. The same time they also received content, from, their friends which they want to keep which might be pictures, of each. Other that they took on a trip together. Which. Which, meant users. Were going. Through going, through all these chat messages, and deleting stuff manually, by. Figuring out what was useful and what was not, so. We, decided to try to tackle, this and we came up with this card that. Internally. We use Google's, vision, API vision, library to do text detection and then, a dualistic stew that to detect, memes. Or images. That are not useful for the user which they consume only once and. These. Are some of the things that get detected, and. The. User can use, one. Click again to delete it and they can keep the rest of their useful. Messages, intact, without having to go through it manually. Cool. One. Thing also just to call out from this that the team is seen is that, the. Average user the, first time they use the app is freeing, up over, a gig of storage, and. So that little bubble boy is dancing, a lot when, storage, space is freeing up so. It's it's become a really interesting kind of sort. Of daily and weekly habit, people have gotten into maybe, one last question for you - before, we move on to nathie a-- can. You tell us a little bit about kind of just what you feel like you've learned so far this app has only been out about four months it launched at the end of last year. Well. Yeah there's a bunch of stuff we learned the most interesting, for me was the. Fact that this. App is getting used a whole lot in us in Europe which. We. Did not expect when we launched it I recently, read a book by which I go in writing called reverse innovation which, talks a lot about building. Products specifically for these markets, which you can then bring back and the. Using. Develop or other. Markets. Which, you did not build the product for and, we. Are seeing something similar for files which is very. Fulfilling mmm. Nice thanks, I guess, nithya you can you, can take us home here with the last set of questions before we open it up to everyone, talk. To us a little bit about some of the thematic work you've done around, connectivity. And access, with. Your sort of research and design experience. So. As, part of Google's mission of bringing the the.
Benefits Of the Internet to everyone there. Are two main, products. In this Google Station, which provides high, quality internet. Access, in, the form of public Wi-Fi and de, tolly which is a mobile application which. Helps users get. More value out of their data, so. I'll talk about station, first, station. Was launched in 2016. And. Is now in India Indonesia and Mexico, in, hundreds of hotspots like, train stations, parks. Malls, and, public, venues. Thousands. Of users, people, come online for the first time on the, station network de. Tolly helps. Make the, existing. Constrained, internet, more manageable, and accessible, so, it provides data transparency. So. That users can understand. Where, their MBS. And jeebies are going in their browsing activities, it provides, data saving, functionality. Which helps users. Get. More value extend. Their data packs and it, also alerts, users to public, Wi-Fi hotspots. When, they're outside so users can be. Online more often and. The underlying insight, for de Italia is that many. People around the world treat mobile, data as money, because. It is expensive slow, and, limited. And as. A result. Users. Resort to practices, like turning, off mobile data when they're not using it to cut costs or hesitate. To get new applications. Or have, fears around using existing applications. So that limits their participation, online, and. Data early provides. Functionality. To help users ease. Into their experience of getting more value from the internet, nice. Can, you talk a little bit about what. We've learned with these products now that they've been out and sort of the environment that they've landed in yeah, I. Can go on for long, about this but, to just. Simplify things. There's. People contexts and devices, so. With, regards to people as. Internet. Access is growing all over the world. Technology. Is touching new societies. And, a. Lot of the people that are coming online are increasingly, diverse so, there's diverse literacies. Languages. Aspirations. Income, levels professions. Geographic. Spread and. Many. Of the assumptions that we've made around the first few billion, users, need. Rethinking, so for example it may not hold true that, users. Are well. Educated or, relatively, wealthy or, english-speaking. Even many. People around the next billion users.
Are. Not necessarily english-speaking, primarily. But, may prefer to use, phone UI's in English because English is, seen. As a language of upward mobility and aspiration. So, in terms, of design how might we design. Interfaces. That, help, users. With. The use of simplified, English and more visually. Rich interfaces. With, regards to context, like. I mentioned internet. Is often. Intermittent. And constrained, roughly. Only 45 43, % of the world has access to LTE, so. Users are often on 2g and 3G and sometimes, even offline so, how do we think about designing for these constraint, networks, and treating, offline. As not an error case but as a. Normative, use, case, we. Also have to think about economic, factors like purchasing power and like Pankaj mentioned, the prevalence of cash, and. Social. Factors. Like gender. And the. Role of religion in in using technology and. Then finally with regards to devices today. You can buy an Android phone for 30 to 40 dollars, it. Is very likely to have a small screen low, RAM low, processing, power but. It is the, first computing, device that, many people have access to so. And, and many of these devices don't get replaced as, often as they might here in the West because. Of cultures of frugality and gift-giving so, how might we think about hardware. And software design, for low-end devices. Nice. Maybe, one last question because. I'm sure we got a rain folks from different backgrounds here but on sort. Of wearing your UX hat if. You had to pass along some research. And design tips, and tricks you've learned along the way over, the last few years what would you share with everyone yeah, so, first, I'll alert you to our. Collection. Of research and design methods, on design google, slash nbu, you. Can find it it's part of the Google design website, and we. Regularly share. New. Design and research methods as well as product stories and, the behind-the-scenes look.
With. Regards to research and design innovations, I'll talk about it through the lens of a product lifecycle so when, we start to build a product and we're trying to understand, the problem space and we want to create a vision, for the product we really, want a foundation, of rich. Insights. And. Understanding, of people and their relationship, with technology and the unmet needs so. Here we've introduced, techniques. Like intercepts. And the. More traditional ethnographic. Immersion, intercepts. Our spot interviews, that are done with people in, their, various contexts, such as where. They live, where they commute where they work where they have fun. And by. Doing several, of these we gather a, firm understanding of, of people in their context, and their use of technology. In. Station, when, we wanted. To build a Wi-Fi service in train stations of India, we spent a lot of time hanging. Out in train stations talking, to passengers talking, to business, owners riding. Trains ourselves, so we could understand, what that experience was like and shadowing. Passengers, who were embarking. On these journeys and really. What we wanted to understand was who, is in the station what. Are they doing what is the context, of using the Wi-Fi what is their understanding of, Wi-Fi, and these, insights, let let, to design principles, such as, the. Service, the login service to get on to the network has to be really efficient, and quick because stations. Are high stress environments. With a lot of stimulus that, the. Service has to be trustworthy, and secure we saw in our research that women were hesitant. To give out phone numbers to log on to a public Wi-Fi network so we really insure the network was. Secure and that, because. Of the heterogeneity, of devices, in, in a train station this is really the cross section of the entire country. The service was. Browser-based. It was it works as a captive portal model and doesn't, require the installation of any mobile application. And, an example. Of research. And design techniques later on and product development is when. The product is nearing, launch. We've. Created, a technique called trusted, tester studies these are large panels, of, representative. Participants, who. Are recruited, to consensually. Make use of the application and, provide feedback soon, and, we collect both qualitative, and quantitative data, and, we. Run. Several of these trusted tester studies for de tolly in various parts of the Philippines where, we had hundreds of participants, using de. Tolly for three to four months and that, gave us a really firm, understanding of what. Are the core use cases, what's the resonant value proposition, what. Are issues that we're running into that we need to fix before we launch the product in Markin that's. Great cool. That's it thank you all thank you Thanks.