Retrospective at Google Backstage

3 min readFeb 27, 2018

After three successful months, our adventure Google Backstage has come to an end. We designed an experience specially for Google to let visitors learn more about privacy settings in a playful way. Nearly 2000 people experienced it, but for everyone who wasn’t able to visit: here’s a little recap.

The experience was built in the basement of tech hub TQ, which is located in the heart of Amsterdam. We couldn’t have thought of a better and more inspiring place to host the Google experience! Google Backstage was free and accessible for everyone. Luckily vlogger Erik van der Ven made a 8k 360 video about the experience with his channel Around The World, so we have some cool footage to look back at.

Two Factor Authentication
The experience starts with choosing a password. Probably you are familiar with Google’s two factor authentication. After you’ve chosen a password for your team, you receive a text message with a personal code. This way Google can make sure they let the right people in to the experience

The second room is all about YouTube. YouTube users have the ability to choose what they would like to share with Google, and what they don’t. In this room you get to know more about different (made up) YouTube users and what they like, based on what videos they watch or upload. Though some users don’t share any of this information with Google, since they disabled data sharing.

When entering the next room, you have to help select the best videos for the made up YouTube users. After seeing what one of the YouTube users is watching, you have to throw a ball on the video that matches the user’s profile. Some users share way more information with Google than others. You can imagine it can be very hard to advise an incognito user with a new video, so you have to do your very best to get as many points as possible.

Google Maps
The next level of the experience is Google Maps. Many Google users use Google Maps to see how they get from point A to B. In this room Amsterdam was painted as it is shown on Google Maps. The mission: advise as many routes as possible, sometimes by making a human chain, or climbing onto the wall. Fun guaranteed!

Google Search
We all know how easy you can find things on the internet by using Google Search; you can literally find anything you need within one second. But how easy would it be to find all kinds of items that people are looking for, in a room full of stuff? Well, that’s quite a challenge! The mission in this room is to find as many items as possible within the given time. The more items you find, the higher the score.

Round Up
After playing the Search Room it’s time to see how many points you’ve earned with your team. In this part of the experience you also get more information about Google privacy settings. Want to learn more about your own privacy settings? You can read everything about it here. And if you are interested in seeing the whole video of Around the World, go and check the video below!