Google Design
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Google Design

How to Have a Successful UX Career at Google (Or Anywhere Else)

Three mindset-changing tips you won’t learn in design school

Illustrations by Alice Yu, Google UX Designer

Learn how to “speak shark”

I am a huge fan of the reality TV show Shark Tank. For those not familiar, the basic premise is that entrepreneurs come out and pitch their business or product ideas to an audience of seasoned, successful businesspeople— the Sharks. Sharks grill the “guppies,” asking them detailed questions about how they’ll take their products to market, how they’ll make money, what their sales projections will be, and so on. Sharks then make offers to invest, so entrepreneurs get knowledgeable investors, Sharks get equity, and everyone wins. Or, quite often, everyone loses.

  • What business are you in? What problem are we solving?
  • For whom? Why?
  • How do we compete? What is our differentiator?
  • How do we make money?
  • What is the growth strategy? What are the ecosystem risks?

Hone your sales skills

Everyone will tell you that selling is a big component of design. But for me “selling” is not just about good presentation skills. I often see UXers focusing too much on the process or the craft in presentations. The medium of the presentation can be anything you want (wireframes, videos, prototypes), but what’s critical is how you bring it back to a company’s mission.

Measure. Measure. Measure.

“If you can’t measure it, it didn’t happen,” is a common refrain heard at Google. Even the best, most well-intentioned efforts won’t make it past initial pitches if they don’t have metrics and data to back up why what you’re doing is necessary and important to the user.



Stories by Googlers on the people, product, and practice of UX at Google. For editorial content and more visit

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