01 / Project info

Redesigning Google’s platform for AI product innovation

AI Research at Google publishes academic papers which are difficult for product teams to interpret and digest. Mill is a platform which connects Google’s product teams with pioneering research and emerging user trends through inspirational content, community and collaboration. Google’s AIUX team wanted a redesign to address issues with usability and scalability whilst increasing user engagement and conversation.


Visual Design Lead

Interaction Design Lead




1 Year

02 / Project goals

Grow the subscriber base including executives
Stimulate more collaboration and innovation between teams
Make content more accessible and easier to consume
Create a scalable platform

03 / Results

Subscriber growth
Patents approved
Internal pageviews


To kickoff this redesign I looked at a number of data sources including analytics from the existing platform and submitted user feedback. I also facilitated a retrospective with the team to discuss what has worked and what needed improving covering process, design and content. This lead to a number of key design goals.

The next step was to take these findings and conduct a service design exploring user goals and sentiment across the various platform touchpoints. This led to four areas of focus:  incremental content, more diverse range of media, new engagement mechanics and various usability improvements.

I conducted a thorough trendscape of content and media sites looking at different paradigms of information architecture and discovery as well as visual design and layout. One trend that fitted with the project goal of releasing incrementally came from looking at sites like iPlayer and Netflix.

This was the notion of producing and releasing content in seasons with numerous episodic drops. This idea was later incorporated into both the design and content production process.

Lo-fidelity Design

Wireframes were produced for a range of different concepts, exploring alternative methods of discovery and delivery. One of which was a mobile service, which was later ruled out as an option due to enterprise technical constraints.


After wireframes were settled, then high fidelity design was undertaken for all aspects of the site such as the hero page, navigation, season and content pages.

The theme of episodic content was explored and expressed throughout the site. The mill branding is based on the idea of a magazine rack and content can be accessed through a navigation which includes magazine-style covers.


I introduced the concept of a sticky magazine-style spine to content pages. This provides a space not only for navigation but also new engagement mechanics, one of which is a widget using the Google Docs style of collaboration mechanism. Each article was backed with a Google Meet chat group, and the widget shows how many users are discussing the article and their avatars. This created rich discussions around each article.


The content for Mill is made by creating strategic collaborations within Google which get colleagues thinking and working together. It’s a living project in itself.

Articles are the result of an innovative multi-staged process. Slow-cooker style ‘sprints’ were run over two weeks and across three timezones using a distributed but deeply collaborative process with over 40 people contributing, across research, product, and the Mill team. A kick-off session was run with a shared deck which contributors were able to asynchronously work within between regular sessions to develop ideas.

Mill has a strong identity and it's visual design intentionally sets it apart from other Google properties. Using a collage style which brings together the old and the new, a set of illustrations was created for articles.

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