Google Photos Portfolio

I co-founded the Google Photos Portfolio team in Sydney as its sole designer and partnered with a PM lead and small engineering team to define new products and services that would expand the Google Photos ecosystem. I identified and led the pursuit of new opportunities through research, running team ideation workshops, and creating vision storyboards and other artifacts to rally excitement around our opportunities.

Ultimately we defined what became 3 main areas of work, ranging from short to longer-term bets: Google Photos Partner Program and Library APIs, which drove multiple partnerships and implementations; a 2 year international “schoolfood” program in the education space; and a lightweight photo gallery app for NBU users called Gallery. Eventually, I built up a small team of 3 designers and a researcher to scale these efforts.

One of our first launches was the Google Photos Library API and Partner Program, introduced at Google I/O 2018. The API was built to support the increasing need for people to be able to use their photos across the different apps and devices they use. I defined the first round of UX principles that informed the API’s acceptable use policy for the Partner Program. I created the initial version of the UX guidelines as well as the frontend UI for a sample application for the GitHub repository.

Screenshot from the public Google Photos Library APIs UX guidelines page
Screenshot from the Google Photos APIs UX guidelines

Through our investment in multiple project bets, we scaled the Photos Portfolio team from just 8 people in the starting days to more than 40 by 2021. In addition to hands on design work and a focus on mentoring my design reports as we grew, I also worked hard to help everyone on the team understand the value of UX design, and built a relationship with product managers that empowered them to contribute to design as much as anyone else. Members of our team were featured in the 2019 issue of Careers with Stem with a focus on women in tech.

Myself along with other members of our team were highlighted in the 2019 issue of Careers in STEM (far right)

Summary of my activities

  • Problem space definition
  • Strategy & visioning
  • Concept design & storyboarding
  • Research
  • Prototyping
  • Information architecture
  • Interaction design
  • UI / visual design
  • Guideline publication
  • Technical documentation
  • Go-to-market
  • Hiring
  • Management