Animoto makes web and mobile applications that help non-professional users make professional quality videos, primarily for use on social media. I joined Animoto in January 2018 to lead its 15-person design team, which includes product designers, motion/video designers, UX researchers, and marketing designers.
As the company was pivoting from a legacy focus on consumer apps to a new audience of small business owners, we had ambitious goals for the year that included:
- Introducing a new brand direction
- Re-launching the company website, with a focus on organic search presence
- Creating a new mobile iOS app for easy video creation
In my role as Animoto's Head of Design, I introduced a new methodology to rapidly envision future-state customer experiences. Using intensive, multidisciplinary workshops, we have shaped the design of our responsive website and newly released iOS mobile app.
After my first few months at Animoto, I noted there were numerous in-flight projects related to improving the top-of-funnel web experience (e.g., SEO, mobile landing pages, homepage experiments, etc.). My realization was that these are all the same project.
Rather than tackling individual projects intended to solve particular elements of the problem — I proposed conducting an intensive workshop to set the creative vision for the new top-of-funnel web experience.
Prior to the workshop, I worked with stakeholders to prepare a range of input sessions for the beginning of the workshop. Over the first two days, various stakeholders presented important materials that would be used by the team to form the future-state concepts. Inputs included:
- Review of design principles
- Current-state experience audit
- Historical performance data
- Direct/indirect competitor audit
- SEO strategy
- Messaging hierarchy
- Customer jobs-to-be-done and personas
Following the input sessions, we established two teams, each responsible for creating one set of concepts. The concepts would later be used by multiple product teams to determine the MVP and iteration plan to reach the vision. Outputs included:
- Vision statement and/or principles
- Process/user flows for key scenarios
- Key screen layouts
- Testable prototype for user research
- Sample site videos
The first workshop, which established a vision for the future state of the top-of-funnel web experience, served as a clear vision for multiple teams working on various parts of the customer journey.
From later in 2018 to early 2019, Animoto introduced a new website, dozens of new SEO-focused landing pages, and a new iOS mobile app named Animoto Social Video Editor. All of these touchpoints reflect the future-state brand vision established via the vision workshop.
Recognizing the success of the workshop methodology, Animoto has continued to conduct multidisciplinary workshops. We have done so to establish a shared vision of future-state customer experiences including adoption, habit formation, and the use of various new video capabilities within our applications.