Research // User Experience // User Interface
Qurate Hub is a social media application aimed at inexperienced marketers and business owners without social marketing strategies. In the current age of digital marketing having a strong, consistent message is critical. 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.
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.
The team for this project was made up of 1 project manager, 5 developers and myself as UI/UX designer. The project was split into the following phases. With each development cycle following this pattern.
The original idea for Qurate Hub was a way to create, schedule and view insights on content. The more we talked to marketers the more we realised that the process wasn’t linear but circular. This means that each stage informed the next and content was always being reused and reappropriated.
Further research discovered that businesses tend to fall into 4 categories.
There are a lot of tools on the market that are aimed at 1 and 2 but hardly any targeting 3 and 4. This meant there was potential for the tool to have an educational function.
The challenge was to create a light-weight tool which would streamline the marketing process and educate and empower businesses by demystifying the marketing process.
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.
Armed with a clear understanding of what we needed to do we started to validate some solutions before diving too deeply into the details. This process involved a lot of whiteboarding and wireframes as well as further discussions with customers. We really tried to nail down the core steps of a marketing campaign and how we could educate users at each part of the process.
We started to design, build and validate in small chunks as we moved forward. Doing this allowed us to iterate quickly and change direction if need be.
I worked on 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.
We would discuss ideas as a team and I would create rough wireframes solutions but there was no need to create high level design solutions because 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.
Our initial idea as it turns out was wrong, it was only after really understanding marketers that the real problem and a gap in the market came to light. The more interviews we conducted the more this hypothesis was validated.
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. We also created supporting content to guide customers through each step and what benefits they would gain. Educating and providing business value at each point.