Tech Director - Jasmin Rubinovitz
Art Director - Wiena Lin
Producer - Grace Diggens
Client Services - Miranda Martell
Experience Director - Peter Knocke
At an exclusive, invite-only, executive session at the
Google Cloud Next conference, Google wanted to
spark conversations about data privacy and cloud
development. We had just three months to design and build a system to
handle seamless communication and interactivity across
over 200 devices. Everything from physical device
logistics to multi-user session management had to be
planned, designed, and tested before the big event.
Google Cloud NeXT Conference
Hundreds of devices,
a shared narrative
As participants entered the space, they received
their own tablets. A series of questions prompted
them to explore their current business challenges.
As they interacted with the tablets, live
visualizations of their answers in aggregate were
displayed on large screens in the room. These
data visualizations informed interactive panels
and group sessions. The moderator and group
leaders were able to seamlessly provide insights
and adapt the session to guide the conversations
of the day.
the systemHow many devices would truly be needed to create this experience? We helped the client work through critical decisions of room and system design. We helped to select and procure specific laptops, tablets, projectors, and backup machines to power the system and provide
Screen Size Variations
In giving each participant a personal device, we were quite concerned with the management of focus. Where should each participants’ focus be at any point in time? We mapped out 4 different styles of screens which then would help to direct the users’ attention towards the large displays, the moderator, or their own tablet.
Screen Style Variations
Temporal organization Given the time sensitivity of the
session as well as the hundreds
of devices to manage, my critical
design decision was to anchor
the application structure to a
global timeline. Depending on
the timing within the session,
each user would see different
information, prompts, and
functionality as the session
Overall Session Flow
Specific Moderator Flow Variation
This temporal organization gave natural points for moving around the room or creating quick breaks for questions. The moderator controlling the single timeline helped insure that each participant device could only access the current section’s information even in the case of connectivity errors.
Experience management and controlThe moderator controls had to balance a wide array of functionality while still allowing for the moderator to make adjustments with the smallest amount of focus. Clear chapter and paragraph controls allowed the moderator to adjust what information each participant could access on their device. I also integrated presentation tools such as swap screens, a session countdown timer, and a global ‘Opps!’ switch to simply display the conference logo, to aid the moderator in providing a smooth conference session.
During breakout sessions, each of 7 group moderators had their own unique control panel to manage and adapt the content and questions for their own specific breakout session. Each moderator was able to upload their specific questions and slides into the application for testing before the day of the conference.
Group Leader Control
Rapid content developmentContent was drafted and refined within Google Sheets as a development CMS allowing for rapid testing. Beta versions of the application were able to pull directly from Google Sheets allowing the team to edit, refine, and modify content before it broke the experience.
Google Sheets as CMS
Only the questionsWe kept a design strategy of ‘Only the questions’ as we designed the final participant application screen. We wanted these screens to be clearly a product within the Google design language, but we wanted to remove all other potential interface elements so that questions could be answered quickly without confusion.
Visualizing live dataWorking closely with the creative director, we created 6 visualization styles each with unique animations mapped to specific content sources. Each of these styles would actively grow, shrink, and shift as the live results were tallied.
Active Visualization Styles
Taking up spaceTo test this elaborate system, we loaded up crates of tablets and took over a small event space. We physically laid out the tablets ensuring each was able to connect to the system and respond adequately in time. As we ran around the room voting on different devices, we were able to finally know for certain that our real-time testing infrastructure was working and the experience was coming together as designed.
Live Device Testing
Interfaces as a
As the conference approached,
the interface screens were used
as a run-of-show to
communicate the complexities
of interaction and what to
expect during each portion of
the session. Various points of
misalignment were caught and
fixed before the final event.
Multi-device Interface Guides
A final large conference session interface map organized by the global timeline was crafted. The design team and conference staff used this map to align on what to expect from each device at every moment during the live sessions.
Full Conference Interface Map
Project OutcomeOn the day of the final event, the tablets, software, and session went off without a hitch. Participants loved seeing the live results being broadcast to the large projections, and the moderator was able to seamlessly steer conversation given instant feedback from the participants.
The final system with it’s simple front end, instantly customizable CMS, and powerful conference management tools can quickly be adapted to any content or conference. The global timeline, discussion topics, and static slides can all be updated within minutes allowing for the rapid creation and iteration of future conference sessions. As the tablets were being loaded back into their charging cases, the client already began discussions with the translation team to set up a session for the next conference occurring only two months away in Japan.
- Completed system design for 230 total connected devices across 5 device types
- Designed instantaneous show control with configurable real time
- Architected swappable content CMS for future regionalization
- Complete experience designed and developed within 3 months