As Lead UX Designer for the Famous, I was responsible for designing the entire user experience and visual design for the Famous platform. I was also responsible for creating the UX Design processes, UI libraries and system of working with engineering.
I worked with the CEO, Head of Product, customer service representatives, a team of engineers and potential clients to define direction across all product tools and related company processes. Part of the challenge was a moving target of product market fit - a common problem for new companies.
The famous platform allows authoring of mobile micro-sites like this.
The challenge -in this fast-paced marketing environment companies need quick and beautiful solutions to implement marketing objectives. There are currently two options for mobile marketing – slow loading, convoluted mobile sites or an app download -both of which require months of design and production to implement. This doesn’t allow for speed and flexibility to respond to marketing needs.
Clients need beauty, performance and to be able to deliver their message quickly. Our system allows for clients to create apps very efficiently with our templates. But how do we ensure beauty and performance?
Design Sprints, Customer Interviews, Competitor landscape, User Testing.
Sprints generate ideas that we then whiteboard and wireframe for testing and creating final designs.
We gathered the whole product team to do a full week design sprint. This created alignment between product, engineering, and design.
During sprints, we vote on concepts to help define our product direction.
To begin, I set out to understand our users – Who are they? What are their different needs? I interviewed potential clients and PILOT members to understand what they wanted, how they saw using this tool, what tools they may be using currently and how we could improve on them. Through this process I identified internal users and external users, some were designers and some were marketers and managers. Then I refined the temporary personas. Each of these personas would need a specific set of tools and permissions.
For each of these users, I created user journeys for specific important tasks, built prototypes and ran user testing sessions which we recorded and then reviewed with the product team. This allowed us to refine our direction and understand what features we needed and didn’t need.
I defined all the different user types that would interact with our product. We have internal (Famous employees) and external (customers). Then we define their roles, what knowledge they have and how they would interact with the Famous platform.
The biggest takeaway we had had from our external user tests were around building apps from our templates. Content is king once again. We needed to add dummy content to the template that showed them how it could/should be used.
This led us to rethink how we were approaching the templates altogether. We tried creating content specific to each client for each template. This showed them how their app could look and also pre-loaded their logos and styles into the template, making their job much easier. For our internal designers who are familiar with the system, the time spent to do this was trivial so it was a win
Designers, Marketers, Managers, Sales, Internal Design Team, External Deisgners.
I used Lookback to perform usability tests. We recorded the sessions, analyzed them and shared this information with the rest of the team,
After a combination of research, sprints and user testing we settled on a direction for the main authoring experience. This included solutions for many user personas across several journeys and required the creation of dozens of new tools. Altogether this would account for the process of creating templates, assigning them to clients, letting clients create apps from these templates, manage their account and users. In addition, I designed a tool to A/B test apps and report results.
Based on research, I advocated for a sketch plugin that would export all assets directly from a designers sketch file directly into our app templates. We could create sketch templates that would map 1 to 1 directly to our platform templates. This would theoretically reduce app build time to almost nothing. It was an idea that took a while to sell. Eventually, it became the core of our app authoring experience. It allowed designers to stay in their natural design environment – Sketch or Photoshop – then export directly to the Famous app builder. This reduced app build time to zero - far exceeding our goals.
Product screenshot - Customer microapp library
Product screenshot - The app authoring experience.
Working with engineering is an ongoing process that starts at the beginning of the design process. It is important to understand what is possible, what works with the current tech stack and the things that are currently built.
When designs are finalized the deliverables are the sketch file itself, all necessary assets, a link to the Zeplin file, prototypes that show complex motions and most importantly time to sit with developers to ensure that things are built as designed.
There are always unanswered questions – and the fact is engineers see things differently than designers and often come up with edge cases or states that were missed. This interaction between designers and developers is crucial to the success of a product team.
Famous Studio component library
The Famous Platform is still growing. Currently, it has expanded to support Instant Ads, Instant Articles and Instant Apps across multiple specific use cases and navigation models including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and standard search results.
The platform allows users to create apps for these specific environments and publish easily, quickly, beautifully and performs efficiently.