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Seeker Website (2016)

Role
Product Designer 

Platform/Medium
Web

Goal
Redesign the Seeker website to be compatible with a new CMS and prepare it for migration.

Categories
Web Design, Product Design, Branding

Tools
Adobe Photoshop, Sketch, Invision, Adobe After Effects


 

11/2014 - 01/2015

We started with high-fidelity wireframes to see which direction we could push the product, with an emphasis on video presentation and editorial features. At this time, the rebrand didn’t exist yet. 

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02/2015 - 03/2015

The product and design teams concurrently worked with the developing rebrand. Given color, themes, and direction, we leaped into a style that relayed the look and feel. Although we were given 2 colors for each of the three sections of our site, the team decided on *one* key color to avoid overwhelming the user.

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04/2015

Given the thumbs up from stakeholders, we narrowed the site down to it’s final form.

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Learning Outcomes & Hiccups

  • Frequent conversations with stakeholders caused tunnel-vision; the aesthetic became a higher priority than the user experience. This affected the final product for editors, limiting the possibilities for content-creation.

  • By not starting with planning, mapping, and/or low-fidelity wireframing, we became too engrossed into specific styles and wasted a lot of time.

  • Although initially a mobile-first project, desktop ended up being the most sought after. This meant that certain desktop features were missing from the mobile experience.

  • The rebrand conceptualization was happening at the same time the high-fidelity wireframes were being created. This caused several conflicts between styles which required constant updates & redesigns. Product inception *following* the rebrand would have created a smoother development timeline.

  • Through retrospectives, the product team learned that the CMS we chose was not built for a large-scale project that included merging thousands of content pieces and ad integration. This caused a myriad of technical issues during the major back-end merges, postponing launch dates and proper monetization.

  • CMS limitations meant that many of the features that we wanted to bring to the new site (that we didn’t have in the previous networks) were not possible. This resulted in compromises and alternate solutions.

  • While the launch date was a little late, the rebrand was a general success. We were able to keep our audience and fans through the quality of our content.

  • Post-launch, the Seeker site is consistently going through the refining process for higher quality presentation of content.

  • This was the first major project that gave me a taste of what a helicopter-designer felt like. Because I was the principal designer for Seeker after its launch, I was obligated to clean up the site all the way down to the code-level. This gave me the opportunity to learn HTML/CSS and really understand the front-end engineer thought process.

 
 

12/2016 Update!

The product team and I are in the process of picking up direct feedback from our whole office. This will provide insight into our content team, discovery their needs/wants, and move it toward our future site improvements. I printed out our site, pasted it together again, and posted them on our walls; post-its and markers included.