Consumer Barometer



Production / Professional


Thomas Clever, Gert Franke, Wilco Tomassen, Jan Hoogeveen, Gijs Roest, Guido Schetters


The aim was to make complex research easier to understand. Google shares results with it’s client community and further establishes it’s position as thought leader in the field of online channel research. Google challenged us to push boundaries by setting a new benchmark for making complex research easy to understand.
From a user perspective we aimed to provide actionable insights in order to make better decisions. By inspiring the user with a rich and interactive experience, one is more prone to explore the data in further detail.


Many advertisers, business owners and policy makers are unaware of how consumer behavior has changed. The Consumer Barometer is a global research project Google commenced, to provide insight into how consumers use online and offline media in their purchase process. In 2012, Google approached CLEVER°FRANKE to redesign the Consumer Barometer to provide deeper insights into this process. The concept, the ‘datasphere’, draws it’s analogy from the galaxies and stars. All the 1.7 million data points are individual nodes that can be connected with the right links. The sphere consists of three environments for users to explore the immense dataset, each environment build specifically for different target audience groups. One environment focuses on people who want to be guided through the dataset. Here we’ve created four different stories that can be found in the data. The second environment was designed to see the depth and parameters of the research data in one overview. The user can explore routes and plot the data accordingly. The final environment enables the user to quickly plot the data in a graph tool. Users can make quick comparisons in the data for very specific queries and download their findings in image or dataset.


The result is a website that has generated four times more visits in the first two months after the launch, than the 2010 version of the website did overall. In the months to come the website will be updated on some areas and hopefully generate even more downloads so that Google can serve its client community.


We focussed on a smooth and intuitive navigation. Mouse movement is tracked by the navigational structure so that the user is literally drawn to various elements in the website. We quickly prototyped our first concepts in order to user test the ideas and get feedback. Our main goal was to offer an experience in which the user really wants to explore and dive into the Consumer Barometer. At the same time we also wanted the data to be presented as clear as possible. We did this by putting data in meaningful contexts. This provided clear insights that were further enhanced by adding additional information and annotating the data. At any point in the website the user is given direct response when interacting with data and results are shown instantly. By adding semantically correct category definitions the user not only ‘sees’ the results but can read the outcome in a context as well. For example: “People who are [age range] with [income] purchase [online only]”.

HTML5 browsers allow for hardware accelerated graphics through an element called ‘Canvas’. We experimented with D3.js to built our visualizations with a unique template system (one graph programmed, four graphs visualized).


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