Quietly provides a powerful suite of tools for editors to collaborate with writers and produce content for brands and publishers. For over 2 years, I designed, coded and shipped major features for Quietly's web application.
A focused authoring experience for our editors and writers
Problem: For a long time, our in-house editors used Google Docs to work with our external writers. We needed to build a new writing platform that supports our specific workflows, talks with our existing content management infrastructure, and lets us deliver semantic HTML output to our clients.
Inspired by the distraction-free approach from writing platforms like Medium, Svbtle and Maptia, I designed a focused writing interface that integrates with our existing editorial management tools.
Despite the complexity of the project, we decided to iterate quickly and experiment with different front-end libraries to build the minimum viable product. After coding a prototype version, I led several usability tests with our editors and writers over the course of two weeks.
To validate the usability, I led several test sessions with our internal and external writers using the flexible method. After testing with half the participants, we've identified about a dozen issues. Then, I tweaked the UI of the prototype and squashed any noticeable bugs before testing with the remaining participants. What we saw was a significantly lower error rate than before without spending too much time switching between development and QA.
The end product is a versatile editing environment tailored to the needs of our editors and writers. For me, the learning moment of this project was to understand the value of iterating quickly and testing early and often. With real user validation and feedback, we were more confident with the stability and usability of product before we pushed it live.
Empowering our analysts
Problem: Our internal analysts needed a dedicated tool to visualize all the custom content performance data we've been collecting in order to generate insights for our clients.
Understanding the context
Keeping modularity and scalability in mind, I studied well-known analytics platforms like Google Analytics and Mixpanel to learn how they structure the display of large data sets. Although I've considered the use of graphs and other visualizations, after talking with our analysts, we concluded that tables let them see patterns better.
They also mentioned how they tend to compare metrics to the content average to analyze the performance of individual elements. Therefore I included the relative difference in percentage below each metric value to help analysts quickly spot anomalies in content performance.
For long-form stories, our tracker had the ability to collect data at a more granular level. I explored several ways to display this information so that the viewer can gauge the performance at a glance.
Overall, it was a fun and challenging project to build from end-to-end. I was able to learn a lot about how our analysts work to inform my design decisions. This project sets the foundation for a powerful set of tools that let our team work smarter in how we deliver content strategy to our clients.
Created a custom-coded template for our monthly newsletter on MailChimp. A rule of thumb I learned was to keep the layout table-friendly and code like it's the 1990s.