Blog
Blog Segment

When UX Puts Lives on the Line

We look at how designing a robotic arm used in neurosurgery came down to UX 101, and how one hospital has doctors and designers working together to enhance the patient experience.

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Blog Segment

Adobe XD and the Fast Track to a Creative Career: IT Pro Owen Modamwen on Becoming a UX Designer

As a longtime IT professional, Owen Modamwen knows tech. “It’s definitely great being able to provide helpful services for people, but I’d always be sitting at my desk thinking about how I could be more creative.”

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BE4000

5 Things to Look for in a Small-Business Phone System

Learn how you can help your small business improve communications, simplify IT management, and save money through a better communications and telephony setup.

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Trends

Messages Matter: Exploring the Evolution of Conversation

New survey results address the evolving art of conversation, common myths vs. realities concerning messaging and how messages matter more than ever.

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email security

Cisco Email Security is Top Solution

Billions of corporate messages flow back and forth on a daily basis. And with over 90% of breaches starting with an email, organizations today face a daunting challenge when choosing the best email security solution to stop emails with phishing links or malicious attachments that unleash ransomware, phishing or business email compromise attacks. Securing the […]

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#LoveWhereYouWork

The Importance of Saying “Hello”

John shares how by just saying “hello” to strangers in the office, it has lead him to some meaningful experiences at Cisco.

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Cisco Partners

Getting Into a Groove

Concerts, festivals, sports. It’s all about the connecting with the music, the game –  watching the same thing at the same time. So naturally, fans want to join the connection and share, post, and tweet. But if 25,000 other people are doing the same thing on a shaky network, all you’re going to get is […]

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2017 Visual Trends

Artist spotlight: Sebastien Hue

When selecting an artist to create a piece of artwork on our November Visual Trends theme, “Machine Learning Comes to Life“, there seemed to better choice than French ‘photobasher’, concept artist and matte painter, Sebastian Hue.

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instant articles

Launching New Trust Indicators From the Trust Project for News on Facebook

By: Andrew Anker, Product Manager In early October, we began to test a new feature to give people additional context on the articles they see in News Feed. For links to articles shared in News Feed, people can easily tap…

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Innovation & Technology

Identifying credible content online, with help from the Trust Project

Every day approximately 50,000 web pages filled with information come online—ranging from the weird, the wonderful and the wacky to the serious, the subjective, and the spectacular.

With a plethora of choices out there, we rely on algorithms to sort and rank all this information to help us find content that is authoritative and comes from credible sources. A constantly changing web means we won’t ever achieve perfection, but we’re investing in helping people understand what they’re reading by providing visual signposts and labels.  

We add clear labelling to stories in Google News (e.g., opinion, local, highly cited, in depth), and over year ago we launched the Fact Check tag globally in Google News and Search. And just recently we added information to our Knowledge Panels to help people get a quick insight into publishers.

Today, we’re announcing a move toward a similar labeling effort by the Trust Project, which is hosted at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. The Project, which is funded by Google among others, has been working with more than 75 news organizations from around the world to come up with indicators to help people distinguish the difference between quality journalism and promotional content or misinformation.

In a first step, the Project has released eight trust indicators that newsrooms can add to their content. This information will help readers understand more about what type of story they’re reading, who wrote it, and how the article was put together.

These eight indicators include:

  • Best Practices: Who funds the news outlet and their mission, plus an outlet’s commitments to ethics, diverse voices, accuracy, making corrections, and other standards.
  • Author Expertise: Details about the journalist, including their expertise and other stories they have worked on.
  • Type of Work: Labels to distinguish opinion, analysis, and advertiser (or sponsored) content from news reports.
  • Citations and References: For investigative or in-depth stories, access to the sources behind the facts and assertions in a news story.
  • Methods: For in-depth stories, information about why reporters chose to pursue a story and how they went about the process.
  • Locally Sourced: Lets people know that the story has local roots, origin, or expertise.
  • Diverse Voices: A newsroom’s efforts to bring in diverse perspectives.
  • Actionable Feedback: A newsroom’s efforts to engage the public in setting coverage priorities, contributing to the reporting process, and ensuring accuracy.
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The publishers involved in this work include the BBC, dpa, The Economist, The Globe and Mail, Hearst Television, Mic, La Repubblica, La Stampa, The Washington Post, the New York Times and more. (Photo courtesy of the Trust Project.)

News publishers embed markup from schema.org into the HTML code of their articles and on their website. When tech platforms like Google crawl the content, we can easily parse out the information (such as Best Practices, Author Info, Citations & References, Type of Work). This works like the ClaimReview schema tag we use for fact-checking articles. Once we’ve done that, we can analyze the information and present it directly to the user in our various products.

Our next step is to figure out how to display these trust indicators next to articles that may appear on Google News, Google Search, and other Google products where news can be found. Some possible treatments could include using the “Type of Work” indicator to improve the accuracy of article labels in Google News, and indicators such as “Best Practices” and “Author Info” in our Knowledge Panels.

We believe this is a great first step for the Trust Project and look forward to future efforts as well.

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Pixel

How girls see the world: Girlgaze and Pixel 2

Girlgaze is a multimedia company that highlights the work of female-identifying creatives and is dedicated to closing the gender gap by providing paid job opportunities for its global community.

Girlgaze’s inaugural zine, out today, was created primarily using Pixel 2, and today we’re also releasing a collection of Live Cases featuring Girlgaze photographers. We spoke with the creator of Girlgaze, Amanda de Cadenet, about the origins of the initiative and their work with Google.

The Keyword: Tell us about why you started Girlgaze. Why is it important to you to have more women represented behind the lens, not just in front of it? 


Amanda: When we began the #girlgaze initiative we realized quickly how many girls were eager to have a platform to share their perspective on the world. Within a matter of a few months we had close to 1 million submissions. When there is a need for something—in this case, a community for girls to connect on activism, creativity, and the challenges young women face—it will grow quickly. We’ve now had over 2.8 million submissions of images.

We felt it was our responsibility to not only draw attention to how the female perspective is so underrepresented in media, but also try and create a solution. It’s not enough to say, “Yes, the female perspective is hugely marginalized in these creative industries.” We also wanted to create a platform where we could showcase the incredible talent that is out there and create tangible jobs for our global community.

How did you get involved with the Pixel team? 


Girlgaze’s audience is made up of digital natives—they’re mostly Gen Z. With the launch of our inaugural zine—which is 100 percent digital—it was a natural fit to partner with Google.

Tell us about how you used Pixel for the new Girlgaze zine. What was different about this project?

Well, this being our inaugural issue of the zine makes it unique from any other! But also, shooting it almost entirely on the new Google Pixel 2 was pretty extraordinary for us. Although our community is very in-tune with using smartphones day-to-day, shooting industry-standard work on a smartphone was a first for us. We’re thrilled with the outcome!

Has the internet opened up new opportunities for women 
photographers/creators to gain more visibility? If so, in what way? 


The fact that we all have our phones on us at almost every moment, giving us access to technology to take and edit images at a whim, gives everyone a platform, without necessarily having studied or trained to become a photographer.

And social media has created a global platform for photographers around the world, some in very remote areas, to create and exhibit their work. In an industry that is heavily dominated by men, the internet has given the opportunity for female-identifying photographers to create their own community to share their point of view.

Tell us a little a bit about the Live Cases. How did you select which photos to turn into 
cases? Was there a particular aesthetic or theme you wanted to express?

We selected images from girls in our community whose work translated well to the wallpaper format, but not necessarily in a traditional sense. We wanted the imagery to be uniquely Girlgaze, images that strongly conveyed how our girls see the world.

  • GirlGaze_1.jpg
    Photographers: Aditi Mayer (left), Amanda Picotte (right)
  • GirlGaze_2.jpg
    Photographers: Viviana Illanes (left), Ashley Kickliter (right)
  • GirlGaze_3.jpg
    Photographers: Arielle Vey (left), Stephanie Pia (right)
  • GirlGaze_4.jpg
    Photographers: Peyton Fulford (left), Ashley Kickliter (right)
  • GirlGaze_5.jpg
    Photographers: Thais Vandanezi (left), Erin Rivera (right)
  • GirlGaze_6.jpg
    Photographers: Tarryn Hatchett (left), Stephanie Pia (right)

What advice would you give to women who are interested in pursuing a creative career? 


Surround yourself with a good support system and community and utilize those you connect with to help you in your pursuit. I’ve always had an incredible female support network to see me through not only the struggles but also to celebrate the achievements. And the more you help those around you, the more you will realize how willing people are to help you. So don’t be afraid to reach out.

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2017 Visual Trends

Turning Tech into Artistic Inspiration

Digital artist Sebastien Hue creates epic artwork inspired by his love of technology and science fiction.

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Video

Adding Highlighted Shares to Video Insights for Pages

Today we’re adding Highlighted Shares to Video Insights for Pages, a new feature that will give publishers and creators more information about the top Pages that are re-sharing their videos. Available to all Pages globally, Highlighted Shares showcases the top…

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Maps

Google Maps gets a new look

The world is an ever-evolving place. And as it changes, Google Maps changes with it. As roads close, businesses open, or local events happen in your neighborhood, you’ll see it on Google Maps. When you schedule an event using Google Calendar, get a reservation confirmation in Gmail, or add a restaurant to your “Want to Go” list, Google Maps reflects that too. Now, we’re updating Google Maps with a new look that better reflects your world, right now.

First, we’ve updated the driving, navigation, transit and explore maps to better highlight the information most relevant to each experience (think gas stations for navigation, train stations for transit, and so on). We’ve also updated our color scheme and added new icons to help you quickly identify exactly what kind of point of interest you’re looking at. Places like a cafe, church, museum or hospital will have a designated color and icon, so that it’s easy to find that type of destination on the map. For example, if you’re in a new neighborhood and searching for a coffee shop, you could open the map to find the nearest orange icon (which is the color for Food & Drink spots).

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We’ve created a cheat sheet of the new colors and icons to help you get acquainted with the new look:

  • legend_color.jpg
  • legend_01.jpg
  • legend_02.jpg
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  • 6
  • legend_05.jpg

You’ll see these changes over the next few weeks in all Google products that incorporate Google Maps, including the Assistant, Search, Earth, and Android Auto. Over time, the new style will also appear in the apps, websites and experiences offered by companies that use Google Maps APIs as well. 

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So no matter how or where you’re using Google Maps, you’ll have the same consistent experience.

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Google in Europe

Defending access to lawful information at Europe’s highest court

Under the right to be forgotten, Europeans can ask for information about themselves to be removed from search results for their name if it is outdated, or irrelevant. From the outset, we have publicly stated our concerns about the ruling, but we have still worked hard to comply—and to do so conscientiously and in consultation with Data Protection Authorities. To date, we’ve handled requests to delist nearly 2 million search results in Europe, removing more than 800,000 of them. We have also taken great care not to erase results that are clearly in the public interest, as the European Court of Justice directed. Most Data Protection Authorities have concluded that this approach strikes the right balance.

But two right to be forgotten cases now in front of the European Court of Justice threaten that balance.

In the first case, four individuals—who we can’t name—present an apparently simple argument: European law protects sensitive personal data; sensitive personal data includes information about your political beliefs or your criminal record; so all mentions of criminality or political affiliation should automatically be purged from search results, without any consideration of public interest.

If the Court accepted this argument, it would give carte blanche to people who might wish to use privacy laws to hide information of public interest—like a politician’s political views, or a public figure’s criminal record. This would effectively erase the public’s right to know important information about people who represent them in society or provide them services.

In the second case, the Court must decide whether Google should enforce the right to be forgotten not just in Europe, but in every country around the world. We—and a wide range of human rights and media organizations, and others, like Wikimedia—believe that this runs contrary to the basic principles of international law: no one country should be able to impose its rules on the citizens of another country, especially when it comes to linking to lawful content. Adopting such a rule would encourage other countries, including less democratic regimes, to try to impose their values on citizens in the rest of the world.

We’re speaking out because restricting access to lawful and valuable information is contrary to our mission as a company and keeps us from delivering the comprehensive search service that people expect of us.

But the threat is much greater than this. These cases represent a serious assault on the public’s right to access lawful information.

We will argue in court for a reasonable interpretation of the right to be forgotten and for the ability of countries around the world to set their own laws, not have those of others imposed on them. Up to November 20, European countries and institutions have the chance to make their views known to the Court. And we encourage everyone who cares about public access to information to stand up and fight to preserve it.

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