Helping the technology giant push into the physical retail space with free Wi-Fi in America’s most visited coffee shop

Our relationship with Google was set in motion by a demand to find innovative ways to use data and digital products in retail spaces. Google first approached Doberman to set up an external retail lab. In this collaboration space, we designed, tested and iterated across a range of service, product, and business concepts for the intersection of physical retail and digital experience.

By allowing small teams of full stack developers and product designers from Doberman and Google to work closely together in week long sprints, we could easily evaluate business opportunities based on technological feasibility, user experience, scalability, and TTM.

As part of the lab, the first project brief was creating a product to support Google’s roll out of free Wi-Fi in over 7,000 Starbucks stores in the USA.

For the collaboration between Google and Starbucks, Doberman designed, developed, and deployed the dynamic, localized digital experience from the ground up to reach Starbucks locations across the US in one single launch. The Portal for WiFi is a clean, co-branded interface that highlights the best of Google and Starbucks in ways that are relevant, interesting and unobtrusive to the Starbucks customer.

We had a “launch first, A/B/C/D test later” approach.
Robert Lindgren, Visual Design Lead, Doberman
From zero to

Thanks to the scale of the initial Starbucks launch, our service quickly reached upwards of 250 million impressions. The enormous dataset helped Doberman and Google more accurately understand the digital needs of customers in the retail space. This fueled continuous iteration of the Starbucks platform and innovation of other future offerings in our shared retail lab.

The innovation process focused on identifying service and product opportunities to support people's everyday behavior.
Combining multiple data sources to visualize performance and other key metrics in real-time.
In the lab Doberman worked on data visualization innovation for retail environments.
Service concepts were innovated around the physical retail space.