On Android finding its soul

Joshua Topolsky has a fantastic interview with Matias Duarte, Android’s head of user experience. Matias is trying to give Android soul:

“With Android, people were not responding emotionally, they weren’t forming emotional relationships with the product. They needed it, but they didn’t necessarily love it.”

Matias says that the studies showed that users felt empowered by their devices, but often found Android phones overly complex. That they needed to invest more time in learning the phones, more time in becoming an expert. The phones also made users feel more aware of their limitations — they knew there was more they could do with the device, but couldn’t figure out how to unlock that power.

It was a wakeup call at Google.

We want to create wonder. We wanted to simplify people’s lives. Right now, there’s a common trap that can happen when you load up too much power into a piece of software that’s not that intelligent.