During my short lived time as a freelancer, I was given the opportunity to work with a well known Social Media agency for a few months at the end of 2012.
The role and the challenge was an interesting and fun one…
The company, although born out of the rise of social media and in theory digital, it was structured around a PR agency model. The process in most scenarios was ideas brainstormed by account handlers, to be quickly created as most output was content – whether that be images for posts on facebook, or tweets etc). As the content required is so quickly consumed in the hungry world of “shares”, “likes” and “re-posted”, and it’s consequent shelf life so short – timelines where understandably tight.
However the company is in a state of massive success and growth right now and with that growth, the expectation of what is delivered is raised and more and more responsibility and budget share is given to the company by their clients to create even more engaging social focused experiences rather than just content – So process needs to change to maintain clients and to make sure what is coming out is of a high level of quality and value that foes the size of the company justice.
Process for anything bigger that might involve an interface or UX experience went into dev first to wireframe, then this was skinned in design to the spec outlines by dev (who had already quoted their timeframes for build) and then handed back to dev to build based on the limitations they had set pre-design phase. Although very efficient – When you’re battlefield is the walled gardens of the various key social media platforms, this sadly is not the way to innovate and create forward thinking socially focused experiences for users.
Working with a core design team of only 4; as Design Director, I was tasked to help change this, streamline the process, integrate and evangelise that design and creativity should be in the foundations of the company’s process and in turn raise the quality of the output (whether that be content like image posts, or experiences that come in site or facebook app form or more). Which day to day involved scoping, overseeing, mentoring, team building, signing off, art directing and designing.
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