Evolving a DLS & Platform

#ADTECH

with Fresh8 Gaming

"The marketing automation platform for the sports betting industry to instantly connect sport fans with personalised bets"

FOR CONTEXT...

Fresh8 were building an advanced dynamic ad building and distribution product that takes gaming companies data feeds (normalises the data) and enables dynamic, live odds advertising at scale. Having created a solid baseline for the ad product, we also needed a consistent platform that enabled our customers to create, manage, report upon that very ad product. Right from discovering what events they had available to them, through to campaign mgmt and performance.

AS HEAD OF PRODUCT DESIGN & EXPERIENCE...
  • I led 2 mid-weight designers across UI/UX + Visual Design

  • I  took an active role in defining the Vision with CEO

  • I co-led Product Mgmt with Head of Engineering 

  • I worked closely with the Head of Engineering to guide a small mixed disciplined team.

  • I reported directly to the CEO as to how best to proceed in the re-platforming.

THE CORE PROBLEM WAS...

Fresh8 had built many features, yet they had not been implementing them in a cohesive or structured way. There were also a number of features that, as the product evolved, had become defunct or rendered useless. We also wanted to create an IA that had more scope for future-proofing some of the vision that the CEO had for the long term shape of the product.

Lack of cohesion and intuitive workflows

Redundant features

Features not integrated or exposed to the platform

Difficult to scale for future plans

Low external use, largely internal

I UNDERTOOK RESEARCH BY...

Getting some fundamentals in place which had not been created or considered by the business up until this point. It was great to guide not just Product Design but the whole business as to what Fresh8s basic product principles were.

Product Vision Board

Company Profiling

User Personas

Account Scenarios

THIS GROUNDWORK ENABLED THE TEAM AND I TO FORMULATE A PLAN...

Our starting point for the platform was a Frankenstein of about 3-4 years. Whilst there was an awful lot of good work, there was a fair amount of issues around optimisation of workflows, architecture and of course visual design as things had been continually bolted on.

The above “Capability Map” is from a keynote I prepared to present to the leadership team

We wanted to avoid the classic “re-build” and focus more on building out a parallel platform that would run in tandem with the existing platform, thus keeping disruption to any user experience to a minimum.

 

Working with the Head of Engineering we created a Capability Map and pitch for the CEO. It was a high-level approach to how we would build this parallel system and run it in conjunction with the heritage system until we eventually deprecated it.

OUR IDEATION AND SOLUTION PROCESS BEGAN...

by running a series of internal workshops that included engineers and customer-facing staff. I wanted the team to kick off ideation for specific features and capabilities by getting a clear picture on the current pain points before ideas started to be generated. In this example I’m showing the “Event Calendar” feature which presents all of the betting events into a calendar view.

I shared customer feedback & translated it into clear “outcome driven” statements

I created & shared where behaviours occur & where they fit into current user workflows

Workshop participants sketched out ideas based on the understanding they had soaked in

Having gathered some quick internal ideas and thoughts I started to work out ideas and workflows which could be discussed further both internally and externally before launching early iterations to customers.

New month view with much-improved discovery mechanisms

New week view with much-improved discovery mechanisms

CONCURRENTLY TO ALL OF THIS...

We were looking at re-defining a baseline UI Design System for our new platform. We didn’t want to move too far from the existing look and feel as we would be running both platforms simultaneously. Therefore it was all about a subtle evolution so as to not be too disruptive.

F8-DLS-UI-Sheet.png

The new DLS which I worked on with a designer in my team

F8-DLS-Grid-Menu.png

The new Grid and Menu which I worked on with a designer in my team

A COUPLE OF FEATURES...

A whole bunch of workflows and features were looked during my time at Fresh8, but I have picked out a few of note and interest…

Combo-Event-Calendar.png
EVENT CALENDAR

As mentioned above, there was a lot of focus on the Event Calendar. It is a pivotal feature that is often the birthplace of campaigns and the discovery epicentre for events.

Combo-Offer-Mgmt.png
OFFER MANAGEMENT

One of the areas I was looking into towards the end of my time with Fresh8 was how we improved offer management, which included basic editing tool.

LOOKING BACK & REFLECTING...

There was a huge amount of work to do at Fresh8, and in comparison to other business I had worked at, we made the best of it with the limited resources we had. Fortunately, we had a great team of upbeat and proactive people that loved a challenge and really wanted to succeed.

 

Taking the route of building a secondary system that would run concurrently and co-exist with the older legacy platform was a great idea, but did pose some interesting problems.

 

Often we bumped into situations where try to maintain a legacy system with new tech could become awkward and time-consuming to build. From a design and experience point of view, it also posed some challenges around how you flowed a user between the systems and kept them in some level of consistency.

 

Overall, I think the approach we took was far better than just re-building a system with feature parity and enabled the team to build only what we needed and get feedback from customers much more easily.

Get in touch

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

© 2020 by Rob Freemantle