Search trend data reimagined through gaming

Game of the Year was a concept that came out of ‘Year in Search,’ an annual campaign that celebrates trends in user-generated queries in Search. This game is the first game based on Google Search trends that puts your knowledge of 2018 to the test, revisiting the most memorable, fun, and weird trends in an interactive way.

We utilized the best in Google tech including AppEngine for build and the game’s host was built using Google Cloud and WaveNet, Google’s text-to-speech technology powered by machine learning. We utilized Google’s massive Search query trends data and transforms it into a fun, digestible, and interactive experience.


UX Lead: Christine Dani Cruz
Creative Lead: Takashi Kawashima, Katherine Walker
PM: Blake Davidoff
Lead Content Strategist: Ashley Nelson
Visual Designers: Matt Yerman
Writer: Kyle Conerty
Engineering Lead: Cathy Cheng
Engineers: Jk Kafalas, Jacques Bruwer

Copyright © 2018 Google. All rights reserved


Site of the Day Developer Award

Site of the Day Developer Award

Site of the Day

Site of the Day

Keeping things simple

It was vital that the game structure was fleshed out before we began wireframing any designs. By figuring out how the user was going to flow through the game, questions arose that needed to be solved for early like is onboarding too long? how many trivia-questions to ask before a user is bored? and how do users exit the game successfully?

All good site or app maps should include decisions when the user is active, passive, and all possibilities of entries and exits. Having this level of granularity helped our developers build out their environments before the creative team solidified a detailed design strategy, saving everyone time. It also allows me to see if the flow is too complicated, often the default is to add steps creating difficult journeys when it’s really to subtract steps and simplify.

Flow details

Flow details

Game play details

Game play details


Giving the game personality

What is a good trivia game without a host? We wanted to give the game a voice and personality to guide the users through their journey. We also wanted to display smart Google technology, so we utilized WaveNet, Google’s text-to-speech API powered by machine learning to give the host synthetic voices and provide users with the ability to alter voices by language, gender, and accent.

I wanted to make it a priority that the host was a way to give the game more utility and delight but that it didn’t distract from the actual gameplay. Keeping that goal in mind, I pressure tested the host within different stages of a users journey within the context of when the host was displayed.


Using physics

All the data for this project tk




User Journeys



Bonus Round




end state.gif

Give the user something to celebrate

I wanted to make sure all of our users were celebrated for the competing for this deceptively difficult game, so we user motion design to show the celebratory nature of winning.

By placing cta’s in physics, we added one more extra element of surprise and play even when the game is over.




The game has been celebrated in many top publications like TechCrunch, Engadget, Gizmodo, Highsnobiety with 907k sessions and an amazing bounce rate of only 10%.

Awards: Site of the Day & Developer award from awwwards, Site of the day from FWA
Site Press: Google Blog, Engadget, Gizmodo, Highsnobiety, Fortune, Hypebeast, Slashgear, Lastly, 9to5Google, CNET,

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