Winter 2018


It’s that time of year when the days are short and cold, but things are still heating up here at Google Design. We spent the first of November in Helsinki, Finland—sipping Glögi, jumping in the sea (brrrrrr!), and putting on our latest SPAN design conference. To give you a taste, we’re trying something new and dropping a bundle of SPAN podcasts all at once! (Take it from us, they sound even better by the fire 😉). We’ve also assembled our second-annual “Best of 2018”—it’s chock full of hand-picked design favorites and award-winning projects, so set aside some time to read about them all.

Ready to put this year in the rearview? Don’t worry—there’s still plenty of forward-thinking articles and recs below to carry you swiftly into 2019.

—The Editors

Best of 2018

For this year's Best of Google Design, we asked dozens of Google teams to share their most intelligent, beautiful, and accessible design projects. The result? A refreshing mix of ML-powered experiences and human-scale projects, plus a Salone del Mobile debut, faster web fonts, and lots of lovely Material redesigns. Pop over to the article to learn more about the programs and projects that got our attention in 2018.


“A perfect jukebox for our memories.” The New York Times explores how Google Photos is bringing emotion back to tech.

Eliminating bias in Artificial intelligence isn’t a solo job. Learn about our $25 million challenge for nonprofits, universities, and groups using AI to solve high-impact problems.

Want emoji that look just like you? 🤔 Gboard’s new mini stickers use machine learning to turn selfies into mini emoji replicas.

Current obsession

Artistic tools—for everyone. The latest series of Google Experiments use AI to make it easier for anyone to draw, make music, and experience sound in new ways.

What’s new on Google Design

Four hundred designers attended our annual SPAN conference in November. Listen to conversations with our favorite speakers, recorded live in Helsinki.

What’s an ML model? Classification? Regression? Learn the six AI terms all UXers should know.

We honored four best-in-class apps for the 2018 Material Design Awards—KptnCook, Lyft, Simple Habit Meditation, and Anchor.

Successful products begin with specific users in mind. Get to know your audience with this guide to running a Global Design Sprint.

5 things to love right now

👋Say hey to Paul Schlacter! He's a New York City-based designer working on Google's internal products, and here’s his collection of coolness: 1. Evan M. Cohen 2. Epoch 3. Mr. Pink 4. Bandimal 5. Sublime Apparitions.

Before you go

Here’s a bright spot to help you beat the winter blues. Artwork by Jonas Naimark, Google Motion Designer.

Stay warm out there 🥶🔥