Google Creative Lab
Creative Lab is a weird place inside of Google. It’s kind of a like a creative/branding agency and kind of like a product development group. Basically, whenever we found out about something cool being made at Google, we jumped in to try to help name it, make people understand it, and make it work better.
During my time there, I worked on products and initiatives across Search, Maps, hardware, health, robotics, urban planning, and more. These are a few of my favorite things I can tell you about:
The Google Assistant
The Google Assistant was a total reimagining of how users use and think about Google. But explaining it clearly was no small task. I was responsible for writing the narrative that explained what it was and why Google was making it, a narrative that was eventually used by Google’s CEO onstage during the announcement. I also led efforts to define the Assistant’s tone and voice, and to name it (we um, ended up going with the obvious…).
What I did: Developed launch narrative, Developed product voice, Named product
An engineer at Google came up with an idea in his free time: could you use 3D data in Google Maps to estimate how much sunlight any roof gets? That way, any homeowner could tell how much solar energy they could produce. My team jumped in to help take this from idea to a full-fledged tool for anyone to use. I was responsible for naming it, writing the launch video, and helping develop the actual UX of the product.
You can try out Project Sunroof right now and see how much you can save with solar.
What I did: Named product, Wrote narrative, Wrote launch film, Developed UX
Mosquito-borne diseases make hundreds of millions of people sick every year. Scientists at Verily came up with a unique solution: release “good mosquitos” that can’t reproduce to reduce existing mosquito populations. It could be surprisingly effective, and less risky than genetic modifications, but explaining that in a clear, not-scary way is tricky.
I led the naming of Debug, created the narrative around it, and wrote the launch video that’s been used by the team to help explain how the project works to citizens, politicians, and public health officials across the world.
What I did: Named initiative, Wrote narrative, Wrote launch video
Sidewalk Labs is an Alphabet company that’s reimagining cities to improve quality of life. I worked on developing the name and narrative before it spun out of Google. We wanted to evoke collaboration and also connect the initiative with something familiar and fundamental to cities: sidewalks.
What I did: Named company, Wrote narrative
Expeditions is a platform that uses VR and AR to help teachers take their students places a school bus could never go. I worked on the initial launch of the platform: naming it, explaining it, and developing the UX and writing for the pilot program.
What I did: Named product, Wrote narrative, Developed pilot UX
Google was looking to tell the world about its Quantum AI Lab, and get more middle-school-aged kids excited about science and engineering. So we figured we’d reach those kids where they already are: Minecraft. We built qCraft, a mod that introduces quantum physics into Minecraft, letting anybody experiment with quantum entanglement and superposition. In what was probably the best writing assignment ever, I wrote videos explaining how qCraft works, built the scenery for the videos in Minecraft, then shot and narrated them myself (that’s my voice in the video above). Then we set up a giant, shiny booth at Minecon, the official Minecraft convention, and spent two days telling twelve year-olds how cool quantum physics is.
What I did: Named product, Wrote and shot launch video, Wrote supporting copy, Got pretty good at Minecraft.