Creating a Content Management System

Role - Interaction Designer

The Background

One of my major projects during 2014 was working on an internal Content Management System. The CMS was to be built through a collaboration of my team in Redmond and our partner team in Shanghai. The Shanghai team was comprised of Developers, PM’s, and a small amount of Designers and Researchers. I was tasked with working with the designers and researchers in Shanghai and our PMs in Redmond to help establish user scenarios and design the CMS.


The Actions I took

Facilitate communication across an international team - I collaborated weekly with the Shanghai team to run design critiques, discuss plans, and make sure our work was in line with the schedule established by CSI. And, I set up meetings between Redmond and Shanghai to keep everyone on the same page with designs and deliverables.

Design, critique, iterate, and repeat - I worked directly with our Lead PM in Redmond and my design counterpart in Shanghai to produce workflows, sketches, wireframes, and mockups. We also met weekly to validate our work through design critiques.

Ran informal usability studies - I also worked with key stakeholders, writers, editors, and content managers on the CSI team to validate design decisions and keep the project on track.


The Results of my work

Work was completed on time by communicating priorities - By keeping the teams in constant contact I was able to make sure both teams knew the right direction for features and avoid “telephone” style miscommunication

Leveraging others’ work lead to improved success - By using an established set of design guidelines we could create a well-made product without spending valuable time reinventing the wheel. This also led to CSI being much happier with the product

Great collaboration resulted in happy customers and a great product - Although working through a large time zone difference can be difficult our work was better for it and CSI was exited to build out our solution


What I learned - working across time zones, managing large and difficult projects, working through ambiguity, creating complex interdependent workflows