Opening up Google's Cloud

While a digital darling in many spaces, Google has been a late entrant to cloud marketplace, offering fewer features and services than their competitors. Up until recently, Google has relied on third-party vendors to help new users migrate their stuff to Google's cloud.
I was part of a project to redesign a sophisticated third-party migration tool into a seamless, intuitive Google Cloud Platform experience.
To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted and obfuscated confidential information in this case study. All information in this case study is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of Google.

The problem

Google has historically been behind the game in the Cloud business, holding only 8% of the market share in Q1 of 2019. One of the weakest links in their chain has been the lack of a native tool to migrate cloud workloads from on-premises or Amazon Web Services to the Google Cloud Platform. 

The challenge

Velostrata's UI when acquired by Google

Google purchased Velostrata—a promising third-party migration tool⁠—in 2018. But they then needed to take Velostrata's unfamiliar and clunky UI and integrate it seamlessly into the Google Cloud Platform.

Our team needed to:

  • Create a migration experience that was quick and easy

  • Give users the tools to migrate in the way that best worked for their organization

  • Design a solid tool that could be built on for years to come

My role

I lead the design of the cloud migration experience between Dec 2018 and March 2019. I reported to a senior UX designer for direction and worked alongside a UX researcher.

I completed work on the project when it entered the visual design tweaking and engineering stage.

The tool is currently in alpha and being used with select whitelisted customers.

Deployment Stepper

While designing Google Cloud's cloud migration interface we faced several hurdles do to engineering constraints. We needed users to log into a separate website, download a file, and then deploy it. Then we needed them to copy a token and paste it elsewhere.

The Velostrata UI had these interactions take place over many separate pages. When I sat in on testing I saw firsthand that users felt lost and unclear about where they were in the process.

I dove deep into Google Cloud's existing design patterns, and kept hunting until I found a pattern that I thought could better serve our users. By keeping all of the interaction on one page and visually chunking the process into steps and sub-steps, I was able to create a coherent narrative. This led to a significant drop in confusion and anxiety in the next round of testing.

The first two steps in action