Linqia has an AI-driven platform and team of experts leading the transformation of influencer marketing into a scalable media channel. Linqia Performance Platform also serves as a social content lab, where marketers can organically test and amplify the best performing influencer content to drive greater ROI from their paid, owned and earned media.
I joined Linqia as the only product designer working along side a small team engineers. As I led the product, UX and UI strategy for the team, it was imperative to have a process in place for contributors to follow, communicate with stakeholders and move the project forward as deliverables were reviewed.
The process I implemented at Linqia is based on the New Product Development (NPD) process and Lean UX process. My aim was to incorporate the key phases of Discovery, Definition, Ideation and Implementation in all of our projects.
The associate product manager and myself conducted user interviews over lunch with five different influencers to learn about their needs and pain points with the legacy platform, how they approached content creation and what other platforms they used. They shared with us the culture of influencers. Linqia customer managers that work directly with brand clients and agencies also represented the other stakeholders for the platform persona and Linqia manager persona. Based on my research, I created Personas of these users as their need was the greatest.
Influencer marketing has quite a few platforms with a wide range of functionality. In addition to the tools the influencers I interviewed mentioned using, I also surveyed the market and then conducted a competitive analysis of four platforms looking at usability, functionality and product features as metrics for the analysis.
Of the platforms analyzed, I honed in on the four below as they represented the feature set that we were targeting for the Linqia platform in order to address the needs of the customers and be competitive.
With the research findings and personas in mind, as well as having understood the design goals, I started brainstorming and developing ideas that can help me achieve these goals. I invited our engineers and the other designer to brainstorm solutions together. We then went through the ideas and discussed their implementation feasibility. I quickly drew out sketches of these functionalities with the team to make sure that everyone's on the same page.
Designing a new platform with new features for influencers experience required us to brainstorm not only the design but how the platform would be structured and introduce these new tools to users. With requirements from business, and engineering I established the system architecture.
With the platform architecture established, I created task flows for the functionality that each persona would do in the course of using the platform. This was the result of sitting with Linqia managers, shadowing and conducting cognitive walkthroughs, as well as sitting with engineers learning about the legacy platforms capabilities and what was lacking. My team (developers, an associate product manager and myself) captured different sets of task flows for each of the three groups of main users.
Automating and optimizing the outreach efforts was a significant undertaking, as for the Linqia managers, this was an extremely manual process with a lot of documents being emailed back and forth among all three personas.
Linqia Performance Platform launched and garnered attention and high reviews from marketing tech MarTech and positive reviews on G2.
Some key takeaways from this project are:
Create a strategic plan to launch and get stakeholder buy-in. This helps set expectations and also deal with out-of-scope requests that could potentially derail the project and helps deliver a quality product in time.
Involve engineering upfront. This helps to reduce any rework later on as an understanding of the technical limitations upfront will helped inform my design strategy.