FusionWave logo

BUILDING A NEW PRODUCT

LEAD DESIGNER

Overview

I currently lead design on FusionWave, a digital signage platform that automates dynamic content for university recreation departments. The following is a breakdown of my involvement in the product from day one to its current state.

Design Sprint

In August 2020, a team of developers, stakeholders, a graphic designer, and myself took part in a design sprint to explore a new product idea for our company. The idea was to provide a digital signage management and display solution to clients who are inexperienced in graphic design and/or don't have time to maintain imagery that provides value to their patrons.

During the sprint, I compiled our top ideas into testable prototypes for further inquisition. Once created, myself, the graphic designer, and the design sprint organizer conducted user interviews with clients who might be interested in the product. These calls helped us gauge the validity of the product concept.

Mockup of the product from the first design sprint.

Project Kickoff

Once the product had the official go-ahead, I began having regular meetings with a group of clients who matched our target audience. From hereon, I'll refer to them as "SIG" (Special Interest Group). The insights from these conversations helped my team understand the day-to-day workflow of our end users, define our MVP (Minimum Viable Product) feature list.

The MVP was mostly solidified during the beginning of the project, but remained flexible throughout the entire process. In the months before kickoff, the Product Researcher conducted multiple interviews with potential clients to create the initial list of features for consideration. As I began having conversations with the SIG myself, I began assisting in refining the MVP list by voting alongside stakeholders on what should be prioritized.

Layout & Structure

By conducting an audit of the many potential features our stakeholders brainstormed during a second design sprint, I was able to identify quite a few trends. One of the most profound trends was that all of their feature ideas could be supported through the implementation of a 3-panel grid. After validating this idea with stakeholders and the SIG, I coined what became our first product design principle, "structured flexibility", which aims to give users creative autonomy within constraints that maintain visual best practices.

A map of features which fit into a 3-panel structure.The 3-panel editor being implemented in the CMS.

Ideation Loops

Throughout many months, I ideated through user flows and prototypes for the admin CMS (Content Management System) and the display app. Each came with their own challenges, but through collaboration with my team and the SIG we were able to land on solutions that worked best for all parties.

A concept for scheduling playlists.A concept for scheduling playlists.A concept for scheduling playlists.

Aligning with Devs

As the designs were progressing and more development resources were allocated to the product, I began meeting with the devs regularly. Initially we discussed bigger picture items such as how Flutter works since it was our company's first time making a product in this framework. Later, we started discussing the feasibility of designs and I made adjustments that would fit their framework.

Throughout the rest of the product, I hosted a "Dev/Design Connect" each Tuesday morning so that our teams could stay aligned as we built the rest of the product.

Tameika and Shail on a zoom call discussing design and development.

Product Branding

Up until June 2021, any thought regarding the visual identity of the product was minimal. The main reason being that the entire company was rebranding and I hadn't received the new brand package yet. As a result, it was up to me to decide the initial visual direction for the product. To make the transition as seamless as possible I chose to keep the visual identity of the CMS quite minimal.

Once we received the branding assets, the design team and I ideated around their implementation for FusionWave and the rest of the products in our suite. To maintain visual consistency across our products, we incorporated colour and logos similarly in each one.

Ui Kit

Testing, Testing, and more Testing

Testing my designs with end users throughout all stages of the design process was integral to creating a delightful user experience. Almost every week I conducted some form of test with the support of the Product Researcher, Lead Developer, and a Junior Designer. In total, I conducted 81 tests in 2021, with each test taking our team one step closer to creating a brilliant product. We used Miro to collaboratively note-take and compile our key findings during each round of testing.

A miro board of notes from client calls.

Refining the Personas

As we continued to build the product, it was important that we kept our persona's up to date to ensure we were always designing with the end user in mind. That is why I set it as an internal design goal to evaluate the accuracy of our key persona's quarterly by conducting additional user interviews.

A user persona for associate directors.A user persona for new students.A user persona for experienced students.

Product Launch & Present Day

In September 2021, we officially launched the product and started implementations for many schools. In the following months I got the pleasure of sitting in on product demos to hear the initial reactions of new clients and take note of their questions. To this date, new features are constantly being designed, tested, and added to the product.

Landing page

Credits

Of course, no project is successful without a team of talented collaborators, and I had the pleasure of working with some of the best!

Product Owner & Lead Dev
Researcher
Developer
+8 more

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