AdPulse

An ad-ops business performance indicator on Apple Watch for CxOs

PROBLEM ADDRESSED

Every morning, CxOs at my employing company is given a daily report of previous day's ad-ops performance in an online spreadsheet with hundreds of lines of data. Time is extremely critical to the CxOs at the company's current juncture of being expanding to new mediums of advertising and evolving partnerships.

A CxO's time is a 100 times more valuable than any other employee in the company.

As a former operations analyst with experience in MIS (management information system) design, it is known to me, for a fact that, highly relevant summary statistics are far more effective than detailed long tabular data.

INSPIRATION

By happenstance I got to witness a backend developer who processed gigabytes of data everyday about the previous day's ad-ops performances and generate a spreadsheet report containing few hundred lines, for the CxOs, and instantly the bulb went “Our CxOs shouldn't be wasting time by going through this Excel sheet at all!”

CONCEPT SKETCH

Unlike all my other product design processes, the AdPulse design process started right away with me sketching out a colorful workflow.

The concept had the following features.

  • Scrollable report view
  • Comments from Head of ad-ops
  • Dale selector across weeks and months
  • Choosing performance indicators

Note: I had to remove most of them and focus on the primary value proposition of the product.

USER RESEARCH & PERSONA

As it was an internal application, targeted at value delivery to the CxOs, it was quite easy and straightforward to craft a simple usable user persona for the application.

User Persona

Name - Vikram Kumar

Gender - Male

Age - 42years

Education - Bachelors in Engineering

Country - India

Location - Shuttles between Bangalore and San Francisco

Languages Known - English, Hindi, & an Indian regional language

Sociological Status - Married  and has 2 children

Employer - Ad-tech company in its growth phase

Position - CEO

Technology Familiarity - Highly aware and familiar with popular consumer electronics, software (apps) etc. Uses Apple smarphones, tablets and laptops

Traits - Technology fan, global ad business awareness, fitness conscious

USER JOURNEY

The ability to personally interact with all of the target users (just three in total) and to understand how the daily ad-ops performance report fell in place with their day to day work, eased the crafting of the primary user story  for the application.

User Story

Vikram has been staying San Francisco the last 20 days, to create new sales channels and interact & envision a new technological partnership with another company. He wakes up in the morning and understands his colleagues in India were nearly at the end of their working hours, and the daily report would have been generated. When getting his coffee, he checks his device to find that it has indeed arrived and checks the report. He finds the trends are normal and the comments are nothing but usual. He takes a relaxing breath and continues his coffee.

WORKFLOW

Applying Apple Watch's Human Interface Guidelines, the workflow was crafted with optimal balance between quality of information relayed and the diversity of actions the user wants to carry out.

Apart from the familiar taps and swipes, Apple Watch uses two unique interactions, namely 'Force Touch' and 'Digital Crown' and has set the guidelines for the same. They also have been

Usage of Apple Watch Interactions

Tap - Navigate between sections

Left-edge Swipe - Navigate back in hierarchy

Horizontal Swipes - Navigate within sections

Vertical Swipes - Vertical scrolling

Force Touch - Contextual menu trigger

Crown - Vertical scrolling

VISUAL DESIGN

One of the important challenge in this process were the limits imposed by both the Apple Watch and the Apple Watch HIG, in terms of style, backgrounds, layout size, typeface choices, colors etc. Except for the app icon design, all other screens had to use only the colors suggested in the color palette.

Just couldn't resist the heartbeat!

Daily Report

The reports screen was designed to deliver the optimal size of information just enough to feel the pulse of the previous day's business performance in the minimum interaction design space. The information chosen to be relayed were:

  • numbers (monetary)
  • trend (delivery)
  • comments

Daily Report Sections - Numbers, Trend, and Comments

Force Touch

Apple Watch's unique 'Force Touch' was implemented to facilitate providing contextual menus. For now, it is implemented only in the Reports section that displays numbers.

Force Touch displays contextual menu choices

LEARNINGS

This being my first project on wearable, a great many learnings were achieved freshly. A few of them are

  • Wearables have a huge potential to change the landscape of enterprise hardware, even at managerial levels.
  • Care has to be always taken in prioritizing information displayed at any point on the screen, so as not to increase both the cognitive load  encountered by the user to take action(s).
  • Interaction costs in all workflows has to be made as minimum as possible to facilitate the perception of the use of the device as a complex microinteraction device and not a full fledged computer.
  • Despite the limitations imposed both by hardware and the HIG of the Apple Watch, it demonstrates potential for interactions of slightly higher complexity.

Note: This version of AdPulse was droppped as Adadyn pivoted away from the ad-ops service business and now focuses completely on providing a self-serving SaaS platform for mid market businesses. Hence, an altogether different version of AdPulse has been scheduled for the next business year.

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