the•great•tiny n.Small woman, big ideas

Content Mutual

In this 2.5-week school-instigated team project, I worked with a client to redesign a content-sharing platform to better suit user needs.

What is Content Mutual?

Content Mutual is a platform that allows content-creators to syndicate their work on a pay-per-view basis. Currently, they are focusing only on written content, so those are the users our team focused on as well.

Problem

Users can't figure out how to use the features of CM to syndicate their work.

Solution

To solve this problem, we had to better understand what users needed. We then created a new userflow, which better suited user goals.

My Role

On this highly collaborative team, we all interviewed, conducted comparative analysis, created user flows and interface mock-ups.

Research

To better understand how to serve writers on the Internet, we had to interview a lot writers and publishers. We found there are a lot of different ways to be a writer or a publisher on the Internet.

Here are a few of their lovely faces:

A few standout themes:

Compensation for writers

"People don't write for the sh*t of writing. They want to know that they'll get paid for their work." -Lis, Writer

Exposure

"When it comes to frustrations, one of the main things is when I feel I write something particularly great, but it doesn't get much attention." - Dave, Writer

Networking for Writers

"Most freelancers get their work through people who know them."- Mike, writer

Networking for Editors

"Editors are the ambassadors of a publication. They need to know the right kind of writers and maintain that network." - Mark, Editor

Style and Voice

"We don't take [an article] unless it really fits us, and it's really good." - Katrina, Editor

Big Board

To make sense of what we were learning, we put together this mental model / comparative analysis hybrid. We mapped out what Content Mutual perceived writers and publishers want and cross-referenced it with what our interviewees said they wanted. We added a layer of how Content Mutual was serving user needs, along with how writers and publishers were having their needs met elsewhere. Specifically, we looked at Written.com, Scripted.com, and the now-defunct Repost.US. We then looked for gaps where writers weren't having their needs met, and let those guide us in our design decisions.

Personas

What this means when designing for Alex:

  • He cares about exposure.
  • He wants consisten relationships with publishers.
  • He needs a means for collecting payment for his work.

What this means when designing for Riley:

  • She cares about her publication's exposure.
  • She wants consistent relationships with writers, who can write in her publication's style and voice.

New Userflow

With Alex and Riley in mind, we designed a new userflow that focused on mutual collaboration between writers and publishers, to create new content.

Some new features we implemented:

  • Discovery Page: This page would allow Alex and Riley to use a natural language search to find each other, or use a social feed to browse.
  • Profiles: Both Publishers and Writers would maintain outward facing profiles, which would help them get exposure. Authors post sample content, portfolio style, and publishers post story leads for new content they want created.
  • Dashboards: All users would have a dashboard to keep track of active leads, contracts, and connections.
  • Contracts: CM can facilitate the contracts between writers and publishers. This can be their new monetization scheme.

Final Designs

After our final class presentation to our client, we were asked to continue working for Content Mutual. As the project wraps up, you will be able to find final designs here.