Slope is a Seattle startup building a project management tool for marketing and creative teams. Slope combines requesting, planning, tracking, and proofing multimedia content to create a simple, central hub for project communication.

Organization

Slope

Role

Lead UX Designer

Responsibilities

Research, UX Strategy, Product Design

 
mockups_slope-main.png

Challenges and Constraints

 
  • Sole UX Designer in eight-person company
  • Limited budget (it’s a startup, after all!)
  • Limited amount of active users to work with for feedback
  • Filling multiple roles of research, UX design, and visual design
 

User Personas and Journeys

 

To help guide the team’s product strategy and roadmap, we needed to have key user personas and their journeys to refer to along the way.

A core value of Slope is our user-centered design, so I consistently work with users through interviews and feedback loops to learn about their processes and struggles. I analyze competing products our users mention to compare. We also FullStory to watch our users interact in real-time with Slope. This helps us understand their needs, and advocate for them while making product decisions.

 
 
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Core User 1

 

"Becky"

Becky is a project manager at a mid-size company with a large marketing and creative team.

Her biggest problem is that she needs to keep track of resources on different marketing campaigns, and maintain a level of communication and tracking between the people working on each project. Her goal is to increase the output of her team and prove both her worth, and the team’s worth, to upper management.

mockups_slope-core-user_lucas.png

Core User 2

 

"Lucas"

Lucas is a graphic designer at a mid-size company, and works on a large creative team that Becky manages.

He needs to be quick and efficient with the large quantity of work he is assigned. He wants the details of his work and the feedback he receives to be manageable and organized so as not to hold back his turnaround.

Core User 3

 

"Jennifer"

Jennifer is the Director of Marketing at a mid-size company, and oversees all the project managers, including Becky, from her large marketing and creative team.

She wants to generate quality leads from her team’s marketing efforts. She wants to make sure her team stays on time, budget, and keeps tracks of all the company’s resources for the overall marketing strategy.

 
 
  Competitive analysis of similar products, always being updated

Competitive analysis of similar products, always being updated

 

Login / Register Flow

 

Problem and Goals

There was a consistent problem with new users creating duplicate organizations while registering, which our team had to fix manually. We also had to field frequent questions about how to register or log in to Slope.

 
  Our "before" login/register screen

Our "before" login/register screen

  Our "before" login/register screen

Our "before" login/register screen

 
 

Research

I used FullStory and Google Analytics to track where users were coming from, and at what point in the process they bounced, or hit errors. I also interviewed several users who had the issue to hear their case directly.

User Flow

I created a flow with distinct options between creating a new organization and finding your existing one. I also gave a path for users who are invited from a specific location in Slope to minimize their registration process.

 
 
 

Prototypes and Testing

Giving users a choice upfront made the registration process more intentional. We also added clear and specific error messaging as a last resort to help guide users clearly in the right direction.

I ran usability tests to check the clarity of the flow with UserBob, and after iterating on the messaging and layout multiple times, finished with UI designs.

 
  Early process whiteboarding

Early process whiteboarding

  An iteration that tested poorly, and I reworked and re-tested

An iteration that tested poorly, and I reworked and re-tested

 
 
  Remote usability testing on multiple iterations of the login and register screens

Remote usability testing on multiple iterations of the login and register screens

 
mockups_slope-register-3.jpg
 
 

Results

After launching the redesigned login/register flow, errors in registering dropped drastically. Before the changes we manually fixed the problem 4-5 times a month, and now only 1-2 times every six months.

 

Navigation

 

Problem and Goals

Slope’s three key personas all have specific goals when using Slope. The existing navigation system made it difficult for each key user to locate the pages they needed to use, and caused confusion around their tasks.

 
 
  The nav before was disjointed, and lacked a logical hierarchy

The nav before was disjointed, and lacked a logical hierarchy

  The dashboard didn't have clearly hierarchy, or show useful statuses about your tasks

The dashboard didn't have clearly hierarchy, or show useful statuses about your tasks

 
 
 

Research

I talked to users that fit each persona about how they use Slope, where they spend the most time, and what the first thing they do in the app is. I also watched FullStory to see where superfluous navigating occurred.

Prototypes and Testing

Creating a dashboard that elevates each user's tasks—whether they are assigned to them, or have been asked to review them—was key. This allows users, regardless of their access level, to jump to the most pressing items first.

 
  Sketching hierarchy of information and prioritization

Sketching hierarchy of information and prioritization

  Ideating on what information is most relevant to see upfront about tasks on a dashboard

Ideating on what information is most relevant to see upfront about tasks on a dashboard

  Current solution showing a breakdown of your tasks by status, prioritized by date, filterable by type and name

Current solution showing a breakdown of your tasks by status, prioritized by date, filterable by type and name

 
 

Slope’s navigation is constantly changing as new features and goals are determined. I am continually reviewing navigational elements for general usability and effectiveness, testing and asking for feedback with users, and revising it.

 
  Sketches and ideation

Sketches and ideation

  Redlines for developer handoff

Redlines for developer handoff

  Iterations on a streamlined navigation panel

Iterations on a streamlined navigation panel


Creative Proofing Workflow

 

Problem and Goals

Slope’s differentiator is it’s focus on managing the workflow needed to produce creative content. There needs to be a clear workflow for all user types for how to get assignments, set up content to review, allow others to review the content, and complete work.

Research

By talking to users that fit each of our personas, we built user flows around our learnings. We took these flows and initial concepts to potential users to gain insight and validate.

 
  Sketches and ideation around users communicating feedback and approval on content within Slope

Sketches and ideation around users communicating feedback and approval on content within Slope

 
 

Prototyping and Testing

Over time, a suite of tools were built into Slope to help each persona manage their creative workflow.

 
 
 
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Becky

  • Plan and manage projects and tasks
  • Keep track of resources and due dates
  • Intake work requests
 
  Stage Tracker allows Becky to see a full overview of her team's work broken down by status

Stage Tracker allows Becky to see a full overview of her team's work broken down by status

  Work requests within Slope let Becky keep the full process from ideation to creation in one spot

Work requests within Slope let Becky keep the full process from ideation to creation in one spot

 
 
mockups_slope-core-user_jennifer.png

Jennifer

  • Keep track of tasks she has to review, including statuses for each
  • Easy review tools to clearly provide feedback when asked
 
  Straightforward commenting and annotation tools on different multimedia files make it easy for Jennifer to provide clear feedback

Straightforward commenting and annotation tools on different multimedia files make it easy for Jennifer to provide clear feedback

 
 
mockups_slope-core-user_lucas.png

Lucas

  • Keep track of tasks assigned to him with full details and necessary attachments
  • Take in feedback in one location that’s easy to parse through, and iterate on
 
  Pinpointed comments make it easy for Lucas to make specific edits without more back-and-forth

Pinpointed comments make it easy for Lucas to make specific edits without more back-and-forth

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