Duration

Team

Role

Tools

May - July 2021 (10 weeks)

Product team (6 members)

User research, usability testing, ideation, wireframing

Figma, FigJam

QuickFrame

Product Design Internship

I led user research and usability testing for an online creative brief tool aimed to standardize and streamline creative brief creation for video ad production.

The Situation When I Started

As a startup, QuickFrame's mindset toward software development embodied the "move fast and break things" motto. When I joined the team, there were several software projects in various stages of development. One of the biggest projects being undertaken at the time was titled Megaform.

The Megaform project's mission was to create a tool for brand representatives to build creative briefs easily and in a standardized format that would be received and reviewed by internal team members and then eventually video production company partners that would bring the video creative brief to life.

The briefs coming through to QuickFrame at the time often needed several rounds of revision by the internal team before being seen by video creators, which slowed down project starting times and created needless work for the internal team members. The Megaform tool would streamline internal processes and help individual video projects get off the ground quicker.

At this point, there had been a lot of work done to understand internal employees' needs and frustrations, but there was no understanding about our external users and whether our tool would be understandable and user-friendly enough for them once it was shipped out to a general audience in October.

Megaform

What I Learned

I was invited to sit in on many different types of meeting throughout my internship: big, small, product, cross-functional, etc. In some of the first meetings, I spoke up and contributed my thoughts on certain product designs and decisions. In many others of the first meetings, I simply observed, wide-eyed and clueless. From these meetings, I compiled a list of questions that grew longer as each meeting went by. Shorthand company history, niche market jargon, and other information went straight over my head at first, but despite feeling like I was listening to a conversation in a completely different language in the first few weeks, I powered on, wildly hopeful that I would be able to stitch the bigger picture together over the next few months. I had several 1-on-1s with my manager and team lead to get my questions answered and sat through many optional cross-department orientation meetings to get a better understanding of the company processes and goals as a whole. 

By the end of the summer, I was still learning some new things every day about the company, but my persistent curiosity and careful observance allowed me to understand my work in the larger company context and gave me a greater understanding of not only product design and QuickFrame, but current marketing tools, business relations, and video production. This wide knowledge is wonderful asset to have, and my relentless curiosity is even more valuable. 

How to champion and advocate for design within a business context.

When working on design projects in classroom settings and in teams of other designers, it was easy to champion design and follow textbook design theory. I realized that within practical business contexts, however, there are often many opposing factors and obstacles that can make doing design difficult--such as budget limitations, product schedules that don't provide enough time for research, among other things. This summer has taught me not only how to navigate difficult blockers to the design process, but also how to champion design in spaces where its value is not readily seen by everyone.

Staying wide-eyed and persisting!

The Impact

Working under the constraints of a fast-churning engineering schedule, I presented the research findings to the CPO and general product team, highlighting the immediate design changes that could be implemented into the product and opportunities for further design development.

I stressed the catastrophic issues to our CPO and engineering lead in my final research presentation, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Our CPO expressed motivation is conducting the sort of user research I had conducted in all future features and plans were discussed at future meetings to incorporate design changes to the current product based on the research findings I presented.

Other Work

Future of Work

January - May 2021 | Physical Space

Designing a workspace for the future that facilitates better hybrid collaboration between in-person and remote designers in brainstorming sessions. 

Netflix Case Study

July - August 2020 | Web

Designing a socially-conscious way to stream and consume on-demand media. 

View the final report that I presented here.

Authored July 2021.

Creating a User Research Strategy

In order to address the gap of information on our primary user base and biggest risk group, I worked with the lead UX/UI designer to create a user research + usability testing strategy. Our target group was mid-level to enterprise level brand representatives who write creative briefs and work with video ad production partners.

I also analyzed the information architecture of creative brief examples that the interviewees shared with us compared to the information architecture of the Megaform prototype, QuickFrame's online brief creation tool. For privacy reasons, I cannot share these briefs in this casy study, but I will overview the main insights gathered from this analysis. 

Our user interview sessions consisted of: 

  • a series of open-ended questions about the interviewee's role

  • a collaborative journey mapping activity

  • a card sorting exercise to access interviewee's understanding of QuickFrame brief terminology 

Our usability testing sessions set out to answer these questions, while also uncovering any other usability issues: 

  • a series of open-ended questions about the interviewee's role

  • a collaborative journey mapping activity

  • a card sorting exercise to access interviewee's understanding of QuickFrame brief terminology 

The format of all of the creative briefs were very different. We realized that many creative briefs included design assets and lots of visual branding elements. They were often in the form of a slide deck. The prototype we had at the time did not reflect these user habits. 

Conducting the research

I led 36 out of 40 of the interviews and testing sessions.

Journey mapping during user interviews

I also analyzed the information architecture of creative brief examples that the interviewees shared with us compared to the information architecture of the Megaform prototype, QuickFrame's online brief creation tool. For privacy reasons, I cannot share these briefs in this casy study, but I will overview the main insights gathered from this analysis. 

Video excerpts of usability testing sessions

The format of all of the creative briefs were very different. We realized that many creative briefs included design assets and lots of visual branding elements. They were often in the form of a slide deck. The prototype we had at the time did not reflect these user habits. 

View the final report that I presented here.

Authored July 2021.

View the final report that I presented here.

Authored July 2021.

View the final report that I presented here.

Authored July 2021.

View the final report that I presented here.

Authored July 2021.

View the final report that I presented here.

Authored July 2021.

Drawing insights

We created an affinity map to analyze the research results.

Our analysis brought to light two catastrophic usability problems as well as several major usability issues (based on Jakob Nielson's severity ratings for usability problems) in our existing Megaform design.