Linqia Performance Platform

Influencer Discovery & Program Creation
See on linqia product page

Project Overview

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.

To stay competitive, the company invested into the development of a new platform for their customers and brought me in to design it.
Year
2015 - 2017
Role
Product Designer
methods
User Research, Information Architecture, Task / User Flows, UI Design, User Testing
Platform
Web Browser
Deliverables
linqia.com/platform/
strategy

Product Process

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.

User research

Understanding
the Problem

Working with the VP of Product and associate product manger, a strategy was conceived to conduct user interviews of selected influencers to gain insight into what worked for them and what was causing friction. This was also an opportunity to validate new tools, product features and invite a few onto an advisory committee.

We looked at what the current Linqia experience offers them and what our limitations were that needed to be addressed in with the new platform.

From the interviews we gathered the main pain points influencers were experiencing with the current Linqia platform.
User research

Persona Profiles

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.

Market research

Competitive Analysis

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.

IDEATION

Concept Development

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.

definition

Platform Architecture

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 architecture...

definition

Designing for 3 Stakeholders

The platform needed to support the three main stakeholders throughout the campaign - Influencer, Linqia managers, and the brands/agencies.

I explored different configurations of the architecture solutions and presented them to the team. Then we discussed and decided the most feasible solution for this new platform.
definition

Architecture Design

Refining the architecture further, I then created a digital copy for distribution to engineers that they could reference as development commenced...
Download Architecture
ideation

Task Flows

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.

ideation

User Flows

The platform architecture and task flows I designed informed the user flow. My team (developers, an associate product manager and myself) captured different flows for each of the three groups of main users I discovered during the influencer interviews we attended in-person, and sitting with the Linqia managers. Afterwards, I created end-to-end flow diagram involving all stakeholders and their role in the creation and launch of a program. We were able to pinpoint exactly where in the user’s journey needed improvement and developed mockups accordingly.
Download User Flow

Validation

To understand what was working and substantiate the conceptual designs, I created low-fidelity prototypes of the main platform components and conducted internal testing with the customer success team.
prototype & testing

Mid-Fidelity Prototype

Using the set of wireframes I developed for the task and user flows, I conducted user testing using a combination of: Internal critiques for initial feedback, user testing with Linqia managers for immediate feedback on functions specific to their most critical tasks as well as for testing a full walkthrough of the platform.
definition

Look and Feel

From the insight provided by influencers during interviews, competitive analysis of modern platforms in the space and business stakeholder requirements, I created several mood boards to reflect emotional and and environmental aspects of
the target customers involved, as well as the branding of the company.
definition

Color Exploration

Linqia tracks every social metrics and to display this in the dashboard called for a unique color palette for social media platforms that share the same color. It was crucial to ensure that at first glance users could immediately distinguish each
social platform and the range of engagements they offer.
prototype & testing

Design Optimization

In addition to new features and functionalities, optimization became a goal for some legacy parts of the platform that was being migrated over to the new platform. Influencer sign up was one such component in which I reduced a five page signup process down to one page.
prototype & testing

First Time User Experience

With new features came a new experience, and it became paramount to get influencers on-boarded and situated with their dashboard and how to make the most of working with Linqia on brand programs, adding in elements of gamification to motivate participation and ensure they completed important profile information.
ideation

CMS System Design

After understanding the lengthy involved process of influencer outreach and coordination, I recognized that what I was observing taking place was essentially content management, and that this could be made more efficient by implementing such a CMS tool.
prototyping

CMS System

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....

prototyping

CMS System Mapping

I streamlined the outreach operations and coined it the Linqia Experience Management System (LEMS), significantly improving the outreach and opt-in experience and management of the various documents involved.

Presentation

Having produced design that were developed into a functional beta of the platform, I presented the product during a Linqia company all hands meeting, walking attendees through the features and functionality that we would go to market with to remain competitive....

Release and Results

Linqia Performance Platform launched and garnered attention and high reviews from marketing tech MarTech and positive reviews on G2. Influencers also...

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.

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