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Impulse.

My role was end-to-end, from fundraising and user research in concept stages, to UI and UX design and daily ticket management. I worked closely with the developers, as a multi-discipline scrum team, to implement contemporary design components and deliver high quality code.

Role: Co-Founder & Product Lead

Product Build Duration: Jan to Nov 2017

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What is Impulse?

Impulse is a social commerce platform that allows stores to better engage their online communities. Impulse uses 5 key analytical and creative tools to build conversations, sell via video, and get daily feedback from social followers and recent customers.

Problem

Sector: Expensive pay-to-win advertising marginalises smaller e-commerce stores. Saturated content combined with in-efficient commerce features leads to stores losing transactions because of their inability to convert likes and shares into cash.

Product: Integrating complex commerce features (secure payment processing and sales analytics) with forward thinking social features (messenger integration, social metrics, combining date across multiple APIs) - without impinging the natural psychological flow social app users are used to when scrolling.

Process: Our process hinged on budget management. The key was to find balance between producing high value features on time, released in high quality code blocks, and managing development hours. Using a remote team also challenged our communication skills when defining the higher level product pathway and the daily scrum process.

Objectives

Deliver a functioning

Web & Mobile application

Production release within the 6 month window

Challenges

Manage development budget and maintain the remote team

Prioritise USP features to give earliest value to users

Priority

Ensure long term security of payment proccesing and tool analystics

Provide consistent release updates to our Early Access users

Empower developer autonomy and consistent code refactoring

On going research with users to refine any technical divergence

Solution

Sector: Expensive pay-to-win advertising marginalises smaller e-commerce stores. Content on these platforms is already saturated, adding commerce features will again reduce engagement (giving more valued to paid advertising). Finally, stores lose transactions because of their inability to convert likes and shares into cash.

Product: We had to integrate complex commerce features (secure payment processing, sales analytics, efficient buying flow) with forward thinking social features (messenger integration, social metrics, combining data across multiple APIs) - without impinging the natural psychological flow social app users are used to when scrolling.

Process: As an early stage start up, our process hinged on budget management. There was a consistent balance between producing high value features, on time, released in high quality code blocks, and managing development hours. Using a remote development team also challenged our communication skills (especially when defining the higher level product pathway, as well as the daily scrum process).

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Discovery

Validation

We initially studied macro market trends for e-commerce and social media (affiliate marketing, buy buttons etc). To gain early PoC we set up a simple Tumblr site to gauge user reaction to long feeds of products and direct to buy links. We launched a tumblr page with a mixture of products and 'lifestyle' images. Each tumblr image was a link to buy the item. We gauged responses and comments.

User Research

Second phase research focused on 200 targeted surveys at our perceived demographic:16 to 23 years old, in High School, University, Young professionals, with disposable cash, and long term exposure to Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest (2015). This was followed in 2016 with 6,000 plus emails manually sent to various micro Influencers and smaller e-commerce stores. We returned a 17%-21% positive sign up rate to an early access.

Competition

Instagram, Fancy, Pinterest. Wanelo.

Product Process

Fundamental Human Behaviour: Any product begins with the brain. There are numerous steps before features, fonts, and buttons that are at the subconscious core of a users interaction with a product. In this project we began with some high level questions:

 

  • The triggers that cause a human to change task (from whatever they were doing to shopping)? 

  • Do we act on a thought immediately to chase a dopamine kick?

  • When a human thinks 'online shopping' how many apps/sites do they sift through in their brain before actually picking up a device?

  • Are we trying to illicit the same psychological pathways that other apps use?

  • Is there a way to create a new pathway that is more holistic and community focused (and not simply about the need to shop to fill a break in concentration or boredom?

Design Psychology: Our goal was to build a human-centred, intuitive platform, that removes unnecessary decisions and keeps our users in a state of flow. Moving between items, images, and information seamlessly - we aim to encourage low effort usage, using white space, minimal CTA's and easy to reach features (to keep thumbs happy). Yet, their is a key balance to be met. There still needs to be a sense of purpose, a consistent wave of engaging information (without overload), and a string of valuable features within eye sight every 4-8 seconds. Impulse needed to be minimal and yet highly interactive.

Device Strategy: We initially built the platform to be desktop first. Our key early user base was e-commerce stores and micro influencers, which both spent (in our research) 65% of their time on a laptop. During development, as we added the analytical tools, we pivoted towards a mobile first experience as more shoppers became early access users.

Information Architecture: Organisation of key features. Purpose. Navigate clearly.

Wireframes & Flow: Storyboard. Low fidelity images. Multiple iterations. Accessibility of design.

Development

Product Development: Our goal was to build a human-centred, intuitive platform, that removes unnecessary decisions and keeps our users in a state of flow.

Scrum: We initially built the platform to be desktop first. Our key early user base was e-commerce stores and micro influencers, which both spent (in our research) 65% of their time on a laptop. During development, as we added the analytical tools, we pivoted towards a mobile first experience as more shoppers became early access users.

Team Dynamics: We initially built the platform to be desktop first. Our key early user base was e-commerce stores and micro influencers, which both spent (in our research) 65% of their time on a laptop. During development, as we added the analytical tools, we pivoted towards a mobile first experience as more shoppers became early access users.

Stakeholder Management: We initially built the platform to be desktop first. Our key early user base was e-commerce stores and micro influencers, which both spent (in our research) 65% of their time on a laptop. During development, as we added the analytical tools, we pivoted towards a mobile first experience as more shoppers became early access users.

Solution

Discovery

Validation

User Research

Competition

Product Process

Design Psychology

Wireframes & Flow

Architecture

Style Guide

My Role

Product Development

Kanban Hybrid

Team Dynamics

Stakeholder Management

Key Features

Learnings

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