In an effort to solve the mystery of how real people outside of the “Silicon Valley bubble” use its products, Google, the world’s largest search engine, is sending out a van to hit the streets and do mobile customer surveys and app usage analysis.
Going to be a lot of “cloud storage” coming out of the back of that van, if you know what I’m saying, Shaggy.
According to the Associated Press, Google—which is technically a subsidiary of Alphabet—is aiming to “watch, question, and record how… volunteers use apps and other services on their smartphones in sessions that will last 15 to 90 minutes.” Rewards for participants will include gift cards and T-shirts, although hopefully there’s something for folks to crunch down on aside from hard data; munch-aroos are a basic necessity for anything involving a van and those meddling tech billionaires!
Although it may seem like a marketing stunt, Google says that the purpose of the van tour is for simple customer usage research, and it’s speculated that this endeavor is likely a part of the search giant’s effort to take a bit more time with the roll out of their products. Note that Google has five services with more than 1 billion users, including: search, Gmail, maps, YouTube, Chrome, Android, and Google Play.
If you want to experience the thrill of having somebody watch you play with your phone in the back of a van, you can become a walk-up volunteer at the following dates and locations: March 14-18 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; March 21-22 in Clemson, South Carolina; March 23-25 in Atlanta; April 4-8 in Boulder, Colorado; April 11-15 in Salt Lake City; April 18-20 in Reno, Nevada; and April 21-22 in South Lake Tahoe, California.
What do you think about Google’s user experience van? Like, drop a comment in the spooky section below!
Images: Associated Press/Mary Altaffer