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Custom CMS

Confidential // 2018

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Pulling together fragmented information to architect a custom CMS that manages a music-based competition app, delivered in 6 weeks

The client needed a custom content management system to accompany a consumer-facing competition-based app for the end client. The CMS needed to manage all aspects of the app, such as allowing for content and notification pushing, initiation of competition events, tracking of user statistics, and logging data. I was enlisted to piece together the CMS requirements and execute a design for development handoff. The result was delivery of the application map and 30+ hi-fidelity screens for desktop with key micro-interaction states in 6 weeks, enabling full delivery of the app solution.
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The client needed to bring the puzzle pieces together into a coherent strategy

Impact to Stakeholders
The client was in need of an external resource to focus on this back-end piece of the app solution. The end client needed the CMS to enable management of the consumer-facing app. The agency team needed fully thought-out designs to be able to put them into code for a functional product. 


Vision
To develop designs for a content management system that provides analytics, dashboards, reports, and overall management of the consumer-facing app.

Owned scoping, architecture and design

Team
Agency Co-Owner/Technical Lead
Agency Co-Owner/Client Relationships
Developer
UX Designer


Role
Gathering requirements, defining scope, information architecture, design, and checking with development for feasability

Tools
Xd, Google Docs

Timeline
6 weeks

30+ screens completed in 6 weeks and resulted in ability to manage the app

Deliverables
The resulting deliverables included the application map and 30+ hi-fidelity screens for desktop with key micro-interaction states in 6 weeks, enabling full delivery of the app solution.
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Designing a system out of ambiguity

Gumshoe work​
With requirements only vaguely defined and spread across various email threads and documents, I had more questions than solutions at first. Week 1 was purely investigative as I pieced the requirements together, identified gaps, and asked a million questions to resolve those gaps. Only then could we scope and move forward with information architecture. The data visualizations were a core concern for the client. I improvised based on what I had learned about the end client's business goals. 

Reflection

Learning from experience
Some lessons can only be learned through experience. I learned how much work goes into defining requirements. One of the most valuable skills a designer can have is the ability to make sense out of chaos to deliver a solution with business value.
Analytics dashboards are more than "cool" or "pretty"
Thinking through what analytics a dashboard should have is all about business strategy. If there's nobody to advise on what should be there, you as a UX designer may need to make your best recommendations. This requires systems-thinking and a deep understanding of business needs.
Symbols make the work easier
At this point in time, I had not worked with symbols yet. I completed the work in Adobe Xd. Symbols would have enabled me to work faster and more efficiently.
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