UX & Marketing at Wizeline

UX & Marketing at Wizeline

UX & Marketing at Wizeline

What's the story?

What's the story?

What's the story?

It's no secret that working at a design agency sometimes means chaos for designers and clients. Visual Design for marketing purposes is so complicated because most of the times, expectations and good practices do not meet. 

At Wizeline, working with the marketing team felt very much like working at a crazy design agency, but worse. Since this process was blocking the career path of our visual designers, and adding stress to everyone involved, we decided that something needed to change. 

It's no secret that working at a design agency sometimes means chaos for designers and clients. Visual Design for marketing purposes is so complicated because most of the times, expectations and good practices do not meet. 

At Wizeline, working with the marketing team felt very much like working at a crazy design agency, but worse. Since this process was blocking the career path of our visual designers, and adding stress to everyone involved, we decided that something needed to change. 

Project Development

Project Development

Project Development

Role: UX Lead
Timeline: December 2017 - Today

Role: UX Lead
Timeline: December 2017 - Today

Role: UX Lead
Timeline: December 2017 - June 2017

Role: UX Lead
Timeline: December 2017 - June 2017

Intro: Our Process Needs a Better User Experience

At Wizeline, the UX team has three main divisions: Product, Consulting, and Marketing. It's clear how each project works for product and consulting. Each pod has a lead, several stakeholders, and it's agile process. For Marketing, however, we had assigned a couple of visual designers, and the priorities, owners, and stakeholders were not defined.

I was encouraged by Wendy, our VP of Product, to improve this process since I was doing a good job with my clients. I accepted the challenge and decided I would treat this problem like any other that requires a UX process to be solved.

Step 1 What Do We Have?

First thing I did was to talk with everyone involved in the process to understand what was going on and get to the root of the problem. Everything was so out of control that our stakeholders were opting to do the visual design themselves.

After interviewing our visual designers and stakeholders, I identified two main problems:

1. Too many communication channels

Design requests, feedback, tracking, and deliverables were happening via email, slack, inVision, Trello, Jira, and in person with no defined structure. When you have so many communication channels and stakeholders from different departments across the company, it's only a recipe for disaster.

2. Visual designers were continuously burned out.

I discovered that our visual designers were always at the top of their capacity. The direct consequence of this was that milestones were hard to achieve. Both stakeholders and designers were frustrated because they felt that they couldn't accomplish long-term goals that they kept pushing because there was no time.

Step 2 Lightning Decision Jam! 

Next thing I did was to gather our visual designers, one of our UX leads, and one of our UX managers to perform a Lightning Decision Jam (LDJ), which is a spin-off of Google's Design Sprint.

Some images from our process: Affinity Diagram, Ideation, and Impact/Effort Matrix

I chose this framework because it helps when you want to gather the perspective of different team members and assign action items right away.

After the LDJ, some of the action items included:

  • All requests must come through the same email address. A single channel for the initial request, even if it's a small task. 
  • Apply one-week sprints and use a Trello board to keep track of the tasks and do the planning.
  • Single source of truth: We urgently needed a Wizeline style guide with instructions so that any designer could step up at any time without friction.
  • Create a Trello board to assess the capacity of the UX team and evaluate who could step up to help marketing.
  • Encourage better feedback from stakeholders. We created a document with tips on how to do a good design brief, and how to ask for better feedback. This action item also required an extra step in the visual design process where designers needed to send a sketch first, before moving to high fidelity design.

Conclusions and Next Steps

At the moment I'm writing this, we've been applying the process for three weeks, and the results have been great. 

  • Tracking is easier. Stakeholders no longer have to wonder wether their request is being taken care of or not.
  • Things get done faster. Before, small tasks used to take more than week to be completed. Now everything gets completed in two or three days. For bigger tasks, the deadline has been met 100% of the time. 

It's still early to decide if the process will work in the long run and we'll probably iterate this in the future, but at least we've got a good start in the right path.