Key elements of role
Customer experience strategy | Stakeholder Management | Research | Customer Interviews | User Journeys | Wireframe | Interactive Prototype | UI Design | Introduction of Leapfrog Design Language System
I was brought in to define and work on the end-to-end customer journey of a newly created self-service advertising platform for SME and consumers. This self-serve advertising platform was an Australian first.
A significant problem to solve for was the flow and functionality of the user to create, build, publish and schedule their ads across multiple NewsCorp mastheads, partner sites and social media channels. Creating the experience also included educating and on-boarding customers (sole traders, businesses and internal agents) who had previously only used print media or sales representatives to design and publish their ads.
Differing business and consumer laws across the states, full end-to-end customer flows across different platforms including partner sites, social media and differing API protocols across social media channels. These major ‘out of sight’ technology and business concerns had to be successfully managed without impacting the customer experience.
My main duties were requirements gathering, stakeholder management across different parts of the business, stakeholder workshops, user experience strategy, customer research, challenging and validating user stories, usability testing management, customer interviews, creating wireframes & interactive prototypes, UI design and client presentations to the Senior Leadership Team.
My role on the self-service platform was to build out the end-to-end customer journey and create the user experience across, registration, the design process, scheduling, billing, social marketing integration, walk-through videos as well as email marketing material.
Working in three-week sprints, the task was to not only build a responsive system but to simplify large end-to-end customer tasks, address an antiquated design system and resolve technical legacy issues across two separate platforms.
Usability testing was was going to pivotal in this project as customer feedback (customers as in both business users and agents) was critical in driving and launching the desired product as there wasn’t a similar product in market.
Therefore speaking to current and potential customers was a must. In addition, customers who advertised solely through social media channels were engaged and survey to understand what worked for them and why.
Customer insights included main or difficult tasks were carried out using large screens, i.e. creating the ads on a desktop computer; however, secondary or a simple task such as changing a payment method would be carried out on mobile or tablet device. All tasks across devices had to be catered for in an engaging, clear and straightforward manner.
The initial process of the self-serve product is to choose from a pre-designed template, or for customers to build their own design. The functionality included advert sizing, selecting fonts, colour edits and uploading your own images and logos.
Once the design was verified, the customer could then schedule their adverts (across multiple dates and channels) and choose a payment method. A major call-out for this self-service product was the introduction of social marketing, an Australian first. The first social media channel to be rolled out was using the Facebook API, this self-service social marketing tool was then rolled out across Google AdWords and Instagram.
As well as the end-to-end user experience, difficulties that had to be addressed and managed included collaborating with two separate technology teams, with only one team being co-located. One technology team handled the advert design element of the user experience, and the second technology team dealt with the user flow post advert creation, this included scheduling, channels, and setting up a payment method.-
Sketches were drawn up of what was critical to the process and the customer flow. Due to the major insight that customers would predominately want to use a desktop screen to design their ad and complete the scheduling and payment in on one visit, I focused on how each part in the flow could be simplified for desktop. Also having the ability to save the work at stages was very important as customers didn’t want to spend time on creating an ad, not having the ability to save it and then having to start from scratch. Messaging was important in this process and I had to sharpen my UX writing skills, assuring and instructing customers every step of the way of what the next steps were.
Moving into low fidelity wireframes using Sketch, interactive prototypes were created using Invision for desktop. Based on previous customer feedback different flows were built out in the interactive prototypes. A key area to test was where to place the registration/create account function, pre-ad builder or post ad builder process.
High fidelity prototypes based of the visual design were also built out efficiently, as the way the component library was created in Sketch made it a simple process to swap out UX components for visual design components.
Test and learn
Two rounds of one-hour customers interviews were held at News Corp HQ. Each round with five customers taking part. From the first round of interviews, the customer feedback that was gathered was synthesised. These insights led to further enhancements in the interactive prototypes that were then presented in the second round of interviews.
All research and updated designs to the wireframes and subsequently the prototypes were handed off to the co-located dev team. To date this product is still in development, however many of the learnings and insights have been applied to other News Digital Media products.
Successful launch of the self-service advertising platform
Successful integration of social marketing (Facebook / Google AdWords, a first for the Australian market
Parts of the News Digital Media business applying our learnings and insights to their products
Successful facilitation and collaboration between two dev teams, one co-located, the other off-site
The ability to move quickly from UX to UI components for visual design due to the way the component library was built in Sketch
Introduction of the Leapfrog Design Language System
• Building out Leapfrog Design Language System
• Instilling a human-centred design approach to the wider team
• Identifying business opportunities
Tools & tech stack
Pencil & paper
News Digital Media (News Corp Australia)