In a recent move, Google modified the function of Google Assistant, Google’s voice assistant that powers the Google app on Android phones, tablets, and Google Home, to integrate it with Google’s shopping site, Google Express.

That’s a common tactic of technology companies and often has significant benefits for consumers. Integration lets different applications talk to each other. A well-known example is Microsoft office, which integrates MS Word, MS Excel, etc. That integration lets you insert spreadsheets into Word documents and a lot more.

But this new Google integration takes away a lot of function that users have come to love.

Ron Amadeo reports, in Ars Technica, that now shopping lists, a well-liked feature, doesn’t work as well as in the past, since ” the Assistant’s shopping list functionality loses the following features:
• Being able to reorder items with drag and drop.
• Reminders. Google Keep could attach a time or location-based reminder to the shopping list. Walk into the store, and your shopping list pops up!
• Adding images to the shopping list.
• Adding voice recordings to the shopping list
• Real time collaboration with other users. (Express has sharing, but you can’t see other people as they type—you have to refresh.)
• Android Wear integration.
• Desktop keyboard shortcuts.
• Checkbox management: deleting all checked items, unchecking all items, hiding checkboxes.”

This is a lesson for all marketers who have a technology product to sell that is likely to go through multiple generations over time. What goes in your product stays in your product.

You never know how important a feature is to your customers; some may need what you consider unimportant. Let users continue to use your product to do the things they have always done with it. And, more than that, minimize the changes to the user interface once you have one that users know and love. They not only want all their features; they alo want to find them the way they always have.

Read more here: Google ruins the Assistant’s shopping list, turns it into a big Google Express ad

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