The CMS hasn’t been able to keep up with technology acceleration. In an increasingly mobile-centric world, the CMS lacked native support to create compelling media-rich stories in a responsive manner. The challenge was to overcome workflows, search and scalability, which had become cost incurring pain points that in turn eroded the value derived from the legacy system.
The Producer lacked basic features and functionality that is in-built around native iPhone video viewer. The goal was to enhance the productivity of the Producer users without compromising on speed or creative craft. This led to a focus on balancing the various modules of Producer in different ways: creating flexibility, adding functionality, or simplifying workflows. The expected outcome was to help accelerate productivity through an interface that is in sync with today’s technology demands.
Blending superior technological capabilities with a deeper understanding of the user pain points, we executed CMS redesign with the below modern day features and benefits:
- Fully responsive advanced page building, with simple drag and drop configurations.
- Flexible story creation for every content type including text, photo, video, audio, breaking news, alerts and live streams.
- Robust feed management simplifies ingestion and distribution of your content to and from new and emerging channel partners.
- Unprecedented content programming and promotional capabilities with the ability to configure and surface headline modules on any page or section of your site.
- Module & Theme Library
Our project initiation kick-started with doing an in-depth qualitative study with the users around their day-to-day experience with Producer. The 60-90 minute survey also included time for users to take us through their workflows. The 11 interviews with 9 different stations or groups provided us with first-hand insights about the challenges and the work-around employed by the users. These insights were primarily driven by patterns, trends, and commonalities that emerged during the qual interviews. Some of the findings that constituted the core of our research insights include
- Understand the different kinds of people who use Producer and how they use it differently
- Understand how Producer fits into the larger flows of the newsroom and station
- Understand users’ specific pains and desires
- Understand the nature of those pains
A persona is a representation of a user, typically based off user research and incorporating user goals, needs, and interests. We came up with different personas based off the newsroom and how each person uses the CMS.
This brief competitive analysis is part of a larger design project to help Frankly Media rethink their product offering
Our goal for this competitive analysis was twofold
- Understand how Lakana and WordPress VIP work
- Gather inspiration from a diverse set of publishing products
As designers, we looked for design patterns that we found inspiring, as well as traps we would want to avoid, as we go about rethinking Producer’s story creation and content management.
The products we looked at included WordPress VIP, Lakana, Squarespace, Medium, Storify, Tumblr, Semplice, Weebly and Wix.
TASK & USER FLOWS
Task analysis is a simple and effective process for laying out tasks from a user’s perspective. It is sometimes also referred to as “user scenarios”. When done properly task analysis is completely agnostic of the current situation and the technology that you use. In short, it’s not about creating use cases (which is what the development team will do once you’ve completed your task analysis) but it is close to a user story as defined in agile methodologies.
This approach helps you avoid the mistake of automating the frustrations that already exist or repeating past mistakes. It gets you to the bottom of what the user will want to do and the simplest, most effective way of doing that. One of the key challenges when conducting task analysis is to let go of what you already think you know and allow the user’s needs to guide the process instead.
Given the “ludicrous speed” directive I was given by the project lead, I jumped straight into prototyping some quick sketches we agreed upon to quickly include in a scope doc to send to some devs we were working with in building the dashboard portion of the site. I found that presenting the developers and stakeholders with interactive wireframes (made in UX Pin) helped speed up the process of understanding the final product. I was also able to send them links to the prototypes for easy reference.