© 2019 by Michelle Kim

Tabber 

Browsing Made Easy
OVERVIEW

Problem

Knowledge workers don't have a simple way to organize and store online content, such as tabs, images, links, articles and online research. Even if they implement an ordered method of documenting and storing their information, they have difficulty recalling where and what they stored, completely negating the purpose of having a documentation system in the first place. 

Solution

Tabber, aka Pinterest for Work, allows knowledge workers to access, store, and organize all of their content onto one user-friendly platform, saving users their time and their sanity. Leveraging our backgrounds in human-centered disciplines (eg. user experience design, branding, strategy, and advertising), we were able to pitch to investors after a 14 week period of identifying product-market fit and potential clients for the product.

 

[This project was based on a transdisciplinary class hosted by the Product Design department at ArtCenter College of Design]

My Role

Co-Founder

UX Designer

Researcher

Timeline

Jan. 2018 - April 2018

Team Members

Tools

Sketch, Invision, Illustrator, Photoshop

Easy to Learn

Search and preview articles with an easy visual and text interface

Unified Hub

Archive all your links into one place with easy storing

Time Saver

Organize and store all your links in Boards, Folders, and Favorites

Our Approach

We spent a hefty amount of time trying to find product-market fit. As we began to form a better understanding on the problem our users were facing through research and testing, we had pivoted significantly from our original idea. It was critical to adopt a design sprint framework by rapidly producing rough prototypes and conducting interviews in a week-by-week fashion to quickly validate with users.

01

Research

Competitive Landscape

Secondary Research

Expert Interviews

User Interviews

Cold Research

Market Research

Personas

02

Design

Informed Brainstorming

Alignment/Problem Prioritization

Information Architecture

Wireframes

Interactive Prototype

Lo-Fi + Hi-fi Designs

03

Evaluate

Usability Testing

Design Iterations

Pivoting

Pitch to Investors

My Contribution

I primarily focused my efforts on organizing, conducting, and synthesizing interviews with experts to create a better understanding of our target market. The insights from our interviews and market research allowed me to quickly persuade my teammate that we pivot twice during this project in order to help us find product-market as efficiently as possible. Another large portion of my efforts was spent on creating wireframes and interactive prototypes.

In terms of the business side, I took the lead on figuring out our business model and how our finances would have to shift in order to create a realistic roadmap to launch and grow a SaaS start up. I also created and conducted interviews with our board of advisors who gave us expert knowledge and support on their areas of expertise (ie. business, engineering, adtech, growth, finance, and marketing) which helped me to identify our market size.

 

I pitched to investors at M13 in combination with a pitch deck that my teammate, Sophie, helped create.

RESEARCH

We initially tried to figure out an alternative business model within the education space for students to learn and practice specific skill sets (ex: problem solving with design thinking methodology) that were not prioritized in public schools; however, through a series of primary and secondary research detailed below (including competitive analysis, market research on trends and stats, and user interviews), we realized that there was a bigger and more pressing opportunity: providing a digital documentation platform for both students and knowledge workers. That's when we had our first pivot!

User Interviews

We realized that as students, we don't have an easy and effective way of organizing all the content we are collecting for research, inspiration, and documentation. Coincidentally at the same time, we learned from expert interviews that they were experiencing similar pain points. We quickly began to shift our focus from purely a student perspective to identify what our total addressable market could hypothetically look like.

 

Interviews with experts and users verified one of our main hypotheses that this problem is relevant to not just students but also professionals that are labeled as knowledge workers.

If I could quickly and easily save a reference to any site, including those without images, I'd just use that for everything.

Alison Dalton

ArtCenter Administrator

Wish there was a better way to organize and store information. I do not have a good system.

Chris Hacker

CDO - Hacker Design Group

In marketing, we are always looking for ways to innovate. Having a searchable database would be such a huge value.

Jamie Robinson

Marketing Consultant

I can't always remember which method I used to store something for future research!

Dana Walker

ArtCenter Managing Director

Competitive Landscape

This portion of the research significantly impacted which features we decided to prioritize on later in the design process.

We first looked into the market, trying to find good references and gaps that still existed within the current market.Our goal was to find which needs were and weren't being met for our users. We focused on learnability vs ease of use (in terms of organizing content) as a way to compare our competitors' performance levels.

We analyzed the different weak points for the most popular software programs used by our users (for online information storing platforms).

Findings to Design + Business Decisions

Knowledge workers will continue increasing in the work force and fall under a wide spread of industries and professions

Business
Roadmap Strategy
conversion to retention
Design
Feature Prioritization

A significant number of knowledge workers have more than 10 tabs open at a time at least twice a week. During these instances, they cannot recall from memory which tabs exist in their internet browser.

Design
Behavioral Goals

Saving and documenting content is only the first hurdle. The 2nd biggest pain point is recalling back to what users saved.

Design
Feature Prioritization
Business
Scaling + Revenue Strategy

Many users store links in documents like Google Drive. This is a horrible method as they can't recall what the links are for. Pinterest can't store text-based content. There are no good alternatives.

Design
Feature Prioritization

Personas

To better guide the later stage of our process, I consolidated all of our synthesized information from research and interviews to create the following two main user groups.

Needs
  • Needs a visual way of recalling past poster designs for movies based on themes
     

  • Wants a database to search for past movie promotional material

Frustrations
  • Internal database is impossible to use as nothing is searchable
     

  • Has to manually create visuals for each new project to present to the team and stakeholders

Isaac the Innovator

Marketing Director

50s

Carol the Curious

College Student

20s

  • Has a diverse array of interests and documents she needs to store (research papers, DIY inspirations, beauty tips) but doesn't have a single platform to consolidate
     

  • Prefers having content that she can access quickly and get an idea on what the content is in a summarized fashion

  • Feels stressed everytime she can't figure out where she placed a certain document on Google drive

Frustrations
Needs
DESIGN

From our research, we brainstormed solutions that we later ranked based on feasibility for Version 1 (V1). Our core priority was to quickly create wireframes that tackled the challenge of organizing such diverse content onto one platform that we could test with potential users. We realized from our research that it would be better to minimize the number of features we would build for V1 and instead focus on perfecting the user experience for the following core functionalities.

Wireframes

We quickly transferred some sketches into black and white wireframes on Illustrator. We then received feedback from potential users.

High-Fidelity Design - Iteration 1

For the first iteration, we wanted to validate whether the flow was simple enough for users to learn quickly. We were also focused on trying to figure out if the level of affordance we were giving to certain groupings made sense to the users. We used Sketch and InVision to create a basic interactive prototype as that was determined as just enough to test our assumptions and designs.

 
EVALUATION

User Feedback and Design Changes

Due to time restrictions, we were only able to do fairly quick usability testing sessions as we went through 3 iterations with potential users. We looked to see if the layout made sense to the user, which features and pages they would spend most of their time on and which features were unnecessary for V1 for product launch. Below are some highlights on the feedback we received.

Lessons Learned

This project was my gate into the world of product and business development and how much one depended on the other and vice versa. I never knew how complicated this relationship was until I ventured into the world of start ups where I had to become not just a UX designer but also a business designer. Below are some summarized learnings!

Celebrating after our first pitches! Woo!!! 

Pivoting at the right time is life or death to start ups.

When I look back, the naive and hopeful expectations I had for my "company" were...naive. To create a company that is needed by the user, that can compete and be advantageously different from competitors in the market, and finding the right way to pitch the start up were all factors that I hadn't been exposed to in much frequency and in detail when solving design projects; however, with all said and done, I've also learned it's necessary to have a strong rational faith in your product and company in order for it to survive and thrive.

Having the right team of experts will help you thrive.

Each time we pivoted, each time we had no idea how we would generate revenue, each time we began to doubt ourselves, we had an amazing group of advisors we could rely on for advice that we had painstakingly reached out to fortunately early on in our process. This helped fill in the gaps that were lacking in our knowledge and expertise, such as adtech, engineering, target markets, and revenue models.

Developing a business case for your start up sometimes will trump design details.

We realized how fast time ticks when building a start up from scratch! There are so many questions that need to be answered, so many decks that need to be redesigned, so many business components that need to be filled out. The more I learned about product development, the more I realized we had to prioritize and be extremely strategic on which features we would be pushing out for our MVP. Contrary to typical design prompts, we couldn't go for the "ideal" scenario. We had to be realistic and really think about what our investors and users would value most when it came to our first product version.

Pitch decks are completely different from design decks. Keep it simple, strong, concise.

Whoever said pitch decks were easy to make were lying. We spent so much time on rewording the pitch deck, changing the order of slides, slicing and adding in content, and gathering feedback from our peers and advisors. The hardest part (although ironically the part we as designers are most used to) was cutting and cutting and cutting. Creating a pitch deck taught me the importance of good copy writing and how even if I believe there's no more to cut, there always will be something else waiting to get the ax.