For tech companies, one of the best ways to understand how their product responds on mobile is to actually use it.
That just makes sense, right? It’s also why one Google executive spent much of the last year almost exclusively on smartphones.
According to an interview with Search Engine Land, Amit Singhal — senior vice president of search at Google — spent over a year using smartphones more or less exclusively. While admitting to a few sessions at a desktop to write significantly lengthy emails when required, Singhal claims to “have nothing with a keyboard at home these days.”
“I think it’s been close to a year or so where I’m living on cell phones,” Search Engine Land quotes Singhal as saying. “I admit that when I have to type long work emails, yes, I do go to a browser because typing long emails is hard still. But I largely live on these things.”
So, what model does Google’s Amit Singhal rely on to get all his work done, then? Two models, actually: a Galaxy S6 Edge and an iPhone 6 Plus. By his own account, Singhal spends between six and seven hours a day in meetings, and he doesn’t carry around a laptop or tablet. So, it’s not like he has to work too terribly hard at actively avoiding a regular computer at his job.
As the number of mobile users continues to creep increasingly upward, more and more effort is being spent trying to better understand how they use Web services in contrast to those navigating something closer to a traditional browser-on-computer setup. Some of that involves studying facts and figures obtained thanks to usage statistics, but first-hand experience is invaluable as well.
Singhal, for example, has come to realize just how troublesome trying to copy and paste something can be on mobile — calling the entire interaction “painful” at one point. He is certainly not wrong. Maybe something good really will come out of his little experiment.
Photo: Joi Ito | Flickr