Research: Color, Material and Finish (CMF), Ethnography, In-depth Interviews, Usability Testing
At a Glance

In recent years, Google has gotten serious about its move into hardware. As a company best known for the popular search engine, web browser, and other internet services, the introduction of new products called for a heavy infusion of the voice of the customer in every aspect from ergonomics to the device color.


Google’s Pixel team have tagged our researchers multiple times to help understand customer preferences with the goal of making the devices as aesthetically pleasing as possible in terms of colors, materials, and industrial design, while also delivering a top-of-the-line and informative retail experience.

How we did it

To keep customer insights as honest and organic as possible, brand-blind studies were conducted to capture users’ unbiased perceptions and preferences. Our goal was to understand the underlying reasons for customer’s reported opinions to provide the Pixel team with actionable recommendations to carry into product development. We also looked at the retail demos used to showcase everything Pixel had to offer, to identify the details that were most important to customers and how information could be presented to maximize attraction, education, and retention.

How We Did It

Curvy line

We completed multiple research sprints to quickly uncover customer insights for Google Pixel’s product development and retail teams as they iterated. A variety of research methods were used to gather and dissect the voice of the customer including CMF (color, material, finish), interviews, and rapid usability studies to understand what would attract customers and keep them coming back. The teams at Google wanted to know what customers preferred when it came to the look and feel of the physical mobile device, and what would catch customers' eyes in a retail demo to get them to stop, learn and purchase.



Customer insights informed holistic recommendations for the Pixel hardware and retail demos that provided an all-encompassing look at a customer’s experience with Pixel from the first glance in a store to holding the device in hand. We isolated the most compelling and attractive aspects for a retail experience and identified what components detracted from the experience and led to abandonment. Customer insights dove below the surface level and uncovered the root causes influencing customer opinions and decisions.

The Final

In the end, we provided insightful recommendations for both the physical aspects of the Pixel and the demos used to showcase its capabilities. While we can’t divulge the insights and specific recommendations, findings from our customer research helped shape the Pixel phones currently on the market and demos seen throughout retail spaces.


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