Vamsi Gadey
PRODUCT + DESIGN
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Project Clarity

Project Clarity is an effort to take a step back and reconsider some of our core design choices in our consumer facing design system. Everything is up for grabs including color, type, information architecture content and motion - so long as its bring more clarity to the user.

I initially launched this as a side "playground" project with my design team. Later, I worked with my stakeholders in engineering and product to prioritize is it on the mobile backlog. 

MY ROLE

As a design manager, I helped:

  • lay the foundations with design principles and responsibilities
  • motivate visual experimentation in existing projects
  • prioritize on the product roadmap

TEAM 

  • Engineers
  • Design manager (me) + 1 design systems guy + 1 lead designer (iOS) + 1 lead designer (android)

 

GOALS

  • Reduce visual clutter

  • Improve wayfinding

  • Improve information hierarchy

  • Use color with intention

  • More playful

  • Accessibility

 

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Deal page as a playground

With dense information architecture and confusing CTAs, the perfect playground for playing with new styles was the deal page. 

Atomic Design

Brad Frost's Atomic Design helped us decompose the deal page into atoms, molecules, organisms, and templates, which enabled us to create a design system in a more deliberate and hierarchical manner by clean separation between structure and content.

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Contextualizing the data

Data becomes a powerful tool when it is contextualized. With limited time we had for the offsite, we didn’t want to leave our stakeholders pondering the implications of data while trying to digest a large amount of information. To contextualize the data, we tied the metrics back to the flows so stakeholders could see at a glance how users’ behaviors changed throughout the flow.

THE OFFSITE

The offsite was 3-hour long packed with a series of activities in the San Francisco office, followed by a team socializing activity with dinner, drinks and a few rounds of mini-golf. 

WHAT WORKED

  • Overall, we all thought the offsite was a great success, especially in helping improve the team morale and establish momentum.
  • We have a better sense of ownership, and hence participate much more actively throughout the product development lifecycle. Good ideas can come from anyone, and the offsite helped instill confidence that anyone could help influence the roadmap.
  • The offsite also pushed us to improve our day-to-day working relationships and processes. We now have a half-hour weekly sync between product, design and engineering to discuss new product ideas, competitive research, experiment results, bugs to prioritize etc.
  • We also started to push each other to think more strategically, tying the individual PRDs back to strategic themes and user problems.
  • We are more cognizant of our assumptions and knowledge gaps, which helps us prioritize the right kind of methodology to fill the gaps (generative user research vs usability testing vs A/B testing)

WHAT COULD HAVE WORKED BETTER

  • Make sure the content fits the time. We decided the length of the offsite before creating the content and ended up having too much content for a 3-hour offsite.
  • Involve representatives from the product in the planning process to make sure everyone is aligned on the themes and topics we focus on.