A Trip to Google

On a Friday morning, our class got the privilege to go on a field trip to Google’s San Francisco office. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was excited to learn and see how they do their design sprints.

As we entered into the room, we were introduced to Kai, design manager and Yasmine, design advocate for Google. Yasmine first started off with a presentation. She went over the different types of design jobs in Google, and the fundamental importance of material design. Then she talked about the different types of applications a designer would use such as Tool Tips, Color Tool, Material Gallery, and Remix Live Apps.

After that Kai went over the design sprint phases & methods:

  1. Understand: Where we map out the problems space and create a shared brain. (HMW, affinity mapping, HMW voting, user journey mapping, user interviews, success metrics, empathy building exercises.)
  2. Sketch: Generate a broad range of ideas and narrow down to a select group. (crazy 8’s, solution sketch)
  3. Decide: As a team determine what to prototype to answer your spring questions. (present solution sketch, vote, decision matrix)
  4. Prototype: Build only what you need to validate your ideas in a short time frame. (storyboarding, prototyping-real enough, assign tasks)
  5. Validate: Build only what you need to validate your ideas in a short time frame. (usability study, stakeholder review, technical review, next steps)
“Never run a design sprint without a Product Manager, a UX Designer, Researcher, and Developer.”

After lunch, our class had to created a user journey map for our thesis projects. I wasn’t very confident with this task because I was still on the research phase. I decided to go with the flow and try to make things tangible on post it notes. We also did crazy 8’s which was a brainstorming method to sketch 8 concepts in 8 minutes. This really helped me give a better sense of what I was doing.

What I got the most out of Google was talking to one of the UX designers for Google Assistant named Amy. I told her about my topic and right away she showed a lot of enthusiasm. I was overwhelmed and lost with my project in the beginning because there were too many categories within the topic of security. At the end of the talk, she helped me narrow down my topic to authentications in security IoT. Overall, there is still a lot of room to do research for authentication and this gives me a better sense on what I want to do for my thesis. I’m really thankful for Amy in taking her time to talk to me. She was really smart and genuine. I’m also really thankful to Google for hosting this event for CCA students.