Google Ventures Hires Its First Designers In Residence, Stanford’s Caroline O’Connor And Xbox Designer Brian Yeung

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In what it describes as another effort to make its portfolio companies better at design, Google Ventures is announcing a new Designer in Residence program.

The firm had already created a Design Studio where its startups can get help through design sprints, workshops, mentoring, and recruiting. With the new program, designers are matched with multiple companies, and they work together for several months. I received an early copy of a blog post describing the position, in which Google Ventures writes:

Our designers in residence won’t spend much time “in residence.” They’ll be out in the trenches, working alongside startup teams in product design sprints. In fact, we already put Brian to work — he spent his first three weeks with startups, designing and prototyping products!

The Brian in question is Brian Yeung, one of the first two designers selected for the program. He previously worked on the Xbox, where he was involved in designing racing simulators, the Xbox 360 dashboard, hardware accessories, and the interaction model for Kinect. Yeung also worked at Stimulant, an interactive design and development studio.

The other Designer in Residence is Caroline O’Connor, who’s also a faculty member at the Stanford d.school. A former journalist, O’Connor has also held the title of Storyteller in Chief at the d.school.