In late 2019 the Pluto design team was in the middle of a huge re-design of the product across all our apps. The web app was updated in 2018 but since a rebrand was around the corner it was only right that the most accessible platform would also be updated.
Key Results: Facelift the web app to fit the upcoming rebrand and apply some of the key characteristics of the Pluto design system.
Skills: UI Design, Responsive Web, Design System, Atomic Design
Contribution: Lead Designer
Tools: Sketch, HTML/CSS,
Project Duration: 3+ months 2019
Team: Ben Hickman, Director of Product Design; Yasir Hossain, Sr. Director of Consumer Product & Myself
This was a huge opportunity to fix many issues we found since the 2018 re-design however this project had a scope change mid-way and we quickly pivoted to a facelift makeover instead of the planned redesign.
Users had been reporting their frustrations with the web app, this re-design was an opportunity to improve the user experience.
This design was made to be more engaging to the end-user, the highest value experience on the web app was the watch view. However, in the current design information covered 50% of the watch view and a persistent guide was always visible. This type of design is optimal for content discovery but it did not take into account once a user has made the decision.
We showed the initial concepts for the redesign to multiple stakeholders including the co-founder. This concept was greenlit and I was able to move forward with the execution of this design.
During the first hand off session with engineering team it was clear that the scope of this design would not be feasible within the given timeline.
This was a huge learning opportunity for me, scope creep happens, and this was one that could have been avoided. During the whole design process, 0 engineers were a part of the process, it was just product folk and input from the highest level. Simple in retrospect, but who would have thought to include the opinion of the team who would actually be working on it? Yeah.. never again. Lesson learned.
So now that the engineering team knows what the product vision is for the web app, its much easier for us to sit and negotiate an appropriate middle ground that will provide the most benefit to the business and end-users.
The clock was ticking, in order to stay on schedule, the team needed to have designs and documentation ready within a week. That week was intense, fun, collaborative, and very rewarding. Working with engineers has become one of my strong suits.
We had to have the re-design ready for the re-brand, this became the only goal everything on top of that was nice to have. As the lead designer, It was my job to make sure I understand the complexity within the scope so we can reach the primary goal but also add in those nice to have features.
While we were not able to implement the original design that solved the user pain points I was able to learn more about project management and engineering collaboration. This is now something I incorporate into all my projects, It only takes a few minutes to review with the team and we can be assured that the design is feasible.