Roles Played: Head of Product Design, Research, UI, etc.
Project done in 2018
Cormorant Garamond is a classic font with a modern twist. It's easy to read on screens of every shape and size, and perfect for long blocks of text.
Saas company is a software focused on bid management for large scale video projects. The way the bidding process typically worked is that a brand such as Proctor and Gamble would define a budget and the project, and then agencies would submit treatments (like a creative vision/moodboard) and their bids, which are essentially very large detailed budgets. The agency and the brand would then go back and forth regarding changes that might need to be made. Saas company/StudioNow had forms and ways of displaying this information that made the bidding process more transparent and fair, this was especially relevant as many agencies and brands were under investigation by the DOJ for essentially insider trading.
When I joined Saas company (formerly StudioNow, as seen in screen shots below) as Head of Product Design there were only a handful of clients using this platform, most of whom had needs that were not being met, and whose processes were far more complicated than what the platform supported.
I started out my time at StudioNow by doing a Heuristic Evaluation to understand usability. I then met with a handful of our most important clients to discuss their experience with the platform. I learned we had quite a few opportunities to improve the platform, from helping them manage their vendors, to asset management, to bid management basics. After discussions with my product partner we decided to focus in on where we had the strongest competitive advantage, which was the bidding process. We heard loud and clear from our clients, “RFP organization sucks!” We also learned that the bidding back and forth is much more nuanced and often times agencies want to submit a few different options, which they then might also want to submit updates on. When I joined vendors only had the ability to submit a singular bid. We also learned that often times there was a large overarching project that spanned multiple smaller projects, and clients wanted to be able to request bids for different parts of the project from different vendors. For this project I opted to use a trello template to organize all my research.
We had a clear opportunity in improving the RFP organization for our clients and vendors. We focused in on a project we called Multiple Request For Proposals (RFPs), and defined the user goals as keeping things organized, understanding project as a whole, and having a clear hierarchy of information and what needed to be shared across vendors. Additionally we had a project list that did not allow for this level of complexity to be represented, and clients had a hard time finding the right project. It did not provide helpful information, and we had no concept of related projects. We dug deep into what actually made up a project and tried to understand what needed to be shared across projects. I created a visual representation below of what it could look like if we added an organization above ‘project’ to keep everything organized.
The old project list
A visual representation of the architecture proposed
Since this project and the problems that needed to be solved significantly modified the architecture there were a lot of things it impacted across the board. We determined we also needed to build the ability to have multiple options of bids as a fast follow to the grouping functionality to really have product market fit. When ideating we considered all of this and ideated around groups as well as multiple options within the bids, specifically focusing on the project list page, group page, and the bid page. I always start with wireframes and discuss them with stakeholders to understand if the functionality solves the problem.
Old bid page that allowed for only one bid variation
New bid page that allowed for multiple options and iterations of bids and allowed creators to title their bids
Another part of the platform that was essential to redesign was the project list page (as mentioned above) so I designed it to have more relevant information have much better search and filter experience, and show group relationships.
These designs were ran through multiple rounds of user testing with actual users. We decided to roll out the changes in the following order: New project list page, grouping as a concept, and then multiple bids. With every release we checked in with users and heard consistently great feedback. I left the company before seeing everything come to fruition but was happy to pass the torch to a talented designer, Emma Beaton.
You may notice in some of these screenshots the term “SNAP” when I joined I was so incredibly confused by this term, as it was being used in a multitude of ways to convey the status as well as being an object within the platform, it stood for “StudioNow Accumulated Proposals” but was never defined within the platform. I partnered with our engineering and product partner to kill the term as it actually made things more confusing for our clients. We had a bonfire to burn the word “SNAP” when we kicked off removing it from the code.