A dog-human design duo leading UX processes and teams for data-centric tools and products.

Canis lupus familiaris
Homo sapien


Ross Popoff-Walker
(pronounced “pah-Puv”)
Lead by empowering others. Evangelize user-centered rigor. Unblock design teams to do their best work.

For the past 15 years I’ve worked on an array of UX efforts. While at Google, I was a lead designer for Google Search and Google Maps.

On Google Cloud, I managed the team supporting BigQuery, one of the largest pieces of the Google Cloud Platform. I also organized and led a company-wide effort involving over a dozen teams to standardize internal data visualization design guidelines.

Before that, I worked on early-stage startups and at design agencies like R/GA and Sapient.

Core values

Build on observed truth

Thoughtful, objective user research has the power to uncover unmet needs and ideas that can inspire long-term thinking.

That's why my design decisions and processes always stem from user insights and observed truth.

Bring stakeholders on the journey

I avoid designing in a silo or behind the scenes and instead opt for exploring design ideas together with stakeholders through workshops, sketching sessions, and sprints.

Getting stakeholders invested in the process can help develop deeper empathy for constraints, leading to better decision making as a team.

Parallelize iteration and vision

Teams I lead parallelize a perspective of “min viable” with clarity of long-term vision.

Let’s get clear on our users, needs and project goals, and push to get our hypothesis out into the world. Leverage fast iteration cycles with user feedback to continually build and refine. But let’s also have clear insights on the longer road ahead and what we’re striving for as a business and for our end users.

Work & projects

2021 - present
Waymo: Internal tools

Designing a simulation tooling suite to accelerate the shift to autonomy as a service.

Waymo vehicles, both a car and a truck
2019 - 2021
Google Maps: New content

Kick-started a new initiative to bring live data visualizations to Google Maps, starting with COVID cases, air quality and weather information.

The COVID-19 info layer in Google Maps
2016 - 19
Google Cloud: Leading design for BigQuery

Led the design team for Google Cloud's BigQuery, launched a fully redesigned UI with new features like BigQuery ML, and helped drive multiple cycles of global customer research.

BigQuery UI interface example
2016 - 17
Google Design: Data visualization spec

Initiated and led the creation of Google-wide data visualization guidelines. Organized and brought together 12 different design teams to align on best practices, principles and design system standards. data visualization section
2015 - 16
Google Search: Live events

Design lead for 2016 Olympics results in Search. Launched UI improvements globally to mobile search results, and developed UI patterns used throughout live events.

Examples of 2016 Olympics results in Google Search
Earlier work
Google: Image Search

Developed a Search-wide bookmarking feature (now called Google Collections), and launched improvements to the mobile image viewer.

Google: Creative Lab

Early concept incubation and design for family-focused products (now Google Family Link).

Buy With Fetch

Co-founder and designer for new human-powered personal shopper. Pitch to launch in 8 months across iOS, Android, web, and Glass.

2011 - 14
Design consultant

Worked with 14 different early-stage startups in just three years, helping to take multiple products from zero to one.

Agency life
2011 - 12
UX Manager

Managed design teams at Sapient working on major dot com properties, including Target and MSNBC.

2009 - 11
Senior interaction designer

Nike, Nokia and Verizon at R/GA

2008 - 09
UX Lead

Palm and Project RED at Modernista!


Reach out and let’s work together.

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