Google Store

Google opened doors to its first-ever brick-and-mortar store in NYC's Chelsea neighborhood on June 17th, 2021. It's a space where customers can experience Google's hardware and services in a helpful way. In 2018, the Google Store team responsible for Google's hardware and services e–commerce business was presented with an opportunity to lead the point of sale (POS) experience connecting the entire physical store. The POS app includes functionality such as inventory request, purchase, returns, promotions, gifting, trade-in, payment options: single, split-tender, store credit, financing, repair and replace with in-house technicians, buy online pick up in-store, Google account authentication, POS device management, retail associate POS login, and much more.

Role and responsibilities

In the summer of 2018, our team went through a management shuffle, and during the interim period, I had the opportunity to step up, lead user experience, and contribute to numerous early product definitions for this strategic initiative — with project visibility up to CEO, Sundar Pichai. Oversaw UX for 12+ PRDs at a given time, 500+ unique screens, led a team (4 designers and 1 UX Writer), worked across 13+ cross-functional teams, 100+ team size, and presented at executive product reviews. Successfully delivered start to finish on a tight schedule (within 9 months). At our first review meeting, we were told

The review was one of the best UX meetings I've ever had! — Ana Corrales, Chief Operating Officer of Google Hardware (former Google Store VP).

POS Android app

Below are a few use cases between retail associates and customers.

Purchase

Wireframes for use case

Purchasing a Pixel 6 phone + Pixel case and paying with a credit card

Orders & Returns

Wireframes for use case

Returning a Nest Audio speaker and issuing refund back to the original FoP

Repair or replace device

Wireframes for use case

1. Repairing an in-warranty Pixel phone device for $0 cost
2. Picking up a repaired out of warranty Pixel phone

Learnings

I was only a year into my career at Google and user experience when Project Montgomery [internal name] was introduced. Over a few months, I was not only grappling with complex system design problems, working alongside cross-functional leads 4 levels above me, I was also overseeing the entire product experience, mentoring, and learning to get things done from a small team I was leading unofficially. I spent many hours daily with the product team — so much that it felt I became a Product Manager as part of the process. I became a go-to for UX and with time product as well.

Process

As part of my process, I first solved problems from a product point of view of ensuring it was the right problem to begin with. If it was, I designed out low fidelity solutions and drove cross-functional alignment between PM, Eng, and UX by establishing a process for collaboration. If it wasn't, I reframed the problem, shared alternative solutions, sought feedback, drove discussions between leads, and simultaneously assessed risks with the eng team. Luckily, I worked with an exceptional xfn team that was trusting, open to discussion/debate, had a strong work ethic, and was generally aligned on key goals.

Proactive. Self-starter. On many occasions, I've been impressed by Amruta's ability to identify gaps no one considered. For example, BOPIS was an incredibly difficult solution to implement. She identified how we were handing the inventory and rallied the team on potential solutions. She is a strong contributor to the products she works on. We wouldn't be where we are today on Montgomery without her leadership. Every screen of our POS has her fingerprint on it. — Dave Coleman, Product Lead.

Looking back, none of my growth would have been possible if this high scope and impact opportunity (Google level) wasn't made available in the first place. I was able to seize it, take on responsibilities, build trust, learn new skills, show up as myself every day, and realize my potential because Google Store's leadership and the larger team looked beyond my background (education, gender, race, age, etc). I was truly surrounded by people that were invested in doing good work.

Get in touch via email hello@amrutabuge.com to learn more about my process, learnings, and experience.

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