Solutions to Google Design Exercise and Challenge

September 14, 2018

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.

The pet adoption challenge prompt goes as follow:

"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."

Three Case Studies Covering Different Solutions to the Google Design Exercise; Pet Adoption

Pol Kuijken Design Solution

Case Study by Pol Kuijken

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.

Outcome
Pol's solution got him a headquarter interview and eventually an offer from Google.

Read the entire case study →

Danielle Kawasaki Design Solution

Case Study by Danielle Kawasaki

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.

Outcome
Danielle's solution got her to the headquarter interview but unfortunately didn't end up with an offer.

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Marcel van Remmerden Design Solution

Case Study by Marcel van Remmerden

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.

Outcome
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.

Read the entire case study →

Additional Resources

Tips From the Source

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.

Learn more →

Tips for Scoring a Job at Google

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.

Learn more →

Google Explains Their Hiring Process

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.)

Learn more →

UX Designer Portfolio Inspiration

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.

Learn more →

See All Open Positions at Google

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.

Learn more →

Solving Product Design Exercises Book Cover

Recommended Read: Solving Product Design Exercise

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.

Learn more →

Need more inspiration?

Check out the curated UX case study gallery here.

Portrait of Jan Wennesland

About the Author

Jan is a Norwegian UI/UX Designer working as a partner at Folk design studio at day and making side-projects like CSC at night. Read more →