Crowdfire's core value proposition is to enable creators and sellers to grow on social media with the least effort and time spent on their end so that they can focus more on creating content and Crowdfire as their marketing side-kick would take care of building their social media follower base.
Many amazing features were designed to achieve this goal and one of the ways was to connect all the creator platforms such as Youtube, Shopify, Etsy, Tumblr, WordPress, and Medium to Crowdfire along with social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Linkedin. By doing so Crowdfire would lookout for updates and remind users to post by doing the homework of tailoring these posts for specific social media platforms automatically. To drive more traffic to their website, a seller would never have to worry about creating individual posts for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and so on. Crowdfire would identify the new listing and create ready to publish posts.I joined the Platforms team – the team that developed cool platform-specific features and handled the "how" part of the problem.
One of the biggest problems faced by creators, influencers and sellers is how to drive traffic. After talking to a whole host of Shopify, Etsy, YouTube and WordPress users, we came across a few of the pain points associated with getting more people to their website/blog/shop -
- Posting across all social platforms at once.
- Trying to determine the best time to post for each.
- Forgetting to post (this happens, trust me).
- Tailoring the post to needs and requirements of different social media platforms.
- Figuring out the right hashtags to use.
Tailored post solves all these 5 problems easily by enabling one-go posting, suggesting the right time to post it, auto-tailoring posts as per specific social media needs, sending reminders and updates to share ready to publish tailored posts and hashtag suggestions based on keyword and image recognition.
Crowdfire's core publishing feature also allows users to edit and post on multiple social media platforms in one go. And not just that, Crowdfire will automatically remind you to post on social media platforms as soon as you publish on creator platforms such as Etsy or Youtube. All you would have to do is Tap, Tap, and Share!
I worked on the design with another Product Designer. My contribution was the initial concept, social media platform preview cards, horizontal carousel and the final quality checks and communication with developer hand-off.
Before joining the Platforms team, I designed an internal multi-function information and automation console called "Rubix Cube" to optimize our internal workflows at Crowdfire. This console was used by Support, Marketing, Engineering, and Product functions. The support team no longer had to switch between 3-4 other tools to support a ticket and their total time spent went down greatly. Engineering could create and re-use task flows for the chatbot, test, and get them approved. Marketing could analyse user-profiles and trigger campaigns. And lastly – anyone in the product team could create new and interesting bot flows with a mix and match of chatbot components and test them natively on Android, iOS or Web – this helped the team to test out ideas at lightning speed.
Crowdfire was my first full-time role as a Product Designer. My work has matured a lot since then. Some of the key learnings for me:
Power of community
Crowdfire was all about people. People following their heart, doing what they love to do with their side hustle, blogs, Youtube channels, podcasts and so on. As a product, we focussed not only in creating a service for these people, but we went a step ahead and took the initiative to create channels of sharing inspirational success stories via blogs and podcasts. This helped us to be an empathetic product to the core and add a sense of belongingness in our user's mind.
Involve stakeholders from the beginning
Every new project started with a kick-off with the entire team, and not just the Product Manager and Designer. This helped everyone to be aligned and equally vested with a sense of co-ownership in every aspect of the product, be it design, development, marketing or operations. It helps to get perspective of everyone in the table and I value this greatly, and still practice it in my current setup.
Thinking beyond design team sync ups
Our agile pod gathered every Thursday where everyone would present what they are working on. This helped me understand technologies and development process better. It also presented me with the opportunity of sharing my design process periodically, share my thought process and get feedback. We also did a fun exercise where each one of us would pick a metric to chase that week and investigate patterns and present it to the pod. This helped us being more conscious about the impact of our work. Daily stand-ups are cool, but sync-ups as thought exchange and presentation sessions go a long way!
Being a generalist is a skill
Being in a very small team, I got the opportunity to try my hands on multiple aspects of design which were not limiting to our app. While product thinking, problem solving and designing apps and websites are my core strengths, I do not cringe when it comes to branding, graphic design, or illustrations. I can also think better in terms of eco-systems and not just mere features, by quickly prototyping experiences across user touch-points. I believe being a generalist with a know-how of getting things done is equally important as being a specialist. A great Product Design team is a mix of generalists and specialists.