Online search engines aren’t really the most ’emotional’ of products (as Jonah Berger – Marketing Professor at The Wharton School – notes in his brilliant book “Contagious: Why Things Catch On”) The majority of people do not feel warm or cuddly when (if ever) thinking about the intricacies of the (all be it brilliant) front- or back-end engineering involved. The end user simply wants the most accurate search results as fast as possible.
A man named Anthony Cafaro, who joined the very first Google design team- called the “Creative Lab”- in 2009, found a way to foster an emotional connection between the end user and his/her Google Search experience. Together with the Creative Lab team, Cafaro developed the following video entitled “Parisian Love”:
This was simply inspiring and the learning here very much links to Simon Sinek’s mantra: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it!” Rather than highlighting the features and technology, i.e. the what, the Creative Lab outlined why Google Search even exists: to help people learn, grow and connect! They told a story. They moved us.
As one member of the Creative Lab team said, “The best results don’t show up in a search engine, they show up in people’s lives.”
Seth Godin’s blog post yesterday, titled “Oh, that’s just a hack someone put together…”, really struck a chord… In a nutshell, he explains that every profound innovation is the result of perseverance, inspiration, leadership and drive. Everyday we interact with so many amazing technologies but we don’t always (consciously) appreciate the immense work that happened behind the scenes.
My friends and I are building something for you: HaikuJAM. We’re currently finalising our functional specification and will soon commence technical development. The ride thus far has been phenomenal and humbling. Since inception of the idea, we have been testing and learning. Our journey has really helped us appreciate the grit, tenacity and energy that go into developing anything worthwhile. On a personal level it has really honed my experience of technology and the world in general – I cherish (more so than I ever did before) the nuances of a smooth user experience; the composition of an intuitive interface*; the fluidity of screen flows… and so on… These were not the by-products of chance; rather, the offspring of diligence, passion and insight.
As summarised perfectly by Seth, “The ideas that change the world are changing the world because someone cared enough to stick it out, to cajole and lead and evolve.”
*Speaking of user interfaces, I was telling my dear friend and HaikuJAM’s brilliant technical advisor, James Cole, just the other day that “you know when you’ve seen an awesome user interface, when you want to use the product before even knowing what it does!”- I was referring to this service: Webflow.