Hey Patrick — How Do You Google?

Patrick von Hauff is an Academic Technology Specialist. He works with the Academic Technologies Group in the Office of Education in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry.

Take a few minutes to see how G Suite shapes his life.

Q: What does an average work day look like for you?

A: My role has been a little special in my group because professionally I’m a designer, so that means my day-to-day could look like designing learning games, developing digital media like videos and illustrations, and designing or consulting on educational software. We give a lot of workshops, so there’s a teaching and training component, and a lot of that happens with G Suite.

Q: What is your Google moment?

A: When I realized G Suite offered me three things: collaboration, flexibility, and extensibility.

Q: What is your favourite feature in Google?

A: Google Slides. I tend to bend tools to do what I want them to do, and I use Slides as a design tool the way I would use Illustrator. It might not have as many features, but it allows me to collaborate with people who aren’t designers. We made our annual report in Slides this year, and it was the least painful experience we’ve ever had making an annual report.

Q: How has using Google changed the way you work?

A: I’m really focused on collaboration and teamwork, so it’s made that a lot easier. Google doesn’t necessarily make me approach my work any differently, but it makes my work easier to do. I do what I would do anyhow with less friction.

Q: When you first started using Google, what surprised you over other applications?

A: One thing that was refreshing is that G Suite apps are far less cluttered. Google has done a really good job of managing the tension between the introduction of new features and the maintenance of existing features.

Q: If someone were to start using G Suite for the first time, what tips would you give them?

A: I don’t believe in software evangelism. I believe in using the right tool for the job, and I think a lot of problems people have could be solved by the things that G Suite does really well, like collaboration, security and data retention. In G Suite, there’s one file that’s constantly saving, and versioning is built right into it so you can go back and recover old drafts. When you talk to people about those features, they see the value of G Suite and they’re much more motivated to give it a try.

Q: If you were a Google app, which one would you be and why?

A: I would be Google Slides, because it’s like a Swiss army knife, and that’s my job. I have a very flexible role and I like to do lots of different things.

Q: What is one final thing you want people to know about G Suite?

A: If you think of G Suite apps as Word and Excel and PowerPoint clouds, then you’re missing the point. They’re fundamentally different, and they give you more options than you even realize. Whatever your role, you can make G Suite work with your life.


Who do you know that’s doing something cool with Google on campus? Send their info to istcomms@ualberta.ca and they might be featured in an upcoming article! Until then, check out Information Services & Technology’s (IST) latest Google news.

Posted by Sheena Moore