I joined Bazaarvoice as part of the FeedMagnet acquisition, and helped scale the Curations product internally while leading design and implementation for their Fortune 500 clients.
Social Media for eCommerce
FeedMagnet's acquisition could not have come at a better time. The popular social media aggregation app was mainly used as a marketing tool by big brands to display curated social content at live events and on their website(s).
Bazaarvoice services eCommerce clients, and cleverly repurposed FeedMagnet as Curations, a social/visual commerce application. With their code already embedded on some of the biggest websites on the web, they could load eye catching shoppable posts from all the popular social networks along with their ratings and reviews product.
Along with displaying authentic product ratings and reviews on the product detail page, Curations was great for showcasing images and videos of the product being used in the wild. Backed by Bazaarvoice's expert moderators, these tools were very effective for eCommerce.
Clients had many options for how to display the feed such as a grid layout or a carousel. I worked hand in hand with clients to design the look and feel of each widget in order to blend it into their site.
Upon clicking a post in the Curations feed, you would see the details of the post including the media, text caption, and meta data about the user with the timestamp. BV clients benefitted most from the shoppable call to action including the average review, enticing their visitors to add the product to their shopping cart.
The lightbox was responsive, included a carousel, kept the user on the page, and could be styled to match the rest of the site.
While R&D worked on ways to integrate the screen display technology for in-store visual commerce, I continued to design and build custom events screens for Bazaarvoice and their clients.
I designed a wide variety of screens for use by different departments across the company, and for the internal and client Bazaarvoice summits. I enjoyed working with different roles across the company. Examples of the animated screens are available on my YouTube.
Brent is a great user experience designer, collaborator, and all-around visual creative. His instincts in how to create engaging marketing sites and units are complemented by his keeping up with trends and standards in design in real-time. His work ethic is also very thorough when Brent is in a client-supporting role, staying on schedule and remaining adaptive to client feedback and requests.
Curations Design Kit
Curations was not only new to Bazaarvoice clients, it was also new to BV employees. I recognized early on the need for a set of tools that would help guide the design and implementation process. I created the Curations Design Kit to educate designers in Client Services and Presales about the product and design assets to create mockups with.
Presales needed .PSDs to accurately mockup Curations to potential clients. Project Managers needed resources to help guide clients through implementation. Designers needed to understand the contraints and options for customizing the templates and themes. The Curations Design Kit a became a widely used resource for the global team and improved the end-to-end processes.
It was important to comply with the brand guidelines of the social networks we supported. This was a practice I brought to BV from my experience at FeedMagnet. We were a distrubuted team, in order to instill consistency in our client facing designs I created a .AI pullsheet, a .CSH custom shapes library, and wrote instructions on how to use everything correctly when designing Curations mockups.
I mocked up each template and theme to spec in Photoshop. Using smart objects for each social post, a designer could quickly swap in any client's social content, change the colors and fonts to match, and superimpose the widget into a screenshot of the client's website.
Presales designers loved the tool since it improved their workflow and reduced their the time spent on each client significantly. Not only that, their mockups could be forwarded on to client services to implement.
When the implementation and sales teams needed assets to help roll out a new product, Brent was there, creating decks, documenting processes and creating training materials - all without being asked to do it first. When he sees something that's needed that will be of benefit to everyone, he steps in and makes it happen. I think that he is an incredibly talented designer who obviously cares deeply for his craft and the products he works on. I very much enjoyed working with Brent as his design team lead at Bazaarvoice.
My unique position as the Subject Matter Expert aka "The FeedMagnet Designer" created opportunities to collaborate on projects with different roles across the company in Marketing, Product, and Sales. Below are some samples of my work.
I experienced a small learning curve creating and distributing product knowledge coming from a small startup to a SaaS company with hundreds of personal. Being sympathetic to different needs and timelines was important. Knowing the tools I created would help so many people including myself was an incentive.
I created many PowerPoint decks or PDFs to distribute along with easily searchable documentation on Confluence.
The Events Marketing Team organizes and manages the big Bazaarvoice Client Summit, company All Hands events, and local roadshows showcasing BV products.
I built a tool to streamline the process of displaying Curations at local events using a generic grid template. This enabled the team to customize the CTAs and content for each event and launch a screen without my help. I trained the team on how to use it and included documentation in the app. View the video above to see it in action.
BV Social Screens
FeedMagnet moved to Bazaarvoice months before the 2014 BV Summit. I worked with the AV vendor to create custom Curations dispalys in order to showcase their newest product. The screens were well received, and I got the opportunity to organize and direct the first cross department collaboration, involving designers from every department for the 2015 Summit. I created internal screens to display in our offices and at the All Hands events as well.
I worked alongside the Director and Manger of Internet Marketing to integrate Curations in several areas of Bazaarvoice.com.
These website widgets were mostly for used to promote Bazaarvoice as a company and their social content. Having Curations live on the marketing site provided a secondary benefit, providing a cental location for anyone who wanted to show off the product.
I worked with Brent at FeedMagnet and at Bazaarvoice, and he is one of the most talented, hard-working designer I've worked with. He has a very high attention to detail when producing mock ups and implementations, and can be as creative and prescriptive as our clients needed him to be. He also managed his design interns very well, giving them the freedom to learn and pushing their capabilities.
Brent loves to collaborate and is a great person to work with, which was key when we were such a small company. Ask him about brewing beer and he'll go on for ages (in a good way)!