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Focus on detail and blue

Google’s first own brand mobile phone Pixel “to keep in mind”

As Google’s first fully developed R & D smartphone, Pixel needs a special team that specializes in detail and loves blue. To this end, Google has long been ready.

Google’s first own brand mobile phone Pixel “to keep in mind”: focus on detail and blue

Since 2010, Google has started with Samsung, LG and Motorola and other companies to build able to carry its Android mobile operating system, smart phone devices. These devices are well-known Nexus series of mobile phones, when they are by the mobile phone manufacturers to build their hardware and brand, run the latest version of the Android system.

But five years later, when he launched Nexus 6P with Huawei, Google changed the usual practice. The technology giant decided in the absence of any outside partners in the case of an independent build a new phone. However, other companies can still assemble the device (HTC takes this task), but Google will be completely independent planning, design and sale of it.

However, to design this phone called Pixel, it is like for the blonde girl (Goldilocks) to create a just like a good phone. It must not only have to be equipped with high-end hardware, but also can not break the style; it must be able to attract the public, nor to its supporters disappointed; it needs to make their appearance is different, but not too fancy. That is, it must look just right.
All designs are just right

Since the launch of the first Nexus One, the Nexus brand has attracted a lot of Android loyal users, they want to get a powerful mobile phone can be customized. They are loyal users of Google phones, but also specific audiences, not widely.

With Pixel, Google wants it to attract more audiences than the past Nexus series of mobile phones, expanding to a range of audiences that are not limited to “technical people”. To achieve this goal, Pixel must have the impression that it is more like an assistant, not a machine.

Brian Rakowski, vice president of software product management at Google, says most people do not want their phones to look scary. “You want your cell phone to be a thing that can help you and become a product you can trust and help you get things done,” he said.
Non – right – angled edge design

Inverted edge grip in the hands are often more comfortable, and will make the phone look thinner.

To make Pixel look so tough, it is necessary to soften its edges and corners, making its rough edges become more smooth start. The corrugated contours seem to be more friendly and more attractive to the eye, while the edges and corners are more offensive and easy for some users to alienate it.

Even if the skirt outline of the outline of the phone, the curvature can not be too big. After studying the way people hold and carry the phone, Google’s Pixel mobile phone team decided to use its new machine with a chamfer curve design, make it more comfortable to hold, look more slender.

However, the Google design team tried to avoid a curve, that is, the camera around the lens curve. Although there is no camera in the case of convex, this curve is not the team to build a mobile phone to consider the issue, but if this curve can be avoided, it will be an additional benefit.
Looks like a smooth design

Squeeze into the phone profile, Pixel can have a raised camera.

In addition to not beautiful, a raised camera is not convenient for users to put the phone flat on a smooth surface. But Pixel’s camera sensor has become a problem: it’s bigger, so that more light can be made, but it still needs to fit Pixel’s slim body.

As a result, the design team modified the appearance of Pixel. By thickening only the upper part, gradually making the bottom thinner, you can keep the camera they want, and avoid the bulge, but also for it into a larger battery.

Jason Bremner, vice president of product management for Google Mobile Phones, said: “We want to keep this sensor, but do not want to compromise, because it is wedge, this design is suitable for our installation A larger battery, so we are a bit of a chance.
Details are troubled

Jared Spool, founder of User Interface Engineering, a Massachusetts-based company in 2008, wrote: “When a good design is done, it will become unobtrusive. When it does it, we will notice it. “

For the Pixel design team, this means that they have to pay close attention to every detail of the phone, even if people do not notice them. As long as the user feels comfortable with the overall design of the phone, the team’s design is still a success. And there are many details that they may ignore.

“A lot of people may not notice these details, but they can figure out that this is a well-designed device,” said a product designer named Rachael Roberts in the team.
Touch “Locate”

The texture groove on the power button allows the user to more easily determine their own key position.

For example, the power button on the right edge of the Pixel phone is textured. Before the final design was set, the design team tried many different groove schemes. In general, the user alone can determine the key position according to the groove, and distinguish it from the volume key. The design team understands that you can not choose anything too rough, but at the same time they also know that too smooth things are meaningless. After several iterations, including diagonal and triangles in different patterns, Google finally selected a diamond profile pattern.

Pixel glass panel design on the back is also not conspicuous. The glass panel itself is easy to find, because it makes the phone between the glass and aluminum showing a distinctive two-tone appearance. In addition, it has a functional advantage, that is, can provide six antennas for the phone, increase the surface area to receive and send signals.
Shine different

The two-color effect of the glass panel can reflect the soft yellow.

But in the blue and silver version of Pixel’s glass panel below a layer of film, it can make the glass reflect the soft yellow. This is called a two-color effect, similar to the natural color of glossy soap bubbles. You may have seen the use of two-color effects in art, jewelry and architecture.

The design team will add this yellow reflection effect, is entirely out of aesthetics point of view. The black version of Pixel did not use this design, the main reason is that it does not look beautiful. Similarly, the black version of Pixel aluminum shell sandblasting treatment is also different. Unlike the blue and silver version of the smooth feeling, the black version of Pixel gives a rough feeling. And the reason is purely determined by the aesthetics.

Villarreal said: “We feel that the blue and silver version of Pixel is suitable for smooth polishing, while the black Pixel looks cool.”

For this design team, it is not uncommon for intuitive guidance decisions. And sometimes even this is the way of designing the output. Likewise, you can also introduce focus groups to conduct surveys or do long research. But in the end, if you feel good about something, then you have to believe your own intuition.
Feel the “real blue”

At present, most phones are black. Sometimes, mobile phone manufacturers will also launch a white or silver version. And occasionally, the manufacturer will also launch a one-time color, such as the golden version of the iPhone 5S or the red Nexus 5. These interesting “popular” colors favor the sale of mobile phones, and they tend to be sold out quickly, partly because they are novel and the number of manufacturers producing less.

Pixel also has its own unique color, we call it “Really Blue”. Like other colors, “very silver (Very Silver)” and “very black (Quite Black)”, the name is also a bit deliberately joking mean.
Visual blue

Since blue is not common in technology products, blue is the color of Pixel’s display.

After the attempt, the Google marketing team found that the typical color names such as ocean blue, stone color, and graphite color were too common in the market, and after hearing these non-original colors, the product design team was somewhat disappointed, and then Google made ” “This color.

“We all felt that the names were very bad,” said Larksky, “and the Google marketing team tried again and again, using a more ironic and self-aware approach to finalize the name now. Everyone agrees with the name “true blue”. “From the brand, this color will certainly make people feel refreshing, and we also like some self – deprecating.”

Everyone on the color name is one thing is the same thing, for the phone to choose the exact color is another matter, it requires everyone to work together, brainstorming, for the real blue advice.

When looking for the perfect display color, the design team also introduced a focus group to evaluate different color samples and physical models. We made a lot of colors, including bright green, gray purple, dark yellow and soft light blue.

Product designers Villarreal and Roberts helped create the design of Pixel.

Ultimately, the dark blue color of the gemstones occupies the upper hand, resonating among the different sexes and age groups. Of course, the design team will have to do more fine-tuning, which will involve more centralized testing and physical model, but also join the team’s own aesthetic.

“It’s not easy to find a suitable color, and we’ve been experimenting with it many times until we see the color we’re using now,” says Vilaire, “it’s a sudden feeling – it’s it, it’s So much of the vitality.

According to the changes in light, the range of blue Pixel can range from bright blue to rich cobalt blue. Although it is often a symbol of the color of Google’s security brand, but if you can not make the right choice, it may still cause some problems.

Joann Eckstut, co-author of the design team’s color consultant and The Secret Language of Color, says the blue is unique in its polarity. It represents the working class (“blue collar”) and represents the very wealthy person (“blue blood”). It is everywhere in the sky and the sea, but in nature it is still rare to find. Although, to a large extent, blue is now a masculine color, but until the 20th century, 40 years, blue is more feminine a color.

Finally, the design team chose “true blue”. It has a moderate fashion taste, but not excessive, will not let interested buyers but stop.

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Eckstut said: “For me, it means a rare, unique thing that exists for a unique person.”
Ready to meet great success

When last October, when Google finally launched Pixel in San Francisco, it did not know what the public would expect. Although the machine has gone through more than six months of internal testing, the design team is still very nervous. What would the user think? Did they ignore the place? Is there room for improvement?

“Sometimes, when you get closer to a product, it’s easier to ignore the simplest thing,” says Bremner. “You’re too close to the details, so you might see everything that you might do.”

While it is not possible to ensure that Pixel will make every blonde girl happy – for example, some people think that their design is too much to imitate other products, such as Apple iPhone, past Nexus, HTC, etc., but Google and HTC have denied these conjectures – but Google is indeed dedicated to the delivery of a mobile phone, it can be deserved to call it their own brand of mobile phone.

From the power button for the texture of choice to avoid the use of old product color name and repeated selection to ensure that the yellow reflected light will not conflict with the specific color of aluminum, Pixel is an ambitious Google team in the constant Try to run together to create a compromise in the product.

As Bremner said: “It has gone through countless trials, and it is honest to create a mobile phone that is a result of constant compromise, and it requires everyone to weigh and try to find the best point.”

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