Community engagement platform

Client: TPO

The Brief
Jimmy Wales (the Wikipedia and Wikia guy) came on board at TPO to join the board and his vision was to create a unique eco environment for people who cared about causes and raising money to go and meet like minded people online, a Facebook with a soul if you will. This angle of cause & charity worked hand in hand with TPO as one of TPO’s USP is 10% of the users bill goes to a charity or cause of their choice. The brief was simple, take what Facebook and other leading social platforms do right and create our own version and our own ideas to bring people to TPO and gently teach people about the TPO phone plan and how it can support a cause “you cause you love”. I worked within the 18 man production team leading the research, UX, UI and graphics side as well as working with the development team closely.  

In the later phases of the project we were also to launch and integrate a fundraising element into the site for which I was product owner.

I spent time looking at the various social media platforms like Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, About.Me, Bebo and more, however I really wanted to look at platforms and commerce (TPO is a phone network) that have a core product but also have a social platform or giving platform attached. I spent time looking through examples and was keen to learn how these platforms merged the two very separate business offerings together. I presented results at various stages at team strategy meetings until we had a definitive route to follow.

User journey flowcharts
There were various key elements that I focused on when plotting out the user journey mapping phase from user on boarding through to how a user would update their profile or connect with other users as well as how to follow a cause. The main complexity was the later addition of the fundraising platform as that required many alternative journey options and site integrations. All flowcharts were presented with the production team and stakeholders when required.

Wireframe prototypes
I worked on a set of wireframe prototypes for all of the major sections on the platform (as mentioned previous), these enabled the stakeholders and developers an idea of how the site would be set up and subsequently used by the end user and allowed me to road test the platform with users made up of staff, friends and people in coffee shops . The prototypes we’re tweaked regularly through the process as myself and the development team learned of code or budgetary limitations. Once a final set of “micro UX” prototypes we’re complete we were finally able to sign off the concepts and begin with the next steps.

Visual designs
As I’d spent time working heavily on the TPO brand & message as well as marketing I was able to take that into my visual design concepts for both the social media platform and the fundraising platform. I spent time working on different concepts  for a fully responsive UI. Working with the Lead Front End Developer to ensure all my ideas we’re feasible for him to work with I was able to put together MVP designs to launch and follow up with more polished enhancements over the course of 4-5 months. All designs at all stages were presented to the team using InvisionApp.

One of the smaller but none the less challenging aspects was the design of iconography for the platforms, as I’ve experience working on brand and icon/illustrative elements I took charge of this and created a suite of icons for the platform and also the marketing collateral that was to go out to print.

Launch and end result
The social platform launched to much fanfare with Jimmy appearing on all the leading US news networks talking about this exciting platform for people to come share and discover causes close to their heart. We received large amounts of new users daily and it continued to grow over the course of the year. We regularly released new features throughout its current lifespan and at the end of 2015 we launched the integrated fundraising element. The next phase will see the site marge more with the TPO phone store and offer technical support for users as well as advice.

Review and analysis
Once the platform was launched we would spend significant time reviewing how the processes was performing, analysing the on-boarding paths vs the sign ups to make sure that all the steps and actions were working as best as possible. Using tools such as Google Analytics, Kissmetrics and CrazyEgg I was able to gain insights into usage and modify as and when required.