The Google Visitor Experience Center: Where Innovation Meets Narrative.

Christian Bourgeois . April 16, 2024

Google’s new visitor experience center in Mountain View

As designers, we’re passionate about immersing ourselves in new product experiences, especially exploring retail stores to interact with the latest launched products. Upon discovering that Google’s new experience center was conveniently located nearby, we decided to take a trip to visit. 

During most product launches, brands tend to focus on showcasing their latest technologies or innovations. However, our visit to the Google Experience Center inspired us because of its major emphasis on storytelling, particularly in its development process and commitment to sustainability. In this blog, we’re excited to share our insights from visiting the new visitor experience center in Mountain View, focusing on the power of storytelling in product design and development.

The Google Experience Center was located in Google Campus in Mountain View. We were able to park at the Shoreline Empathy and walk to the store. As we walked to the store, we were delighted by the beautiful landscape at Google Campus while taking a glimpse of Google’s office space behind a window. And here we go—this is the entrance of the Google Store. 

From Shelves to Frames: Where Retail Meets Art

As we stepped into the store, we were immersed in a dynamic yet inviting atmosphere. The blend of various hues and textures of natural materials created a sense of warmth and familiarity with our home environment. Additionally, the lively rhythms of the Latin music that was being played added an extra layer of vibrancy to the ambiance, further enhancing the overall experience.

We noticed that every product line was presented as a piece of art, elegantly displayed within wooden frames. Each frame featured its own narrative, showcased by lifestyle images that enhanced the storytelling behind the products.

Google Design’s commitment to sustainability 

Multiple stations showcased the whole line of Google products, ranging from smart home devices to Google Pixels and wearable devices. What particularly caught our attention was the compelling narrative of Google’s commitment to sustainability. We were impressed by the dedication and effort of the Google Design team towards achieving a beautiful outcome for their big mission of sustainability. 

“All Made by Google products launched since 2020 are built with recycled materials.”

Google Design prioritizes sustainability through transparent material usage, where each product tells its own story; the Pixel 8 housing was made of 100% recycled aluminum, while the Nest WiFi pro was crafted from 60% recycled plastics. 

Innovative sustainability practices lie at the heart of Google Nest Products’ approach to fabric and textiles, with a particular focus on its remarkable recyclability while still maintaining a consistent and beautiful look similar to those found in high-end furniture. According to Google, the Nest Audio is made up of 70% post consumer recycled plastic including the upholstery which is made from recycled water bottles. The store prominently showcased the journey of materials, from raw components to finished products, exemplified by displaying the yarn used in the nest alongside the raw materials it originates from. The raw polyester fiber derived from recycled water bottles, prior to dyeing, was vividly shown in a jar. This helped illustrate the progression of materials before their integration into Google Nest products, effectively narrating their transformational journey.

Google’s sustainability approach ties into a unique marketing strategy:

During the store visit, compelling narratives of sustainability were seamlessly woven into powerful marketing campaigns. Sharing the journey of how products are made, their use of materials and how the brand is reducing its environmental footprint creates engaging narratives that connect with consumers on a deeper level. The store visit prompted our curiosity to dive deeper into sustainability within product development, and it motivated us to explore Google’s design sustainability stories to gain a deeper understanding.

A Closer Look at the Evolution of Google Pixel

Building upon the success of the Google Nexus phones, the journey of the Google Pixel marks a transformative milestone in smartphone innovation. Since its release, each iteration of the Pixel has been designed to deliver a personalized experience tailored to the individual needs of its users. This dedication to customization and user-centric design has inspired the creation of the Google Store, where customers can explore a curated selection of products and services tailored to their preferences and lifestyle. From personalized recommendations to interactive demos, the Google Store embodies the ethos of the Pixel experience, offering a seamless and personalized shopping journey for every visitor.

Commitment to Excellence: Brand Perception Outside of the Store

The Google cafe in Mountain View maintains a consistent brand identity and vibe by carefully blending Scandinavian Modern focused furniture with vibrant colors, creating a refined yet warm and inviting atmosphere similar to that found in its office spaces. Like with the Google Pixel and Nest products, the cafe promotes sustainability by incorporating recycled Redwood in its furniture. In addition to its vibrant ambiance, the Google cafe in Mountain View fosters community engagement through a diverse array of educational events and workshops. By offering these community-focused initiatives, the cafe reinforces its commitment to not only serving great food but also serving as a hub for learning and innovation within the Google campus, similar to what’s experienced by its workers.