Qurate Hub is a social media application aimed at inexperienced marketers and business owners without social marketing strategies. A platform which aims to educate and empower.
In the current age of digital marketing having a strong, consistent message is critical. Your brand voice is a distillation of who you are and what you want your consumers to know. This means that developing a content strategy and crafting a core message that truly captures the heart of your brand can be the difference between success and failure.
With so much of today’s marketing based on the reuse and repurpose of content. Qurate Hub was conceived as a way of making this process as effortless as possible. Businesses are under great pressure to constantly produce high quality content which speaks to current and potential customers. This demands a great deal of teams and content creators. Managing this process, sometimes across multiple teams and locations is complex.
Qurate Hub started out as a way of curating relevant content for the purpose of being reused and reappropriated but soon expanded into creation, scheduling and insights. It was soon realised that this process isn’t linear but circular and to really tackle the problem you needed to have each point on this circle inform the next.
While working on the product and speaking to potential customers it was discovered that a high percentage of businesses and business owners know there is value in social marketing but don't know how to get started or have some social strategy but have no idea if what they are doing is working for them. This created a unique opportunity to pivot the product and target these types of customers. The product could become an educational tool as well as increase productivity.
The challenge was to create a light-weight tool which would streamline the marketing process, solving marketing problems in a simple way, but also educating and empowering businesses by demystifying the marketing process. Qurate Hub works a series of modules which can be mixed and matched. Each module tackles a different problem. Approaching it from this angle allows customers to use the tool in a way that suits them.
A lot of current marketing tools offer end to end solutions and as a result are bloated and complex, with a steep learning curve. They assume a high level of expertise from their potential customers. Qurate Hub aimed to be an antidote to these types of platforms.
When we first started to put some designs together we spent a long time on this process, working out the small details and how things may work. We also started to build some of these features without really validating these ideas. This as it turns out was a mistake as it started to become clear that we weren’t really solving the right problem. We were close but we’d missed the point somewhat.
So we went back to the drawing board armed with a much clearer understanding of what we needed to do, luckily a lot of the basis of what we already did was salvageable. So we reworked the problem with more confidence and direction allowing us to move a lot quicker through the problem solving process.
Once we were satisfied we were more on the right track with the product, we started to validate some solutions before diving into the development process. Doing this allowed us to iterate quickly without committing too much into the development process. We started to design, build and validate in small chunks as we moved forward this gave us a lot of room to change things if need be.
Around this time I worked building up a design system based on some basic visual work I had already done. Doing this took time to begin with but really helped to speed up the design and development process. We could now create new features and iterations without spending a lot of time on pixel perfect design work.
In the end my role became more of a design director. We would discuss ideas as a team and I would create wireframes for the solutions but there seemed little need to do much visual work as components and styles had already been established and I was always on hand to give advice and direction when design questions came up.
The hard work I put into this at the start really paid off during this critical stage of development. I just tweaked the design system files as and when we needed. We really benefited from having design and development working so close together that we could make design decisions as we went.
Discover helps marketers with organizing, planning and building the foundations of their campaigns using a series of smaller tools. The Publish composer lets you create, schedule, and publish to your channels straight from the platform. From within Engage you can manage your Mentions, Comments, and Direct Message all from one place.
It was only after we had created an MVP and tested this with customers that we started to uncover the real issues that marketers had. It turned out we were looking in the wrong place. The more interviews we conducted the stronger the idea of how we could solve the real problems began to shine through. This time we validated the idea before doing any development work and the difference in success was huge.
We initially got everything the wrong way round, we created something then tried to find the problem it solved when there wasn’t a huge demand for it. The second time round we found the problem first then tried to solve it.