Using Google Keep for need finding

Many (mean) words have been said since the launch of Google Keep, but rather to analyse the next Google failure I’d like to consider this as an opportunity and share with you how do I professionally use Google Keep.

As you already know, need finding is an approach used by designers of different fields to research and understand better people’s needs. There are two basic kinds of need findings: observations and interviews.

Observing people, your potential users, and their behavior require spending time patiently watching, and waiting for something interesting to happen.  However there are multiple occasions that nothing happens or we are simply not in the right place on the right moment.

For those situations is when Google Keep can be helpful. Either if you suddenly start watching an unusual scene, or there’s something that catch your attention, Google Keep could be used to

  • Capture the scene by adding a picture
  • Repeating people’s comments by transcribing  them
  • Grouping and relating notes by using different colours

You don’t need to plan it neither to know what you’re looking for. For me it’s not something I’d like to mix with any other note-taking tool just because I don’t expect to classify it or organize it. I don’t even think they have any value in the future but it’s my reminder that something surprised me, and a problem – again, an opportunity – may emerge for those notes.

It has passed just few days since I’m using it in this way, every time I see something related with the topic I’m researching I just capture the moment expecting to find the needs.

Google Keep keeps it simple, and its lacks of functionality is not a lack of utility, actually it is a motivation to try to behave as a real user experience observer/designer.

Of course, if you’re using it for a different professional purpose, I’d love to know it 🙂

By Carmel Hassan Montero

Product Designer and Computer Engineering graduated from the University of Granada. I'm based in Málaga (Spain), working remotely designing at Honest. I'm also a proud founder of Yes We Tech, and support tech events that care about promoting diversity and equality among its members.