Define the current frustrations and growing needs of an agency. Create an internal platform that would meet these needs and be the place to manage all project data and communication.
Stylehaul is an agency that manages video and social media content providers. They wanted to investigate ways to improve productivity and standardize workflow to support their rapid growth.
This project is the design of a collaborative digital space to manage workload, interact with team members, track communication, prioritize deadlines, organize documents and search talent. It would be used internally, as well as provide limited access to content providers and clients.
My role was to learn and identify key aspects needed for a fluid workflow, design a way to meet those needs and then work with the team to decide the best way forward (ie. deciding whether to customize a white label option, use various APIs, or create the product from scratch).
Integral to this project was understanding how each department worked. For two days, the product manager and I meet with various team members to review their responsibilities, daily frustrations/limitations and any suggestions they had for improvements.
I organized my research from these meetings and shared it, outlining the specifics tasks performed for each role and providing high-level takeaways. Using this insight, we prioritized designs for the campaign managers tasks. I outlined all the features the platform would need and then moved to create a sitemap and task flows.
Wireframes and visual design overlapped to expedite the process. The focus was content and not the visual design. The client had brand guidelines for the color palette and typefaces that I incorporated. Periodically, I would review Invision prototypes with the team.
Team feedback and actual use of the product was the planned success metric. While I reviewed prototypes with them throughout the design and revised appropriately, I was not there for implementation.
Research / UX / Visual Design
Discovery and Interview Documentation / Site Outline / Site Map / Flows / Wireframes / Visual Designs / Invision Prototypes
Insights from interviews. Topics discussed included a person's role and responsibilities, how they used the current system, common frustrations, suggested improvements, and how they saw their position changing in the future. I asked questions, listened and recorded all the sessions.
These conversations with the staff were key to understanding current roadblocks. While some issues were obvious, like how inaccurate data caused users to abandon the system altogether, the extent of that complaint and the frustration it caused showed staff trying to work with the tools provided. This was encouraging when questioning whether a new system would be a worthwhile investment. It also led to developing a plan for setting restrictions on who and how the content would be updated (with a role for each department).
The most common pain points were: communication breakdown, inaccurate information, managing calendars, sharing documents, searching content providers and difficulty customizing client reports).
Site and Tasks flows created that highlighted what would be designed in Phase One.
Below are a few key tasks I worked on that are performed or required by Campaign Managers:
An issue that plagued staff was getting inaccurate information. This led to a lack of trust and abandoning the current system, increasing use of independent 3rd party solutions and making content even more decentralized.
I created an extensive section where campaign details could be input. To encourage accountability, each department is responsible for their section. The process starts with the legal department after a contract has been signed and moves through marketing, influencer reps and campaign managers.
UI elements are simplified where possible.
Finding talent to participate in a campaign is difficult for managers. There is a vast amount of information to take into account and specificity is required. This task encompasses two parts: searching all current influencers for the right fit (shown below) and then analyzing those options as a group to see if they meet the campaign requirements (next section). Discovery showed this process was being done with multiple excel spreadsheets and no universal system. Managers were working from memory or referrals and had no way of doing an exhaustive, in-depth search of the talent.
My designs aimed to correct this by allowing for a comprehensive search of either the system or just the campaign, then refining that search with keywords and filtering further with the right menu options. The search variants are diverse, ranging from intangible elements like look and visuals (such as style or ethnicity) to exact metrics, so there is a larger image view and data-centric view. Once the manager has found influencers to fit the project, they can save all to a group (discussed next) and campaign or add each result independently to a campaign.
Adding talent to a campaign is a balancing act. Hitting the campaign targets requires experimenting with different talent combinations. Substitutions may be made throughout the campaign. The new system needed to allow for an analysis of various sets of influencers.
My designs give campaign managers the ability to create groups of influencers for each project and compare these groups while seeing the total metrics. They can easily experiment with removing or adding influencers and save a set to use in a future campaign. Since many people like working in excel, an export function is provided so lists can be created here and manipulated there.
Another issue to solve was communication breakdown between managers and talent. Laments over being overwhelmed by tracking communication (due to the ubiquitous nature of texting and email) occurred frequently during interviews.
Here managers can invite multiple candidates simultaneously to a campaign, create a standardized invite, track correspondence, pull in the contract from the database and get notified in their personal email and text messages.
For staff, managing influencers and their deadlines caused a headache similar to tracking correspondence. Interacting with both clients and influencers, deadline heavy campaigns, reviewing, revising and approving posts while tracking progress, was a lot to handle. Things can get disorganized easily.
Solutions involved included: