The Mega Agency
In 2016, media industry veterans came together to form The Mega Agency, a global news, sports and entertainment company that licensed photography and video to creative and advertising clients. As other agencies focused on content and largely ignored the platform, Mega would disrupt business as usual by offering a best-in-class user experience. To quickly take advantage of the unique opportunity, I was asked to design contributor- and client-facing portals in less than three months.
While the goal of the brief was to develop better functionality than the competitor, I was careful to align to a strict hierarchy of needs that focused on the user. Adopting a Lean UX approach allowed me to secure early buy-in through rapid wire framing, prototyping, feedback and design. The method helped to establish trust with the client, creating a sense of ownership throughout the process.
UX Hierarchy of Needs
I developed provisional personas that were based on the client’s deep familiarity with the audience. The two archetypes—contributor and client—helped me to better empathize, prioritize, and cater to user needs. I referred back to them constantly, using them as a litmus for evaluating new features and functionality.
It was important for me to have a sense of how someone might interact with the product that I was designing. Journey maps uncovered the user's thoughts and feelings every step of the way, revealing opportunities to address paint points and deliver valuable solutions.
I produced many sketches over the course of the project to illustrate content and information hierarchy. The wireframes allowed me to validate the overall structure without worrying about visual look and feel during the early stages of product development.
Each portal had its unique challenge. The client-facing site needed to provide the modern comforts of visual search while offering something new. I was able to develop responsive lightbox and cart patterns that had never been seen before. The user would be able to skin the entire site to their liking. The contributor-facing site needed to be highly utilitarian but remain visual. I created a tool that delivered insights without sacrificing looks