Google believes that technology should improve life, not distract from it. To increase awareness of this belief, Instrument helped Google launch Digital Wellbeing—a collection of actionable tools, tips and stories to help people on their journey towards a more balanced relationship with technology.
The concept of digital wellbeing is still relatively new to the zeitgeist, but the process of finding a healthy balance with technology is something many of us undertake. Even though Google already offers many tools to help navigate our relationship with technology, one size does not fit all. The Digital Wellbeing website is an effort to re-contextualize Google’s tools into concrete, human experiences that feel relevant and useful.
Just ask for quiet time
Now with voice-powered Do Not Disturb mode, Google Assistant lets you tell your phone to silence all notifications and communications.
Monitor app usage
Family Link lets you see how much time your child spends on their favorite apps with weekly or monthly activity reports, and set daily screen time limits for their device.
A positive lens
We organized the website around a series of aspirational, inspirational goals. Each intention offers a set of tips and tools that can help users reach their target. By highlighting those goals, users can easily recognize which products feel most relevant and dive into practical tips, Google tools, and insightful content that will help them reach their aspirations quickly.
Asking the people
We conducted a series of impromptu on the street interviews in cities around the United States, asking questions like “What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?” and “What distracts you the most in life?” This gave us a better sense of people’s habits, concerns, and what kind of changes they want to make to their technology use.
The purpose of these interviews was two-fold. First, we wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the challenge we were tackling and how people feel about their relationship with technology. These interviews served as a means of research to find patterns of tech use that could inform our content strategy. Second, we wanted to create a series of inspirational and educational videos that would provide additional context to the website’s goals and tips.
To supplement these on the street interviews, we also interviewed experts in the fields of psychology, technology, family therapy, and science. This pairing was an opportunity to surface people’s concerns as well as hint at some of the solutions the website has to offer.
Ways to reflect
The first step toward improving your digital wellbeing is often understanding more about how you interact with technology in the first place. So, as a final piece of the puzzle, we created an interactive self-reflection tool that provides the user with a curated set of tips and tools based on their own individual needs.
We transformed this eight step questionnaire into an immersive and interactive quiz utilizing moving portraits of the people we interviewed, to bring people in to the experience, as well as a touch-based dial that adds some fun and lightness to the experience.
While digging into the research and speaking to experts, we realized that parents needed an entirely different set of tools. The real problem parents face is how to talk about technology with their kids; when is the right time to get a first phone, or how do you educate kids on using technology more responsibly? We created a family guide both in a printed and digital format, aimed to simplify those interactions by providing a set of conversation starters, allowing parents to tailor the examples and phrasing to fit the maturity level and language of their child.
As technology becomes more and more integrated into our daily lives, Google recognizes its responsibility to ensure their products support users' digital wellbeing.
This website provides a solid foundation for Google to continue educating users about its product offering, while also emphasizing their mission and commitment to improving our relationship with technology now and into the future.