As part of their hiring process, Google has a set of exercises to challenge design applicants. Usually, this is an off-site exercise with a goal to qualify potential new hires for a headquarter interview.
Google is considered to be one of the most sought-after places to work, in any field. Imagine all the people applying for jobs every day, from around the world.
Many businesses successfully use an exercise strategy as a part of their hiring process. If you're looking for a job in the UX design industry, you'll most likely come across it at one point in your career.
Below you'll find three different solutions to one of the infamous Google design exercise; pet adoption, all with different outcomes. I've also included links to additional useful resources.
"Millions of animals are currently in shelters and foster homes awaiting adoption. Design an experience that will help connect people looking for a new pet with the right companion for them. Help an adopter find a pet which matches their lifestyle, considering factors including breed, gender, age, temperament, and health status. Provide a high-level flow and supporting wireframes."
Pol starts his journey with brainstorming and moves on to sharing his mission statement. He then goes on to low-fi and high-fi flows, coupled with material design-themed wireframes.
Pol's solution got him a headquarter interview and eventually an offer from Google.
Danielle did her research and even went on to interview someone in the industry. She then moved on to the user journey and eventually ended up with low-fi, mid-fi and high-fi wireframes. Just like the prompt said.
Danielle's solution got her to the headquarter interview but unfortunately didn't end up with an offer.
Probably the most aesthetically pleasing end-result. Marcel presents in-depth research and immerses himself in the topic of pet adoption. Infinity mapping is used to present flows, which continues into hand-drawn wireframe flows.
He then presents low-fi wireframes connected to a user story. Eventually, Marcel ends up with beautiful high-fi wireframes.
Surprisingly enough, Marcel's solution didn't make it to the headquarter interview.
Feedback from Google was that they didn't like the long format story and wanted a shorter explanation. He also submitted his design files in an unstructured way with no explanation.
Key takeaway: People are busy. Make every word count.
Braden Kowitz from Google Ventures explains what they look for in the Google design exercise solutions. He states that the point of the exercises is not to see if you can come up with the "right" answer. But instead to get an overview of your thinking process.
Lola Jiang shares her three biggest tips on how to score a job at Google. She concludes with; learn design patterns, design strategy and get industry experience. The first two points go into great detail on how to approach it. The last one is a bit trickier because it will be different for everyone.
Google has put together a comprehensive guide on what goes into their hiring process. They bring it down to three essential pieces; Apply, Interview, and decide. There's a supporting FAQ for each that will clear up any questions you might have. (On a side note, here's a case study on how they came up with this.)
This list of 13 industry-leading UX designer portfolio websites will inspire you when building your own portfolio. They are filled with jaw-dropping UX case studies and everyone has a touch of their own personality.
All their job categories are broken down into teams; Design being the one you're probably after. After that, you'll choose a specific field and location.
The book goes into detail on how to solve design exercises like the ones from Google. It preps you for any design interview process and gives you an edge when first starting out. Case Study Club is mentioned in the book as a valuable resource. The author, Artiom, is kind enough to share any revenue coming from this link.
Check out the curated UX case study gallery here.